That guy who did all the “In a world … ” voiceovers for movie trailers (a.k.a. the late Don “The Voice of God” LaFontaine). The MovieFone guy. James Earl Jones (a.k.a. Darth Vader and “This is CNN…”).
And now … Lil Wayne. He’s already one of the hottest and most distinctive MCs in the game, and after planting his flag as the go-to guest artist on dozens of tracks, Weezy might be making his next move as the next great voiceover superstar.
Case in point: a recent black-and-white Gatorade commercial directed by Spike Lee that stars Wayne’s gritty voice over an insistent, Radiohead-like piano line, reciting a litany of sports catchphrases over scrolling images of athletes, including Dwayne Wade, Alex Rodriguez, Muhammad Ali, the Jabbawockeez dance crew, Serena Williams and Bill Russell.
“What’s G?” he asks. “It’s the emblem of a warrior. It’s the swagger of an athlete … a champion and a dynasty. It’s gifted. Golden. Genuine and glorious. It is a lower-case god.”
The ad is part of a rebranding for the sports drink, which is now calling its Gatorade Thirst Quencher line simply Gm. Judging from the dramatic pull of Wayne’s disembodied voice and signature mellowed-out rumble, if this whole rap thing doesn’t work out for him …
And if further proof was needed of Wayne’s non-rap empire building and iconic status, the New Orleans MC doesn’t even speak in another recent ad, this one for the new LeBron James Chalk sneaker. In that clip, Wayne is glimpsed for just a few seconds sitting in the crowd, cheering the Cleveland star on and brushing some powder off his shoes.
You know you’ve truly arrived when major corporations pay you to do, well, nothing.