Last year, Black Sheep’s Dres explained that the group wasn’t contacted or paid after its song “The Choice is Yours” was used in a Kia commercial. Now, he’s singing a different tune. The rap veteran recently spoke to HipHopSite.com about the song’s use in the ad, claiming that he’s pleased with how the situation was handled.
“I’m very happy with it,” he said. “I’ve heard all kinds of different people’s assessments of it. The rats, they made it racial... Ultimately, 20 years after I made a record, Kia ultimately built a commercial around it, not only introducing it to the younger generation that might not have been checking on it because of the DJs of my generation not playing it, but there’s much more to Black Sheep than ‘The Choice is Yours,’ number one, and secondly, it’s giving an opportunity to show the power of real hip-hop.”
The song ended up getting a 27 percent increase in sales since the commercial began airing, with the younger generation getting put on to the group’s music. “There’s a whole generation of kids now running around talking about ‘doo dah dippity’ and wondering where this came from. They’re being introduced to a catalog,” he continued. “Sometimes, it’s not necessarily the messenger. I’m not really looking at Kia sideways. Kia did what they were supposed to do, which was reach out to Universal. Universal didn’t necessarily hold me down as far as the negotiations of it. So anything that was heard, that might have been my qualm. But it was a fair deal, it wasn’t like it wasn’t a fair deal.”
As far as how he will handle the licensing of his songs in the future, Dres will take a more hands-on approach. “Sometimes when someone’s representing you unbeknownst to you, you can think of things of how you would have handled it. If anything, that’s really where I stood with it. And things have been done since then so that next time something like this happens, that I would be involved or that Lawnge and I would be involved. But ultimately, very happy and it aligned itself perfectly with the new album. Sometimes, things happen and it’s not always going to be someone else’s assessment of it that validates you.”