If you haven’t known me for a long time, it might surprise you to learn that I spent my youth listening to hip-hop. Exclusively. (I suppose the flip side of that is that if you only knew me then, you’d be shocked to learn that I no longer listen to hip-hop. The rest of you probably just clicked here due to some search, and are wishing I’d get on with it already). I don’t listen to it much anymore, other than the most popular, backpacker types (Common, Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, etc), nor do I listen to the music of my youth that often. I pared down my hip-hop CD collection from 400+ to somewhere around 30, and thrust myself into the world of indie rock as hard as I once followed urban American music.
I don’t watch a lot of commercials, since almost everything I watch (aside from sports) is from my DVR, but even with the small amount of commercial breaks I tolerate, I’ve noticed that a lot of the music I listen to has been showing up in advertisements. Some music snobs look at the increased presence of indie rock in commercials with disdain, rejecting artists that choose to allow their music to be used in ads as sell outs. To those people, I can only say: grow up.
We live in an age where many music fans get their music without paying for it, where radio playlists have been reduced to about 25 songs a day, and the channels on television that used to play music videos now play reality television instead. So if a band feels the need to get a guaranteed pay day for their efforts, while taking a shot at exposing their music to a wider audience, who are we to begrudge them (of course, there are some that can’t enjoy any music that is exposed to wider audiences, and to them I repeat: grow up).
So inspired, I decided to make a playlist of songs in my collection that have appeared of late in commercials. I call this mix “Commercial Songs that Aren’t Necessarily Commercial”. Click on the link to see the full track list, along with clips of the commercials in which they appear.