Music

Questlove Credits Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ With Paying For The Roots’ ‘Things Fall Apart’ Promo

Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me” is back at the forefront of pop culture after being used in Cheetos’ Super Bowl ad with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. While opinions on the commercial itself are mixed, the ad’s debut during the Super Bowl did offer music fans a peek behind the curtain at some of the inner workings of the music industry, courtesy of The Roots’ Questlove.

In the commercial, Kutcher and Kunis sing a remixed version of the 20-year-old hit as Kunis devours Kutcher’s bag of Cheetos, denying it all the while, as Kutcher points to the rapidly piling physical evidence that proves her malfeasance. Eventually, Shaggy himself appears to rap in his trademark patois, advising Ashton, “To keep you own stash you gotta hide it betta.”

While some fans were thrown by Kutcher’s singing voice or felt the ad was a little too — well, cheesy — Questlove regarded it a bit more philosophically than most thanks to the debt he and his band owe to Shaggy. “I will never slander #ItWasntMe the success of that song singlehandedly paid for Things Fall Apart’s promotional budget,” he revealed.

Quest, who’s often a fountain of musical knowledge and loves telling behind-the-scenes stories about the sometimes mind-blowing encounters and crossovers within the recording industry, also elaborated on the story in his book, Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove. In 1999, when The Roots released Things Fall Apart, their Grammy-nominated fourth studio album, both they and Shaggy were signed to MCA Records. At the time, “alternative hip-hop” projects like Things Fall Apart were rarely afforded the promotional efforts and budget tentpole commercial anthems like “It Wasn’t Me” were, but the surplus of revenue the pop-charting song generated could have easily contributed to the coffers of an established but less commercially viable act like The Roots.

Although Quest didn’t offer any further tweets on the subject of Shaggy’s hit, he did seem endlessly amused by the memes generated by the mirror maze sequence of The Weeknd’s halftime performance. He also had some advice for companies that got a little too cute with their ads:

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