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Friday, July 22, 2011

The 10 Most Unforgettably Ridiculous Products Shilled by Musicians

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Qream. Eew.
  • Qream. Eew.

In this week's "How did anyone sit through an actual business meeting about this product with a straight face?" news, Pharrell Williams announced that he wasn't quite content to rest on his laurels as a Grammy-winning rapper, producer, composer, and fashion designer. Like all business-savvy celebrities, Williams knows the real money is where, um, other people's mouths are: the liquor business.

Yes, it's Qream, a new vodka-infused specialty cream liqueur "inspired by royalty," marketed explicitly at women, with a consistency that's similar to, but lighter than, a milkshake. At 12.5 percent ABV, it comes in strawberry ("opens up like melted strawberry ice cream on a hot summer day") and peach ("a clean, sublimely juicy cream finish"). Also, the website encourages you to try baking it into cupcakes. You guys, it's like he knows exactly what we want!

On that note, here are 10 other ridiculous instances of musician sponsorship and/or corporate shilling that should never, ever be forgotten.

ODB Rap Snacks Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips

Rap snacks!
  • Rap snacks!

Rap Snacks, "The Official Snack of Hip Hop," is a 17-year-old company based on the idea of putting rappers on snack food bags, along with positive messages like "respect your elders" (Warren G., "Cheezie Nacho" flavor) or "start your own business" (Master P., "Platinum Bar-B-Que" flavor). Reportedly purchased by Lil' Romeo in 2007 but the website isn't looking too hot these days. Regardless, the late great ODB's flavor clearly wins. Positive message: "think responsibly."

Bill Wyman, crazy guy on the beach.
  • Bill Wyman, crazy guy on the beach.

The Bill Wyman Signature Metal Detector

The Rolling Stones' onetime bass player cashed in on his former identity -- he owns the Sticky Fingers Café, a London bistro that serves "American-style" food in a rock 'n' roll setting -- and quickly moved on to his true love: treasure hunting, with a metal detector, à la that crazy guy at the beach. Not convinced? "Metal detectorists have been described by Minister for Culture David Lammy as 'the unsung heroes of Britain's heritage,'" said Wyman in his 2007 press release. Okay!

Ludacris for Magnum condoms

Charming, eh?
  • Charming, eh?

This was the first time Magnum has gone the spokesman route, and the company went with basic logic: If you're going to take condom advice from someone, it should probably be the guy who's getting it on in more than two dozen area codes.

Mary J. Blige for NASA


As part of the government's 2010 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative to get more girls interested in science careers, NASA partnered with good old Mary J. to attract the young'uns. While it's tempting to say the marketing department seems a bit out of touch with what the tweens are listening to these days, it's also possible that they tried but simply could not say "Miley Cyrus for NASA" without crying.

The KISS Kasket

Die like a rocker!
  • Die like a rocker!

Introduced in 2010 and already on its second-generation model, the Kiss Kasket, at just $3,299, featuring "iconic KISS images," represents the ultimate in KISS-inspired luxury. But don't just take the band's word for it: Pantera's Dimebag Darrell was buried in one in 2004. (He had requested a Kasket in his will.)

Pimp Juice, by Nelly

Props if you succeeded in taking this seriously.
  • Props if you succeeded in taking this seriously.

With 100 percent of your recommended daily Vitamin C, this energy drink from the Nellyville days seems downright wholesome by today's celebrity beverage standards. Besides, in the helpful song "Pimp Juice," Nelly explains that the drink/magical potion is equal-opportunity, as "Pimp juice is color blind/You find it work on all color, creeds, and kinds/From ages 50 right down to 9." Look out, Dairy Farmers of America.

Mansinthe, by Marilyn Manson

Tastes freaky, we're guessing.
  • Tastes freaky, we're guessing.

Produced in Switzerland and currently only available in six U.S. states (don't worry, California is one of them!), the most shocking person of the late '90s is apparently now making some decent absinthe: in 2008, it was awarded a gold medal out of a group of 10 absinthes entered into the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco.

CARLOS by Carlos Santana women's footwear


I don't know who told Carlos Santana he could design shoes, but they should take it back. He has other things to fall back on.

E-40 for Icepiks, Wingstop, and others

Toothpick for a playa
  • Toothpick for a playa

The Bay Area rap ambassador's 2007 foray into energy drinks was brief and unremarkable -- 40 Water looked like Gatorade and tasted, according to many, like melted plastic and Otter Pops -- but E-40 made up for it the very same year by franchising a Wingstop location in Benicia, then signing a deal with Icepiks, a company that made opulent, diamond-encrusted toothpick sleeves.

Joe Perry's Rock Your World™ Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce

Comes with a side of Steven Tyler's lips
  • Comes with a side of Steven Tyler's lips

Aerosmith's guitarist promises to "rattle your palate" and "keep your taste buds rollin' all night long!" Invest in a 12-bottle case ($39.99), then pair your spicy barbecue with Peach Qream and Mansinthe for a really, um, rockin' night.


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About The Author

Emma Silvers

Emma Silvers is SF Weekly's former Music Editor.


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