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article imageSkee-Lo's 'I Wish' gets NBA ad with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube

By Layne Weiss     Dec 25, 2013 in Entertainment
"I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller..." Remember that jam by Skee-Lo? Well, if you watch NBA's Christmas coverage on ABC or ESPN today, you're gonna catch a remix performed by Kevin Hart alongside his "Ride Along" costar Ice Cube.
NBA All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Andre Iguodala make cameos in the new ad.
It's been quite a year for the 1995 hit. It aired in a Superbowl ad for Toyota starring The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco.UK pop singer Cher Lloyd also sang a remake of the song on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon alongside Skee-Lo himself and Jimmy's in-house band, The Roots.
The latest remake is a commercial in which Ice Cube rips on the 5 ft 2 Kevin Hart for being short, even calling him a "little man Smurf" at one point, Billboard reports. The insults prompt Hart to rap his own version of "I Wish." This was approved by Skee-Lo and his publisher Modern Works Music publishing.
"I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller. Wish I could throw it down like Andre Iguodala," Hart raps.
The commercial, which was produced by ESPN Creative Works and Maggie Vision Productions. gained immediate approval from Universal Pictures, the studio releasing the film "Ride Along."
“Everyone felt that when you can take a song that resonates in pop culture, but put in a different spin with custom lyrics about the NBA, it just felt right,” says Ashley Smith, senior director at ESPN CreativeWorks. “We knew it would be something that would cut through on the air and entertain our fans which at the end of the day is always important for us. We always want people to have that moment of, ‘What was that song?’”
The renewed attention for "I Wish" has also helped with advertising and sales for Skee-Lo's latest album Fresh Ideas, which was released by Skee-Lo's label Skee-Lo Musik in late 2012.
This past year has just been me showing what I got -- this huge history behind me. It’s really reminding people of what it is I do and the effect it has on people,” Skee-Lo said.
The rapper also notes with a laugh that whenever we see or hear "I Wish," he's "getting paid.
As far as the "Ride Along" promo is concerned, Skee-Lo enjoyed Kevin Hart's remake. "It's funny to see somebody actually imitate me," he said.“I thought it was not only hilarious, but it was also in good taste and respectful to the brand. He just did it his way.”
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