Lil Wayne may describe himself as “the best rapper alive” but the Cash Money Records artist is shining the spotlight on tunes from two of his peers in a new Recording Academy ad campaign.
The promotion, which debuted this past weekend on CBS, will involve a series of television, print, online and radio ads that will build anticipation for this year’s Grammy Awards.
Ratings were for the annual show decreased last year to its lowest level since 1992 as viewers opted for other ways to spend their time.
Lil Wayne will join an eclectic group of musicians who will be featured in the campaign, called “Celebrate The Music That Makes Us.”
Other participants include R&B/pop vocalist Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz and Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke.
According to a Grammy spokeswoman, the artists were asked to give 10-20 songs that influenced or affected their life and career to the Recording Academy. Song lyrics and titles are featured in the print and television ads.
“This year’s ad campaign brings this idea to life by highlighting the songs that influence and inspire several artists whose music has made a lasting impact on music lovers worldwide — creating even greater anticipation for music’s biggest night,” Recording Academy chief marketing officer Evan Greene said in a statement.
Print ads featuring Lil Wayne show the rapper paying tribute to Jay-Z’s#### single “Can’t Knock the Hustle” as well as former G-Unit member Young Buck’s “Pocket Full of Paper.”
Although he is featured prominently in the campaign, Lil Wayne will not be the only rapper on board for the effort.
Spots for Kanye West and Coldplay are currently being developed as the print ads continue to expand in the days leading up to the Grammys.
Rihanna’s print ad will cite Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” while Wonder’s television ad incorporates his popular single “Superstitious” and lyrical references to Ray Charles and Stephanie Mills.
Despite a message in his ad saying “artist not guaranteed to perform,” Lil Wayne will likely perform at the Grammys.
The rapper is nominated in eight categories, including album of the year, for work on his latest release, Tha Carter III.
West follows with six nominations. The Recording Academy’s ad campaign comes amid efforts to rebound from last year’s rating slip.
The organization attempted to garner a buzz by announcing this year’s Grammy nominations via a recent prime-time special.
Despite appearances by LL Cool J and Mariah Carey, the special proved unsuccessful by placing fourth in its time slot.
The 51st annual Grammy Awards will air live at 8 p.m. February 8 on CBS.