It's not by any coincidence the bottle is a Sprite, of course. Aside from Staples being a longtime loud-and-proud fan of the soda, more recently he's become a brand ambassador and last week was one of six featured artists to have their lyrics cover cans in a new summer campaign.
With the "Rain Come Down" video, that team-up is taken to a new level as Sprite's first-ever produced music video. This, Staples tells Billboard, is the next step in a "fair and honest partnership."
"Us making the video together is important because it just shows they also support the music," says Staples. "It's not just about them utilizing the artists for their own benefit, it's a partnership for both. And you know it's fun, they're not trying to be anything other than Sprite. They're not competing with other brands for how they're gonna market it, it's just what they stand for."
With the "Rain Come Down" video and the rest of Staples' dealings with Sprite, the 23-year-old rapper says he's participating in the legacy of hip-hop and the soda's three decades of supporting the culture. When asked about the element of branding in the video, he said the collaboration was easy and a no-brainer.
"They're not trying to come across as an overbearing force, they're just trying to walk in tandem with the artist and the legacy of hip-hop," he says. "They've been around for a very long time, since the beginning. They were around long before me.... It's nothing new. I mean who else is putting rap lyrics on their product that they're selling? They're saying that the culture of rap music is not beneath their product. So I wasn't concerned about them doing it. Even if it was a Sprite commercial, it would still be within the axis of hip-hop because they have a Sprite commercial with Nas sitting on a stoop, you know what I mean? It's hand-in-hand in my opinion."