Super Bowl

Shaggy Talks 'Flying the Dancehall Flag' & Revisiting 'It Wasn't Me' for Cheetos Super Bowl Commercial

Shaggy advises Mila Kunis to recite the titular line of his decades-old hit "It Wasn't Me" after getting caught orange-handed by her husband Ashton Kutcher in Cheetos' Super Bowl LV commercial.

The beloved Hollywood couple remixes the chart-topping hit by the Grammy-winning Jamaican reggae artist to summarize how Kunis has been sneaking around the house with Kutcher's bag of Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix, a combination of Cheetos Popcorn with Cheetos Crunchy that debuted in January. The minute-long commercial will air during Super Bowl LV on Sunday (Feb. 7).

"It Wasn't Me" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly 21 years ago, on Feb. 2, 2000. The single from the multiplatinum album Hot Shot highlights Shaggy encouraging featured artist Ricardo "RikRok" Ducent to deny to his suspicious girlfriend that he slept with another woman -- even though he definitely did. Two decades later, Shaggy is encouraging Kunis to get away with something much less damaging to her relationship, while advising Kutcher to get a tighter grip on his property.

"You the one who granted access to your snacks/ Don’t act surprised that she sneak behind ya back/ You gotta keep tabs before she empty that bag/ Let’s review the situation, orange fingers red flag," he raps on the new remix of the song.

Shaggy is whipping up five different flavors of "It Wasn't Me" -- including a reggaetón remix and an '80s retro remix -- but, he tells Billboard, he feels honored to represent the original dancehall style on a global platform such as the Super Bowl.

"I've always flown the dancehall flag for my culture and my country. And to be put in this position once more, again, is an honor," he says. "So it's great for this platform to educate people on the significance of the Jamaican culture and dancehall culture and popular music."

Below, find our chat with Shaggy ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl ad:

"It Wasn’t Me" turns 21 this year. How special is it to celebrate the anniversary of the song with your first Super Bowl commercial?

You know, it's amazing. This song took me on an amazing ride 20 years ago, and it's still doing some amazing stuff. ... I think this will probably be one of the most watched Super Bowls ever just because of the pandemic and the fact that [Tom] Brady has done his thing and for the first time ever, you're having the home team on their own turf. So it's amazing. It's the perfect alignment of the stars.

We have the Cheetos Mix coming out, which I was in studio to [record]. We're doing about five remixes of "It Wasn't Me" that's available on Super Bowl Sunday that you can stream. And we got Chester the Cheetah. He's got bars. [Laughs] Dude, let me tell you, this is so crazy. Chester did his thing on this track, yo! [Laughs] Chester's doing the music video and everything! It's crazy.

You wore the silk purple jacket with the yellow neck scarf from the original music video!

It was great. We had to re-create the jacket, of course. But it was good to put it back in there and just kind of rock 20 years after and still play the role. The whole role was like a Hugh Hefner character. So it was good to really jump into that.

What was it like filming the ad with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis? 

It was good just to see them. You can see why they're a couple. You see why they're married. This is a friendship that has blossomed into a partnership, and in just watching them, you see the chemistry of why That '70s Show is so amazing and why it went so well. That's the perfect situation when you say, "I gotta marry this best friend." Because it was jokes back and forth with both of them. Their chemistry was so amazing. They're still so in love, it's still great. And I was just like a student just sitting there, just soaking it all up, because I'm really in their arena right now.

Some of the musical elements of the Super Bowl, whether it's the halftime show or the commercials, have the power to give different cultures a larger, global platform. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira represented Latin music big time with their halftime show performance last year. Do you believe dancehall culture will get its moment during the Cheetos commercial? 

I hope it's a step. It's an amazing platform. I hope to do it justice. I've always flown the dancehall flag and my culture and my country. And to be put in this position once more, again, is an honor. And any little leg up that we could get to move the culture forward I'm 100% for.

Why is it important for Super Bowl fans to witness that?

A lot of people see different styles of music coming up. When you look at reggaetón, [before] reggaetón comes dancehall. Those are things that people need to know. I was at Erasmus Hall when El General created the first reggaetón record. We went to school together. I'm on one bench and he was on one desk, and we were spitting lyrics. And to see this art form, that he took dancehall records and sang them in Spanish and then created what is now reggaetón, to see it being this multimillion-dollar entity, it's amazing. When you look at Afrobeats, I remember going to Africa for years. ... Dancehall was the main music played in a lot of these countries. And when you listen to Afrobeats, it's also a birth child of what dancehall was.

So it's great for this platform to educate people on the significance of the Jamaican culture and dancehall culture and popular music. Hip-hop itself came from Kool Herc, originated out of Jamaica. This small island with about 3 million people has an amazing impact culturally, globally. And it should be celebrated and at least people should be educated on it. So I'll use this platform to do that.