Jay Z is changing the game again, adding his spin to World Cup fever. The rapper has contributed lines about soccer stars and Rio de Janeiro to “Jungle,” the heavy-hitting anthem by British rocker Jamie N Commons and Brooklyn group X Ambassadors that accompanied the Beats by Dre Solo2 ad “The Game Before the Game.”
The remix begins with Jay Z requesting the music be turned up in the headphones (it is an ad, after all) and finds him spinning lyrics that link the World Cup to the movie City of God, Robert De Niro’s A Bronx Tale, Muhammad Ali and a vignette in which Jay is the “Godzilla of these favelas,” among other things. The new lyrics fit right in with the original’s chorus, “Ain’t no God in the streets in the heart of the jungle.” This version of the ad aired originally during game five of the NBA Finals.
The original five-minute clip showed the pregame rituals of soccer players interspersed with celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne (who appears briefly in Jay Z’s version), Lebron James and Serena Williams, among others. Beats’ Chief Marketing Officer Omar Johnson told Billboard that the company had originally lined up “a really huge track from a really huge artist” but ultimately abandoned it after they heard “Jungle,” a song that previously appeared in Orange Is the New Black and the movie Welcome to Yesterday, which Beats’ Jimmy Iovine brought in. “The moment we heard this song, we literally said ‘nope, that’s the right song,'” Johnson said.