As reported by Billboard, the song, which appeared on Skee-Lo’s album of the same name and peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100, has achieved renewed success in 2013 thanks to a number of placements—most prominently as an advertisement for Toyota that aired during the Super Bowl—and a cover made by British singer Cher Lloyd.
The latest remake and its corresponding advertisement features comedian Kevin Hart rapping a made-for-TV version alongside an appearance from former N.W.A. rapper Ice Cube. Billboard’s story reports that the NBA-themed ad also features appearances from league stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and Andre Iguodala, a Golden State Warrior player whose name is referenced more than once in Hart’s version. Mimicking the original closely, Hart raps: “I wish I was a little bit taller / wish I was a baller / wish I could throw it down like Andre Iguodala.”
Billboard’s article also posits that the renewed relevance of Skee-Lo’s hit has magnified publicity on the veteran rapper’s 2012 album Fresh Ideas. In an interview with the emcee, Billboard quoted Skee-Lo as ultimately content with the commercial’s outcome. “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.”
Off the strength of the song’s repeated success this year, Skee-Lo appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform the single alongside Cher Lloyd and the show’s house band, The Roots.
In HipHopDX’s own exclusive interview with the rapper earlier this year, Skee-Lo explained the coffee shop-freestyle origins of his mid-nineties hit. “If you want to know what I did at The Good Life all you have to do is buy the I Wish album,” he said, referencing a popular hangout in California. “Every song on that album was songs that I recorded for the next Thursday to perform for the underground club, including ‘I Wish.'” He continued, “‘I Wish’ was first performed at The Good Life. It’s a Good Life classic, I performed it twice there. It was so big the first night we did it that two Thursdays later we came back with it and it killed it that night too. It originally started as a freestyle, I had the music and the freestyle was as you hear …’I Wish.’ That took us out.”