Before he was one of the biggest names in music, Bryson Tiller was a SoundCloud rapper with his soon-to-be hit “Don’t” on the way, working at Papa John’s Pizza in Louisville, Kentucky. Now, the 28-year-old recording artist gets more than that raise and promotion he asked for as an employee as the new face for Papa John’s Shaq-A-Roni campaign — which also co-stars Shaquille O’Neal-himself.
In the 15-second commercial, Tiller trains Shaq — who’s known to be a difficult Papa John’s part-time employee in previous commercials — on making the proper Papa John’s pizza. Tiller is identified as a former employee who only left the company because he became famous. Tiller has been promoting Papa John’s Pizza and current specials with his family enjoying PJ pizzas on social media since September.
In a promotional tweet on Twitter, Tiller writes: “#PapaJohnsPartner we got 1 day left so let’s do it big: post your pizza night with #ShaqARoni, tag the homies at @PapaJohns, and they’ll donate $10 for each post up to $50k to The Papa John’s Foundation! Don’t miss your shot at donating big, by eating the pizza you love.”
Tiller spoke on his time making pizzas for the company before the fame with Rob Markman during a 2020 Genius interview, which promoted the anniversary of his 2015 debut album, Trap Soul. He reflects on putting “Don’t” on Soundcloud and checking the streams that were continuously climbing during his lunch breaks. See the complete explanation below.
2021 has been tremendous for Bryson Tiller. In May, the RIAA certified his 2017 collaboration with DJ Khaled and Rihanna “Wild Thoughts” 6x platinum. He appeared on new albums by H.E.R., Khaled, Big Sean and fellow Kentucky superstar Jack Harlow. “Luv is Drop,” the Tiller and Harlow collaboration, the music video premiered last month, featuring the late-Static Major.
Sololy, Pen Griffey drop a Halloween-inspired mixtape Killer Instinct 2: The Nightmare Before on Halloween and just announced a Christmas-themed mixtape, A Different Christmas, which drops next Friday (Nov.19). “Before we get into my next album, I wanted to share another special project I worked on for you guys,” he tweets. “This one was really fun to make. Inspired by Bieber, Ariana, and by one of my loneliest holiday seasons ever.. ‘A Different Christmas’ releases everywhere next Friday, Nov. 19th.”
Tiller’s fourth studio album is slated for 2022 via RCA.
Watch the Bryson Tiller and Shaq-starred commercial now.