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Public Enemy, Ryan Star songs featured in high-profile ad campaigns

Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy.

Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy. Credit: AP / Invision / Mark Allan

Two Long Island acts are seeing their songs take on new, deeper meaning as part of high-profile ad campaigns.

Public Enemy’s “Shut ’Em Down” is the soundtrack to the memorable new Nike spot that shows a young boy living out his dream of becoming a Cleveland Cavalier and playing alongside LeBron James.

The commercial’s version of “Shut ’Em Down” is slightly faster and sleeker than the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ 1991 original, but the rhymes from Roosevelt’s Chuck D are still potent and powerfully delivered.

Ryan Star’s version of the Tom Petty classic “I Won’t Back Down” is the centerpiece of the trailer for the upcoming Chris Hemsworth war movie “12 Strong.”

His stark version, with only piano for accompaniment, provides the poignant underpinning to the story of the Special Forces response in Afghanistan to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America.

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And for the Dix Hills native, the song’s use in the trailer is a bit of serendipity since he recorded it (and the rest of his 2012 EP “America”) for his grandfather, who was a World War II veteran. The release of the trailer has spawned new interest in the song and the entire EP, prompting Star to rerelease it with new artwork.

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