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The Reason That Sonic Commercial Song Sounds So Familiar

Sonic keeps things short and simple for its newest commercial. Rather than rely on famous actors or flashy gimmicks, the ad highlights the new 2-for-$7 deal, where people can choose between a cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, and six-piece mozzarella sticks. It's not a bad deal in this economy, and the Sonic commercial song is instantly recognizable if you've paid attention to pop culture in the last few decades.

Don't fret if you find yourself in an argument with your friends about where the music comes from. You may think it's "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey, but someone else thinks it's "Big Energy" by Latto. The truth is you're both right (kind of). The beat stems from one of the most sampled tracks of all time — "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club. The 1981 song became an instant hit, and it didn't take long for other musicians to take notice. A year later, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five sampled the song for "It's Nasty," and plenty of others have followed in their footsteps over the years. 

Genius of Love is a genius song

From straight sampling to incorporating only singular elements, "Genius of Love" has influenced hundreds of songs over the years. You can recognize the melody in numerous songs across all genres, including 2Pac's "High Speed," Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack," Ice Cube's "Bop Gun (One Nation)," and Paramore's "Rose-Colored Boy."

Even if you're not into music, the song's a staple across film and television. Most notably, it's included in the 1984 Talking Heads concert film, "Stop Making Sense," which boasts a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score. Tom Tom Club actually originated from Talking Heads and earned a gold record (via "Genius of Love") before Talking Heads ever got one. Aside from that, it's been included in movies like "Lars and the Real Girl," "Shame," and "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." The gang also dances along to it in a memorable sequence from the Season 12 finale of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

There's no denying it; "Genius of Love" is a pop music masterpiece. And it only exists because the band members needed money. Vocalist Tina Weymouth explained in a 2006 interview with Bass Player magazine, "We had no money, and we decided to work up our own songs instead of accepting the session work we were being offered." Given how much the song's been sampled and used over the years, it's safe to say they probably don't have to worry too much about money anymore.