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This Is The Song In Apple's 'Behind The Mac - Greatness' Commercial

If there was ever an ad that would get you all pumped up change the world using your MacBook Air, it's the "Behind the Mac – Greatness" commercial that Apple released in November 2020. There was kind of a lot going on in November 2020, so if you missed it, allow us to recap: The ad opens on a black-and-white still of Tom Hanks, sitting at his laptop and staring down the lens of the camera in a way only Tom Hanks can do. A voice says, "There's a certain kind of person..." and then proceeds to list off the qualities of a disruptor, a rebel, a trailblazer.

As the voice speaks, extolling the virtues of those willing to challenge the status quo, we watch a series of photos and videos, all in black-and-white, featuring familiar faces. There's Gloria Steinem at her desk, surrounded by piles of paperwork. There's Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness in nothing but heels and a towel, and filmmaker Spike Lee in his trademark sneakers and a ball cap. Billie Eilish sits cross-legged on a sofa, while Lady Gaga is perched elegantly on a fainting couch. DJs, protesters, RuPaul, Black Lives Matter organizers, Stephen Colbert, Jane Goodall, and even Lisa Simpson make an appearance in the commercial. And besides their greatness, what all these people have in common becomes obvious from the small glowing apple symbol that appears in every shot: They all use a Mac.

The commercial is compelling for many reasons. Seeing celebrities in their natural habitat is intriguing, and the photography triggers a lesson we all learned as children: If it's in black-and-white, it must be important. But it's the beat in the background — the thumping, marching, building rhythm – that really injects urgency into the ad. 

Here's the song used in Apple's "Behind the Mac – Greatness" commercial.

"Take Back the Power" is perfect for this ad

The track is "Take Back the Power" by Raury, a song that Cool Hunting highlighted in June 2020 for its place in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Back in 2015, The Times interviewed Raury Tullis, then an 18-year-old singer-rapper-songwriter whose debut album was due out that summer. The Times called him a "strange blend of wistful flower child and angry firebrand," and the angst being smashed out on the piano chords in "Take Back the Power" definitely feels like it's coming from the latter. The Apple ad version of the song takes out the vocals and leaves the beat (to great effect), while the original track features Raury's intense, culturally relevant lyrics. 

Whether you feel like starting a movement or just getting your steps in, the urgent drumbeat and empowering vocals of "Take Back the Power" provide the perfect motivation. Ten to one says you'll be streaming it — probably from your Mac — for months to come.