A few weeks ago, we released a publication that discussed the use of Hip-Hop music as a marketing tool. In our publication, we talked about Hip Hop’s history, the events that lead to its entrance into the mainstream and some advice for marketers considering using Hip-Hop music to market their products.
Shortly after the release of this publication, one question that came up was “how does using Hip-Hop in marketing differ from using Rock and Roll or any other genre?” That is a very valid question. Here at Two Piece And A Biscuit, we feel that all forms of music should be appreciated. We decided to focus on Hip-Hop for two major reasons.
1. We feel that with so much surrounding Hip-Hop, it’s important to preserve it as much as possible. Before her death in 2005, C. Delores Tucker was very vocal in her distain for “rap music”. In an article for the LA Times, Tucker says “What do you think Dr. King would have to say about rappers calling black women b**ches and whores? About rappers glorifying thugs and drug dealers and rapists? What kind of role models are those for young children living in the ghetto”?
Tucker was one of many voices that saw rap and Hip-Hop as “pornographic filth”. There are many misconceptions about Hip-Hop music. Many of these misconceptions stem from subcultures of Hip-Hop being made prominent in the mainstream. Carefully using Hip-Hop as a marketing tool would help to educate people on the different styles and subcultures of Hip-Hop.
2. Hip-Hop, along with any other genre, should not be used as a gimmick. In an article for The New York Times, author Jon Pareles poses a thought provoking question. He asks “What happens to the music itself when the way to build a career shifts from recording songs that ordinary listeners want to buy to making music that marketers can use”?
Parles argues that at one point in music’s history, artists created music for the love of music. Artists would become known for their music which would allow other avenues to open. However, over the past few years, many artists have shifted to allowing their music to be created solely for the purpose of selling products.
Author Karen Harrison once said, “Hip Hop is an economy that has become preoccupied with exploiting its image and allowing that image to be exploited by others”. As our society continues to grown into a more global marketplace, this quote becomes true of all forms of music. It is therefore, very important for companies to use all forms of music, in this case Hip-Hop, with much care within their marketing plan.
Recently, we had an opportunity to speak with Jasmine Harris. Ms. Harris, 28, is a librarian with the Baltimore County Public Library System. She sees first hand what affect(s) Hip Hop culture has on young people and expressed the importance of carefully using it as a marketing tool.
In our conversation, Jasmine says, “ I think the use of hip-hop to market goods and a particular lifestyle has belittled the art form into nothing. Hip-hop, unfortunately has become commercial. No longer are listeners hearing the art of poetry to the science of music, instead they hear the glory of useless things to the same cookie cutter beat. In my opinion, I think that commercialism has saturated popular to nothingness”.
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