What can marketing and communication professionals learn from hip hop / rap artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, LL Cool J, and Snoop Dogg?

Well to begin, let’s do a quick summary of what we know about rap and hip hop music:

1. The artists are aggressive, strong, and have hordes of die hard followers.

2. The music is powerful, addictive, and has hardcore followers.

3. The lyrics are single-minded, insightful, and hit the spot bang on with their followers.

Now take a parallel of good brands, companies and people.

Aren’t they driven by strong leadership, have a powerful presence in their markets, are insightful about their consumers, single-minded in their messaging, addictive in consumption, and attract hordes of followers wherever they go?

While this holds true for most musicians and rock stars, why am I tuning in to these (er) gentlemen?

Well there’s something about hip hop artists that makes them more powerful and addictive than most other types of musicians – especially when it comes to getting insights for brand building in the new world consumer order.

And by new world consumer order, I mean a consumer audience that lives life in the extremely fast lane, has extremely fleeting loyaltly (if it can be called that), is extremely demanding, and extremely difficult to define in conventional terms.

When you (attempt to) analyse hip hop, you’ll find the aura is all in the body language, in the confidence, and in the stories these hip hop artists tell.

The stance, the eye contact, the hand movement, the baring of the teeth, the overall body movement akin to that of a modern day street fighter cum classical boxer – is all about an aggressive statement of individuality.

The oversize clothes, the overdose of overpowering jewellery, the overpimped wheels – are all about standing out and projecting stature.

The sexual under and overcurrents, the good ‘good guy’ and good ‘bad guy’ stories, the in-your-face uncensored language, the repetitive first person lyrics – are all insightful and typical of the new age consumer.

Trust me, or simply look around you, and tell me it’s not true!

You’ll also realise this trend/attraction/insight goes beyond the prime band of 18 to 28 year old male!

It encompasses the 13 year old girl who lives an Georgia, USA as well as the 15 year old in Gurgaon, India; The 37 year old DMF in Memphis, and the 37 year old BCG Consultant in Mumbai – they’re all hooked onto a diet of Black Eyed Peas, live an LL Cool J life, and spend their millions on 50 Cent.

Think about it. Take a stance. Show me your finger. Or thankfully kiss my *ss for this wake up call! Because this is a part of the new world bro’ and you gotta get jiggy widit – and if you can’t rap the talk, you ain’t gonna walk no walk!

For more images check out Mr Blunt, Davey D and Art.Com



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