The fall from grace recently experienced by American hip-hop heavyweights is a testament to how drugs and mainstream American brands are severed.
First it was Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II) who spit the date rape drug rap lyrics that got his lucrative multi-million dollar endorsement with Reebok terminated.
The lyrics in controversy are being called an overreaction to ‘meaningless’ hip-hop and indications lead to the fact that Reebok may be willing to re-enlist the rapper as a spokesperson.
As Lil Wayne recently got dropped by soft-drink company, Mountain Dew, the question begs to be asked, can’t these rappers just stop mouthing off these controversial lyrics?
Corporate America is under scrutiny from all angles by pressure groups, interest groups and other multi-faceted groups? Whilst brands like Reebok and Nike need to give endorsement deals and all engage in other kinds of savvy marketing to stay relevant and fresh, one thing they can live without is bad publicity.
Rappers need to take a Shawn Carter approach to becoming brand friendly. Jay-Z has built a reputation of being the coolest rapper alive to the point that U.S. President, Barack Obama does not fail to identify with him, any opportunity he gets.
Nobody wants to identify publicly with rappers that run their mouth anyhow, which may seemingly be due to the influence of drugs or the hip-hop culture’s need to ‘keep it gangsta.’ It’s probably better to keep it profitable if you ask me.