Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hip Hop, Please Stop...

The WSJ's headline intrigued me: "Yo! Smirnoff Raps for Malt Beverage". What's it all about? Smirnoff's "Tea Partay" video parody launched on YouTube this week and has been viewed over 500,000 times!

The video's cool. It looks like a music video you'd see on BET or MTV, but although I'm humored by the inventiveness of BBH's approach (Smirnoff's ad agency), I worry that Hip Hop in the wrong hands could be the beginning of the end. The video mimics the cliched Rap videos (girls as decoration, cars, yachts), but swaps out video games for croquet; champagne and fried chicken for iced tea and finger sandwiches; club scenes for lawn scenes; camo for club attire, but the lyrics and attitude are the same: "Straight outta Cape Cod, we are keepin' it real!"

May be I'm too ol' skool....I mean, did I complain about Ali G? No, I embraced him because I went to school with kids like him, f'real! But, when a company can hold up a mirror to a culture and parody it so accurately for commercial reasons it's time for a change... If we, the community, own Hip Hop let's police it diligently: "Check yourself before you wreck yourself".

There's a website dedicated to the collision that is Hip Hop and advertising. It's called Pro Hip Hop. Go check it.

Alright, where's my glass of milk and my slippers? It's past my bedtime!
Please drink responsibly!


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