Over time the way that a product or a brand can spread its reach and all-round appeal has diversified to a huge extent. Advertising is everywhere you look in one form or another and although there are some rules that exist with how alcohol brands try to communicate their message many of them have become synonymous with the culture of rap music.
Hip-hop was born out of much more serious issues than which bottle to purchase in the club but thanks to endorsements from rappers in numerous song lyrics certain brands have enjoyed a significant boost in popularity. Mentions of various types of alcohol can be found in songs of many different genres but when it comes to specific brand placement none can rival modern hip-hop. Here is a selection of the names that are perhaps even more recognizable now thanks to their inclusion in the rhyme book of certain artists.
Cristal clear until the lines were blurred
Much discussion has been had about whether music is still artistic with the mention of so many brands in songs and there are certainly some who see it as blatant advertising and nothing more. Rapper-turned-actor Ludacris is the co-owner of Conjure, a brand of Cognac, and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs signed up to be an ambassador for the French vodka Cîroc. Cristal champagne had a lot of supporters in the rap game and there are not too many you’d rather have on your side than Jay-Z. In his 2001 collaboration with R. Kelly on ‘Fiesta’, Jay-Z gave more than a heads-up to the brand but in 2006 he withdrew his support after Cristal’s managing director Frederic Rouzaud said he saw the association with hip-hop as unwelcome attention.
A shot in the arm for Patrón
Sometimes a brand can be around for a long time before going through a hike in popularity and this has been the case for the premium Mexican tequila Patrón. Tequila itself has been honored in numerous other genres of music including in the English band Terrorvision’s song ‘Tequila’ and in country singer Kenny Chesney’s collaboration with Grace Potter ‘You and Tequila’. Patrón had its own mention in the Paradiso Girls track ‘Patrón Tequila’ and it has also been referenced in hip-hop lyrics such as the likes of T.I. in ‘Whatever You Like’ and in J. Cole and Drake’s ‘In The Morning’.
An alternative use for JD
The Tennessee whiskey Jack Daniel’s has been a favorite for many bands and performers in rock music but pop singer Ke$ha put forward another way to use it besides drinking it on the rocks. In her 2009 song ‘Tik Tok’ she sang about ‘brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack’.
Hennessy and enemies
Considering that so many people see the late rapper 2Pac as immortal it stands to reason that his favorite liquor Hennessy would win favor from many people. ‘Pac, who along with The Notorious B.I.G. remains the most high-profile example of hip-hop grudges and disagreements ending fatally, would frequently mention the brand in his lyrics and Xzibit, Drake and J. Cole are just three examples of artists who have followed his lead.
Anthony D’Agostino has been a fan of hip-hop culture since childhood and he also has a strong interest in producing his own alcohol. He highly recommends Good Life Home Brew for this.
- The 4 Liquor Brands That Dominate Music (huffingtonpost.com)
- Alcohol Dominates in Pop Music Lyrics (nlm.nih.gov)
- The Alcohol Brands That Get the Most Play in Hip-Hop, Pop and Country Music (newsfeed.time.com)
- Pop lyrics encourage young to binge drink: Quarter of chart music lyrics over three-year period mentioned alcohol (thisismoney.co.uk)
- What, Your Man Doesn’t Use Tequila-Infused Soap? (refinery29.com)
- Alcohol In Music Influences Our Youth (celebratedrugrehab.com)
- Hip-Hop’s Favorite Booze (newsfeed.time.com)
- Should In-Music Product Placement be an Actual Thing? (news.eshac.com)