Scion Hip Hop Promotion Backfires
Bucky Turco reports Scion's latest hip hop promotion, NEXT UP, an unsigned emcee search, has recently faced backlash from the very community it was trying to reach. The car company disqualified an emcee because of his politically charged lyrics about President Bush and the war. The track, entitled Black Gold, is an obvious reference to oil and the war.
The rap artist, Bavu Blakes, was willing to alter his lyrics a bit so he could advance to the next round of the competition and potentially win a $50,000 marketing deal, but Inform Ventures, the marketing company handling the promotion for Scion, said he was disqualified because his lyrics were too political.In fairness to Scion, Bavu entered the "underground" category rather than the "political" category but many still believe Bavu was censored.
The lyrics in question are:
1. "Now Bush and bin Laden got so much they rotten"
2. "Texas home of the real death row"
3. "What'd we really go to Iraq fo?"
As brands try to be hip through association with various pop-culture areas, the athenticity of those associations become very important. Soome feel Scion can't claim to be down with hip hop, use hip hop as part of a promotion and then censor it. The Houstonsoreal blog writes, "Scion as a company has garnered a lot of praise and has also taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years for their co-opting of hip-hop music and culture to sell their cars. Does this action prove the nay sayers right? Find out for yourself. We feel as though Scion and Inform Ventures need to be taken to task for their decision. If they are so down with the streets and hip-hop culture then why are they trying to censor one of it's strongest voices?"