Fleet News

Motor mouths: Forget trainers and guns – it’s cars that rappers namecheck

MONEY can’t buy the kind of publicity that rap stars have been dishing out for luxury car makers – especially Mercedes-Benz.

Stuttgart’s products have been hip-hop’s most mentioned brand in the last 12 months, with 100 boastful lyrical plugs eclipsing other hot properties like Nike, Louis Vuitton and AK-47 assault rifles.

When they’re not busy dissing their bitches, rappers adore cars, namechecking them twice as much as their next most popular category, fashion labels. According to research from American Brandstand (a brand strategy agency), cars were mentioned 425 times in singles that entered the US Billboard Top 20 in 2005.

Marketers at Benz, Caddy, Bentley and the rest will be delighted. They’re itching to get young people into their brands, and will welcome endorsements from swaggering icons like The Game, 50 Cent, Dr Dre and Kanye West.

Jaguar and Lexus tumbled out of the top 10 after good showings last year – replaced by Hyundai and long-departed Datsun. Both appear in the Kanye West song Gold Digger, although the references are none too reverential: a sport star, crippled by palimony payments, can only afford a Hyundai.

In 2005, 796 plutocrats bought a Rolls-Royce – a 15-year high. And the free publicity being provided by America’s rappers is paving the way for future generations of limo buyers.

The top 10 brands

Brand 2005 mentions 2004 mentions
1. MERCEDES-BENZ 100 63
2. CADILLAC 63 24
3. BENTLEY 62 70
4. ROLLS-ROYCE 46 62
5. CHEVROLET 40 28
6. LAMBORGHINI 32 7
7. DATSUN 17 -
8. HYUNDAI 17 -
9. PORSCHE 17 24
10. HUMMER 16 10

‘I put Lamborghini doors on that escalade, low pros so low look like i’m riding blades’ – How we do, The Game featuring 50 Cent

The rapper

His real name’s Jayceon Taylor but he’s called The Game and he’s very keen on his wheels. He’s the voice of a character in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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