Five Best Product Plugs in Rap

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Fergie, clothes hanger for perennially overrated pop group the Black Eyed Peas, recently signed a deal with Candies clothing to hype their products in her songs. The deal is rumored to involve $4 million. [Story]

She's not writing straight jingles - but she's close. (The main difference between a commercial jingle and a song by Fergie, of course, is that a jingle is catchy.)

There's been some outrage over this, which, I think, is giving too much credit to the singer-dancewriter, whose appearances in garrish, over-sexed Candies ads is more memorable than any music she's released so far.

As industry players attempt to wring every possible dollar from albums and counter declining record sales (try CDs for less than $16), I'm betting we'll see much more of this in the future, especially in the gleefully materialistic world of hip-hop. (For the record, I don't consider Fergie's music hip-hop. In fact, I try not to consider it.)

However, product placement can be fun - when done correctly and in jest. Here are my five favorite hip-hop product plugs.

1. Chingy feat. Ludacris & Snoop Dogg, "Holidae In"

Essentially a song about sex, drinking and where rappers do such things, this song was so damning to the hotel chain, the title was changed to this alternate spelling. Ludacris spits one of the best, most candid opening lines in rap history.

3. A Tribe Called Quest, "Sky Pager"

"Do you know the importance of a Sky pager?" asks Q-Tip in the first line of this cold classic from their best album, The Low End Theory. From there he continues to explain his busy schedule and how having a pager keeps him ballin' out of control, in the parlance of current hip-hop.

It's a simple lyric that could've been the SkyTel brand slogan, with one of hip-hop's slickest, most reputable emcees endorsing it in the waist of his baggy jeans.

Eminem, "Drug Ballad" (Bacardi dark)

Outkast, "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" (cadillacs)