Rap isn’t just a genre of music; it’s a lifestyle. Listen to any Hip-Hop station on the radio, and you’ll hear lyrics about partying, status and wealth. T.I. is showing up wearing “Gucci down to the shoelace.” Rick Ross has “Been ballin’ all [his] life, Lamborghinis fast whips.” 2 Chainz has “Money, thousands, [and] True Religion trousers.” The list goes on with more rappers referencing the brand names and products that define their lifestyle.
In today’s materialistic society, it’s easy to see how the popularity and influence of Rap music could significantly affect consumer spending. Fans strive to mimic the rapper lifestyle, adopting the brands that these celebrities proudly endorse. This allows brands to gain exposure from a growing demographic of listeners that might not normally purchase these products or even know about them.
Pepsi is one brand that recognizes the powerful influence of the rap industry. In 2003, they agreed to donate $3 million to charity when Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons threatened a boycott against the beverage company’s products.
However, not all brands welcome the attention. In 2006 The Economist interviewed the managing director of Cristal, the famed champagne producer, and they discussed whether the brand’s association with the “bling lifestyle” could hurt its image. Jay-z’s agent responded to the less than appreciative remarks of the Cristal exec and affirmed his client’s contribution to the champagne brand, saying, “The hip-hop world certainly helped elevate the presence of Cristal. At the end of the day, isn’t the goal for any company to sell bottles?” The brand has since been dropped from JayZ’s clubs and is only occasionally, and negatively, mentioned in his lyrics.
Since then, there hasn’t really been any endorsement drama that rocked the rap industry. Have companies finally recognized the potential value in this type of brand exposure?
Curious ourselves, we compiled a list of stocks that could stand to benefit from recent mentions in popular rap songs. Keep an eye on the performance of this list because you may be getting your next stock picks from Kanye West.
List Average 1-Year Return: 22%. Press “play” on this interactive chart to see how the stocks mentioned below have grown in the past two years. (Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) debuted as a public stock in December 2011)
1. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): A designer, marketer, distributor and retailer of women’s apparel and accessories and men’s apparel. Market cap at $10.13B, most recent closing price at $52.55. Product: Michael Kors line of products. Song: “Dance” Lyric: Couldn’t get Michael Kors if you was f**kin’ Michael Kors
2. Nike Inc. (NKE, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Designs, develops, and markets footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessory products for men, women, and children worldwide. Market cap at $44.37B, most recent closing price at $97.75. Product: Air Jordan Sneakers. Song: “Nobody’s Perfect” Lyric: They killin ni**as for J’s, that’s death over designer
3. Diageo plc (DEO, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in producing, distilling, brewing, bottling, packaging, distributing, developing, and marketing spirits, beer, and wine products. Market cap at $68.86B, most recent closing price at $109.90. Product: Ciroc Vodka. Song: “House Party” Lyric: I got a hundred bottles Ciroc boy
4. Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the design, marketing, and distribution of lifestyle products. Market cap at $14.39B, most recent closing price at $157.84. Product: Polo Ralph Lauren line of clothing. Song: “Mercy” Lyric: Horsepower, horsepower, all this Polo on I got horsepower
5. V.F. Corporation (VFC, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Designs and manufactures, or sources from independent contractors various apparel and footwear products primarily in the United States and Europe. Market cap at $16.74B, most recent closing price at $152.33. Product: Timberland Boots. Song: “Nobody’s Perfect” Lyric: I’m talkin’ tens and better, hood bit**es in Timbs and sweaters
6. True Religion Apparel Inc. (TRLG, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Designs, develops, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells apparel in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. Market cap at $583.89M, most recent closing price at $22.64. Product: True Religion Jeans. Song: “Beez In The Trap” Lyric: Money, thousands, True Religion trousers
7. GNC Holdings Inc. (GNC, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates as a specialty retailer of health and wellness products. Market cap at $4.11B, most recent closing price at $38.50. Song: “Take it to the Head” Lyric: I ride for him, DMV / Stamina, GNC
Written by Malarie Knox
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Dig Deeper: Access Company Snapshots, Charts, Filings
- Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Nike Inc. (NKE, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Diageo plc (DEO, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- V.F. Corporation (VFC, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- True Religion Apparel Inc. (TRLG, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- GNC Holdings Inc. (GNC, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
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