I’ve been a Jay-Z fan for quite some time now. I was ten or eleven when Reasonable Doubt was released but for a long time, I wasn’t quite sold on him. I thought he was dope, but he wasn’t anywhere near my favorite. I was into the Bad Boy thing hard and all I wanted for Christmas was a shiny leather jumpsuit like Puff Daddy wore in his videos at the time. In retrospect, wearing one to middle school in Queens had “rob me” written all over it.
Sixteen years later, Jay-Z has not only turned into a musical giant but a cultural icon who has done everything from become a part owner of an NBA team to campaigning on the president’s behalf. Not bad for a guy who I was on an airplane reading a magazine in which he was on the cover and the man in a suit next to me said “Jay-Z. I remember him. I used to buy crack from him” in 2003. Sounds just like JFK’s father (lemme save this idea for another post).
Jay-Z partnering up with Samsung for his new album is beyond brilliant. Their first advertisement during the NBA finals was marketing genius. Since his name rings bells the new album became a fixture on everyone’s mind in the same manner that a certain album series for children has become marketing brilliance. Yes, I’m talking about Kidz Bop.
Kidz Bop 24 advertisements have been running on Nickelodeon just about as long as Magna Carta Holy Grail ads has been circulating through the internet. My nephew has been looking forward to getting his hands on a copy like I was waiting for this Jigga album. I’ll get it for him, but I’m wary of that being blasted around the house all summer.
Let me say this for all male parents out there: F*************k Kidz Bop! I hate it! In theory, they sing all of these songs and make kid friendly versions. That’s cute. But I despise the execution. They’re actually flawless and I guess if my nephew wants to sing “Thrift Shop” he shouldn’t be saying “This is fucking awesome!” As a jaded adult these watered down versions of these songs bother my spirit. However, kids eat that crap up. The same way they do all toy advertisements and want it so bad their heads will explode if they don’t have it. Them tykes singing what I already feel are annoying songs in their not quite developed voices just makes me cringe internally. I just had to vent about that s little bit.
Either way, both Jay-Z and Kidz Bop have figured out a formula to maintain their target audience while hooking in new customers. Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt crowd still listens to him and Kidz Bop’s listeners will eventually outgrow it, feel the same way I do, but buy it for their children. Its perpetual genius. And while I’m all for one and hate the other, I tip my hat to both of them.
I will spare you all with no link to the Kidz Bop commercial.