Are they forgetting the Ladies Man? According to the NY Times:
- “Pass the Courvoisier.
Everybody sing it now.
Pass the Courvoisier.”
So goes a refrain of the popular song, “Pass the Courvoisier Part Two” by Busta Rhymes, featuring Sean Combs, who is known these days as P. Diddy. It became a party anthem du jour.
But after the song improved the sales of the Cognac, it became something more — a symbol of the economic power of hip-hop.
“Pass the Courvoisier Part Two” helped increase the sales of the liquor by 4.5 percent in the first quarter of this year and into the double digits in recent months, said Jack Shea, a spokesman for Allied Domecq Wine and Spirits, an American arm of the British drinks company that owns Courvoisier.
The influence of the song has kicked off a move by hip-hop artists to cash in more on the free advertising in their music by rhyming about their own products and not just products like Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Belvedere Vodka, Alizé Liqueur, Hennessy Cognac, and Cristal Champagne.
Leading the pack is Roc-A-Fella Records, the major hip-hop label that owns the clothing line Roc-A-Wear and the film company Roc-A-Films. Roc-A-Fella, whose parent company is Island Def Jam Records, recently bought Armadale Vodka from a Scottish company.
Rappers on the Roc-A-Fella label, including Jay-Z and Cam’ron, are now busily writing rhymes to the phonetically challenged vodka, said Kareem Biggs Burke, the chief executive officer of the company along with Jay-Z and Damon Dash, the hip-hop impresario. Jay-Z has already mentioned Armadale in his song, “All I Need.”
“We’ve made a lot of money for a lot of companies over the years,” Mr. Burke said. “Since we have so much influence, we can make money for ourselves by expanding our businesses. No more Belvedere Vodka or Cristal Champagne in our music or videos.”
….Hip-hop delivers a potent demographic. Last year hip-hop accounted for 21 percent of $5.4 billion in music sales in urban areas, according to Soundscan, a system that tracks the sales of music and music video products in the United States.
Advertisers have also begun to focus on 18- to 34-year-olds, the age group that mainly listens to hip-hop. In the last five years, advertisers have increased their spending to $40.3 million from $28.7 million, according to research by Wilkofsky Gruen Associates, an economic consultants group in New York City.
David Mays, the founder and chief executive officer of The Source, the hip-hop magazine, said that in just one year, he has seen a difference in the way advertisers approach his business. Last year, The Source ran three pages of car advertisements, he said. This year, he projects that the publication will have 35 pages of car ads by the end of the year.
“Once our audience takes to a particular product, their influence is tremendous on the rest of the population,” Mr. Mays said. “For years, automakers designed and marketed their products to the baby boom generation. But what they all have found in the past couple of years is that in order to go forward, they have to appeal to the new generation.”