You ask how powerful the game is? We only in the middle of the year and there already a couple of brands that have committed some good money to a few individuals. Here are some of the most visible brand associations in SA Hip Hop since the beginning of the year.
DJ Switch x Flying Fish
Dj Switch added some flavour with Flying Fish by brewing the bitterness out and flavour in. Yip as part of the flavour network DJ Switch is doing the most by collaborating with an SAB brand thats all about the flavour in our culture. This is a dope look for Switch and looking forward to seeing more of what this network becomes. What's also flavoursome is how Switch is able to navigate the music scene,dj scene and also work with brands. Now thats mad dope..
Stilo x Castle Lite
Castle Lite did a world first by making the a track titled "Ziyabanda" made at -2.5°C, from the only beer lagered at -2.5°C. If that was not enough Castle Lite then made an Ice Record for the track. Castle Lite not only created a great campaing that was supported by a whole song and a music video but they also acknowledged the dj element of hip hop by creating an ice record. Good luck to the dj that will be scratching on that ice cold record.
Dj Switch and Chad Da Don - VW
Another brand association that caught my eye was the VW online campaign with Chad Da Don x Switch. VW is not just any brand its one of South Africa's most trusted brands and for them to be working with guys like Switch x Chad is a step forward. A while back VW wouldn't mess with personalities in the urban culture. I remember when they only gave cars to people like Parlotones, Freshy Ground and most of the Dj's at 5FM. This was in the days when the station was still not catering for us. I guess you got to adapt or die. Welcome to our world VW.
Riky Rick - Russian Bear
“I just did this campaign, my face is (gonna be) on billboards nationwide and you are telling yourself that I made it. I keep asking myself…what’s next?” – Riky Rick
That is such a copywriter line lol. Riky's collab with Russian Bear titled "Next Level" was all about taking things to the next level and not being complacent. The campaign tapped into Riky's personal achievements which was smart cause the brand realised that he is the aspiration and they need to align with that instead of trying to sell us the Russian Bear history. Brands that give us platforms to tell our stories always win if they have a good rollout.
Cassper - MTN Deal
The Cassper MTN deal is probably the biggest one that took place.Although it happened last year we only started seeing the fruits from it this year. It's the type of deal we see in other African countries with urban artists and although Mafikizola was the first to get this type of nod from a network Cassper was the first in hip hop.This deal went hand in hand with AG Cellular's deal with MTN -it was the first time the AG brand would be in the MTN stores - and since they already aligned with Cassper at #FillUpTheDome it only made sense that they use him as an entry in their new found retail space with the network. I wonder whether Cassper got a second cheques from AG. Either way Cassper stays winning have you copped hashtag yet?
Kwesta - ABSA
This brand association was seriously dope. I mean I stand to be corrected by Kwesta is the first SA Rapper to collab with a bank. Thats a good look for our culture. Now we can finally say money aint a thing huh? Jokes. What was dope about this is the angle in which they used Kwesta. You did not have to see him on the television advert but you could hear his voice. Since I have the inside scoop I know this campaign could of gone further than Kwesta's voice. There was a huge opportunity for him to be on billboards,cinema and all. This would of been a breakthrough for our culture in the banking world and considering ABSA's African network through Barclays there's no telling what Kwesta's team could of leveraged of that. Also the association of Hip Hop with a bank changes how urban culture would of been viewed and in future this would of opened wider doors for kids coming up. One thing we know is that ABSA had the foresight to take the culture to the next level which is a first for a bank. We applaud them for that and we wonder what other banks will do to target the millennials in SA.
AKA - Hunters
Hunters and AKA story is mad deep because we all know Cassper said no to the deal because he was focused on #FillTheDome and only wanted to engadge with brands that were aligned with his plan. AKA totally owned this campaign and nothing was taken away from SuperMega only him adding to Hunters. Cassper was replaced by Van Coke and the concept became about two worlds coming together. I wonder what would have happened if Cassper was on the set? Either way alcohol brands have always been moving hand in hand with the culture but taking it to television was a major leap.
If there needs to be a line where I need to add in 'brand fit' somewhere in this piece then please allow me to place it here. Stilo x Vans is such a perfect brand fit its like Sugar x Water. Its like Chips x Vienna. Jokes aside. Vans is that authentic brand that hardly does any marketing and would rather do small stuff in small doses to make an impact. Stilo's face is branded in almost every second taxi with him rocking Vans. I'm personally happy for Stilo cause many agencies have benefitted by using his image on many presentations as the face of what the new age youth look like.They were doing this before he even blew up and became Stilo. Proving that the game never made him what he is it found him that way and he's consistently growing . Good for the homie..
Aewon Wolf - Cell C
Aewon x The Wolf Pack inked this deal last year x in my opinion it is still one of the most strategic associations with longevity. I mean think about it. Cell C announced this deal last year x we still seeing some spots from the brand with the Wolf Pack. If you looking for a consistent association then look no further. To prove this point even further "Walking x Dabbing' is now being used on a sync deal in one of the Cell C adverts.
Yanga - Nike
Yanga takes the award for working with a huge global brand like Nike in this list. Recently it was announced that he and a few other artists will be the first to create their own identity on Nike sneakers. That's some real dreamwork for a kid with a few standout features.
If you got any brand associations that we missed please hit me up in the comment section.
Did we miss anything or anyone?