Cristal vs. Hip-hop: Racism or anti-trash snobbery?
Remember the moment Cross Colors died at your high school?
The difference to my eyes is couth. I mean, really Jay-Z: is a self-proclaimed former hustler/drug-dealer who plead guilty to stabbing someone. Does he really not see why Cristal might not want the shout out?
Hip-hop, though I (mostly) love it, is generally some of the most uncouth sh*t on the planet. It makes anything associated with it seem crass, excessive, and tacky. As my mama put it: “When rappers hold Cristal, it makes it look like Sneaky Pete.”
Hip-hop’s whole ethos replaces price with quality. I can completely understand why brand snobs and wine snobs would look askance at people who — if Cristal were priced the same as, say, Barefooot Bubbly — might not know the difference.
That’s not to say that the largely white music genres of pop, rock, or country are somehow more classy than hip-hop. Hell naw they ain’t. Shoot, if I were Krug, I’d be mad as hell to find out that Madonna and her would-be-trailer-trash-but-for-her- dance-moves-and-marginal-ability-to-hold-a-note self name-checked my product in a song. And Britney Spears? Pure trash. (I tell ya, the minute she endorses Old Navy, I’ll be done as a customer.)
But this debate goes to the core of luxury brands, and their associated snobbery: if trashy-acting “common folk” — and recording artists are basically common folks with money — they run the risk of their regular customer base eschewing the brand for something else that differentiates them. See Burberry vs. Chavs.
Or remember when Cross Colors died at your high school: the day you saw that nerdy kid sporting his brand-new, bright green jeans.