Hip Hop & The Alcohol Industry

Alcoholic beverage corporations are some of the biggest sponsors within hip hop.

We’re all familiar with brands such as Cristal because of Biggie and Raekwon, just as Courvoiser saw sales of their product spike after the hit record Pass The Courvoisier Pt 2.

Like it or not, rappers are very influential – even President Obama can attest to that.


Artists reach young people much more effectively then politicians and commericals ever did. If one record can be purchased by 500’000 people, what’s the difference from standing on a stage and addressing 500’000 people?

This is why the genre has always been attractive to corporations. Companies such as St Ides conducted marketeing campaigns that were specifically aimed at a hip hop audience.

For example, if I’m a marketing executive for a big alcohol brand, what would make more sense? Spending hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for a 30 second commercial during a prime time sitcom that people might not even watch OR paying rappers to talk about (and be seen) with your product in their songs and videos for 3 to 4 minutes? 

The hip hop audience tends to be a specific demographic, so it’s a safe bet if you use rappers to represent your product. Even the 5 Percenter influenced MC Rakim Allah did an ad for Hennessey, later in his career.

Warner Music Group is the 3rd largest record label in the world. However, Warner Music Group is operated by the same CEO (Edgar Bronfman Jr) who owns Seagram, one of the largest alcoholic beverage corporations in the world.

Seagram also owns (or once owned) MCA and Polygram (now Universal Records). That’s almost 50% of the worlds music controlled by one corporation – Vivendi Universal/Seagram. Through music, they can advertise their products to a wide range of people using product placement.

Hip Hop & Alcohol – Product Placements & Commercials:


About Harlem World

the BAWSE *ross grunt*

Posted on July 14, 2011, in History, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hip Hop and Alcohol seamless relationship

    Most inner cities where most rappers come from, theirs a liquor store ever few blocks or so…

    Alot of young alcoholic

  2. What is the future of Hip Hop Beverage endorsements when most “upscale” venues and establishments won’t even let the “target demographic” into the club to order that stuff in the first place?

    Bar and club owners are mostly concerned with costs per pour and bartender profitability stats. Why under/over charge for certain trendy (watered down) alcohols, when “those people” are going to get “unruly” and “ruin the atmosphere” anyway?

    These women never buy out the bar, or bottle service in this economy, either.


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