From street corners to billboards and Rolling Stone covers: of Rock stars, City kids, Dwellers, Inventors, Poets & Artists.
blow like PAC?/ have you blown BIG/or even blown BIll/’member it is not ova.l till you get MONI …………DSA, 2016
I must warn you, this post is likely to have more questions than answers, as I haven’t fully understood the entire puzzle myself. I hope that the comment section will provide answers for us all.
They have all done it, at some point, every successful one amongst them; Pac, BIG, JAYZ, daddy Showkey, Danfo drivers,Snoop Dogg, Wizkid, Choc Boyz, Jidenna and Wale.
They are all guilty of telling a story, a story so infectious that an army of people and admirers cling to their ideals, live by their words and profess love for their cities.
Yes, a love of their city. Chances are if you are reading this, you have never been to Ajegunle city or Wizkids Ojuelegba, or J-town with the Choc Boyz, or maybe you haven’t been to JayZ Massey projects, or Tupac’s Oakland, California.
So what is it about putting your city on the map or better still, your people via your lyrics, your business, and/or your brand that is so effective when done to the point that now #everycitymatters.
When Rihanna sang American oxygen and put America’s flag on her back in that video (she wasn’t the first to do it, Bruce Springsteen had done same decades before with the track Born in The USA).
. It almost seems that she is going anti-establishment, complaining about in America, but what she really achieved is the following;
- She used that flag to copulate her Bajan heritage with American idealism. Most Americans would believe Rihanna is an American. Well, she is is from Barbados.
- She used the flag to galvanise a nation deeply rooted in the conversation of what it means to be American to introspect with that video. The gain is Rihanna’s. However, I hope that video allows people to introspect, to turn that energy into action for change towards something bigger than her Forbes celebrity wealth ranking.
Biggest album this year is most likely Drake’s VIEWS or VIEWS from the 6, which explicitly has that cover art with Drake seated atop a CN Tower, a Toronto monument. I haven’t even bothered to listen to the full album months after its release but you can already see why that album’s virality was undeniable from the beginning. He put the entire
nation that adorns the red maple leaf flag behind his work with one picture. That picture itself became a viral collectors’ item. It was memed so many times to the point that you may need a second opinion online to be sure which the real cover art was.
For a minute, we can easily assume this is a thing that only musicians do , or rappers do, but think again, it is something good brands do in general. They identify with their location, tap the inner energies of the place and create potent mix for their communication strategy that draws millions to their brands. For example, we inexplicitly think of Facebook and a Harvard dorm room or even Palo Alto.
Have never been to the two, but both evoke something very powerful in me; I see them as places of innovation.
All of a sudden I can identify with a Harvard dorm room, or a garage in Menlo park or we think of the part that some of the most followed or revered brands are our sports brands, across different sports, in soccer, we think Manchester United or Chelsea or the Chicago Bulls or Dub nation of the Golden state warriors. In my opinions, sports without city teams don’t do so great. You want swimming, water polo and tennis to have that soccer appeal, recreate them into city-teamed sports.
I once met an artist by the name of D-Truce who is always rapping about the Lagos suburb he grew up in, honestly I think his music requires some more work but when I saw that the whole ethos was about better days for his city and people.
I couldn’t just hate on that. One day, people are gonna know about his Dreamstate project because of the connection that artist made with his community. We wish him all the best on his journey
Still in doubt, tell me of what you know of Calabasas other than the Kardashian family?
No place best exemplifies this like the city of JOS. My first attempt at writing like this started in 2011 with my unpublished book titled Made in JOS. (one day I will release the book, it trails the beauty of Jos and why it is a source of good music and great artists). Do you remember those JOSTIFIED tee-shirts?
Truly, there is no city too small to blow you, so go out and release that track (like NWA ) straight outta Compton or straight outta whereva it is you call home and you can from there find you on the cover of rolling stone or topping the Billboard charts un-end like Wizkid whose Ojuelegba days at Moddox studios are way past him now.
DSA is the event mayor of Isolo. also founding CEO of Loopy Music and Green36concerts.