How to be a (White) Rapper: Volume 1

Viral marketing and branding are important to being a popular artist in today’s rap climate.   Youtube videos  are a great resource providing data to help understand listener habits. Mac Miller is a part of an interesting internet phenomenon; the true rise of the ordinary rapper with ordinary qualities, ordinary looks, making music about ordinary things.

Mac Miller represents a logical ideal for the young middlebrow; where swag rap is a realization of certain banalities, Mac Miller instead defines himself by them. Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza is a song about innocence and a for-sureness that one day he’s going to be rich and famous (and by proxy, his fans are going to be rich and famous).

yeah i live a life pretty similar to yours
used to go to school hang with friends and play sports
every single summer takin trips to the shore
and that was all gravy but i knew i wanted more

It’s beautiful, really.  What makes “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza” so important to branding Mac Miller is we find out he’s awesome through his associations with people different from he is.  Not by his ideas, but by who fucks with him.

1. Daps at local Streetwear store.

2. High at a convenience store looking for Arizonas.

3. Lounging with skaters.

4. Real niggas drink bubbletea.

5. Bitches on swingsets fuck with Mac Miller.

6. Ballers fuck with Mac Miller.

This video works cause we find out people all around the city (from ballers to skaters to store owners to fat guys) fuck with Mac Miller.  Even though he’s on the foreground during most of the video, the demographic of the background is what’s important.  We’re never really sure exactly what he’s about but if people with more defined personalities see something in him, we should too.

My favorite part of the video is the progression of daps at the ball court.  It may be unintentional, but it says a lot about the social awareness of a young white rapper.

Part 1:  First You Get The Sitting White Guys Looking for Representation.

Part 2: Then You Get the Hot White Bitches Looking for Love.

Part 3: Then You Get The Cool Niggas to Respect You.

Fat tattoo guy exists only as a proxy to affirm to the viewer that Mac Miller is indeed cool.  Even though it’s corny, this ritual, coinciding with the last rapping scene of the video, is important.  Stannish following from the (sitting) white guys, hugs and kisses from the lonely bitches, respect from the disillusioned brothas.  It’s the trifecta of branding coolness and an easily duplicable formula.

Part 3: Conclusion

My theory is that there are important implications in these locations and that these associations go a long way to branding a (white) rapper.  As a scientific study, perhaps a list of locations in rap videos used to determine the genre. As a training case, this would be:

Input: Skatepark, Bubbletea patio, Ball court, Convenience store, Swingset, Sidewalk.

Output: Soft backpack weed rap.


3 thoughts on “How to be a (White) Rapper: Volume 1

  1. hamza says:

    the whole point of that video is to appeal to all types of weed smokers making his music a common interest for example: a nigga on the block and a college girl in her dorm… dude came to perform in edmonton and i never seen a more diverse demograph…

  2. Shaun says:

    I think your looking to deep into this, the video is actually a take off on the movie “Kids” and everything he does fits the theme of that movie, any coolness by association can be blamed on the movie

  3. Jay says:

    its been a long standing tradition for white artists to be shown with blacks as a tool to validate their coolness.

    Think amy winehouse singing with an all black band and back up danceers. Especially in a black art form. They all need that “co-sign” to get the respect that its “ok” to listen to them.

    In hip hop one group ive noticed that never really went that route was la coka nostra. They seem pretty comfortable with their whiteness.

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