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Gold Chains And Keyboards

Hip Hop

Today’s post comes from Ypulse General Manager Jake Katz.

Gold Chains and Keyboards

What do 2 indie kids from Saratoga Springs, a Harlem skater with gold teeth, and a southern Hip Hop legend have in common? Everything you need to know about the cultural zeitgeist…

This week, Big Boi’s album dropped and its single “Lines” climbed to #1 on Hype Machine’s blog tracker. Rappers A$AP Rocky and Big Boi, and an indie band called Phantogram trade verses in it. Their mix of genres, attitudes, perspectives, (not to mention instruments) mirror the Millennial “can’t box this”, “categorize this”, “limit this” world’s potential. If you Google Phantogram, Wikipedia describes their sound as “street beat, psych pop”…what?!

At a glance, it’s hard to see why this works. A$AP Rocky is draped in gold chains and American flags. Phantogram, thick-rimmed glasses and vintage thrift store chic, looks more comfortable immersed in their keyboard than in real life. Big Boi, a staple of the pop culture landscape as we know it, is truthfully an artist that pre-dates our modern eclectic perspective. Dig in a few layers, and ask yourself why it works. It works because it connects with what’s a rising commodity among young consumers: taste.

We are entering a post-digital era where everything has been seen and heard, listened and remixed, captured and filtered. Anyone can do this, so what you should do now as a marketer, to get this audience’s attention, is have taste. The pendulum is swinging back and it’s time to start driving less off of crowd demand and more on passion.

“Life is so terrific” says A$AP, just before Phantogram replies with “the lines, the lines we’ve crossed”…and that’s just how young consumers relate to the world (and your brand) – without borders and full of potential. So now more than ever, taste is in demand. The future will be filled with brands that thrive on being bold, taking risks, and dancing on the boundaries of culture. All the kids are doin’ it, literally.

             Jake Katz

Jake KatzJake Katz is charged with curating the “big picture” both within client projects, as well as managing the growth of Ypulse’s overall menu of offerings. Katz has a passion for decoding pop culture, and at 26, he has already worked with a variety of brands — from Nickelodeon to MTV to NBCUniversal — to help them understand trends in youth culture. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and is a proud member of the “Avocado of the Month” club.