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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Exploring brand status within the rap subculture: a mutual influence on brands and rappers

Published: May 25, 2021


Ghizlane Kasmi, IAE Paris-Sorbonne Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne; Géraldine Michel, IAE Paris-Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; Valérie Zeitoun, IAE Paris-Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


Rap music is the most downloaded musical genre in the world including growing rates of brand usage. However, today we know little about how brands are used within the musical genre. The objective of this research is to better understand the place and functions of brands within the rap subculture. How does the presence of brands in rap play a role in brand consumption? How does brand usage influence the perception of rappers? To answer these questions, we conducted a netnography and a qualitative study with rap consumers. Our results show that brand usage in rap represents an intense case where brands are a component of rap. Brands appear to be vectors of reality and arguments of demonstration. Also, a game of mutual influence between brands and rappers based on a social belonging proof was identified.