'Music' The Newest Division Of Corporate AmericaA couple months ago we heard that Atlanta rap mogul and midget Jermaine Dupri was starting a record label financed by Procter & Gamble and the sickly TAG body spray as a way to more effectively spread TAG body spray to the urban masses. For a moment it looked like right wing racism might have the unexpected benefit of scuttling the project, but alas. Now it's even worse: Every brand wants to make their own records. But hey, they just want the artist dudes to "have fun, as though they were doing any song" (about Converse, the shoe of grave-robbing image pimps):

A brief list of companies that are now buying your favorite (or not) artists and paying them a bunch of money to make "fun" songs: P&G, Red Bull, Nike, Converse, Bacardi, and Unilever. Plenty of good artistic raw material in there, at least. And the brands involved have exhibited a keen cultural sensitivity about their work:

"We don't just want to talk to people," said Anne Jensen, a brand-building director at Unilever who works with Caress. "We want to give them something that adds value to their lives." She said that Ms. Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls was perfect for the campaign because she embodied the spirit of Brazil. (Though, truth be told, she is Hawaiian, Russian and Filipino.)

[NYT]