Several months ago we passed judgment on "conscious" rapper Common—he's fundamentally a tool. Not for his music, which is cool enough, but because he merrily goes around selling himself as a pitchman for everything from Smirnoff to GAP, while simultaneously yapping on and on about his true devotion to hip hop and love and art and The Corner and acting like these "brand partnerships" somehow represent something deeper than just a paycheck. It's incredibly grating. Like his outfits. Well, now Common is speaking out (to Ad Age, appropriately) about how he's totally keeping it real by selling product placement spots in a video for his new song called—wait for it—"Universal Mind Control." Tell us, how dead is irony?:
M&V: I saw the video for "Universal Mind Control," and I almost missed the Zune that appeared in the first five seconds. Common: The video, or any visual, is very important to me, and for me to be open to showing a product in my video means a lot, because it's a representation of me. With anything I associate myself with, I think, "Is it gonna help or bring me down?" The Zune is something that I've been confident about associating myself with, because I think it's got a fly presentation to it. It is truly about music lovers, for me.
I might've failed to mention that the shit was creative But once the man got you well he altered the native Told her if she got an energetic gimmick That she could make money, and she did it like a dummy Now I see her in commercials, shes universal She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle Now she be in the burbs lickin rock and dressin hip And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city... But ima take her back hopin that the shit stop Cause who Im talkin bout yall is hip-hop