When brands and rappers get together, strange things can happen.
A wrong pairing potentially tarnishes both parties, while the right partnership can prove not only mutually lucrative, but downright iconic. One need not look very far back in our history to see examples of both, with cringeworthy moments like Snoop Dogg’s Hot Pockets song parodies and culture game changers like Sean Combs’ Ciroc Vodka stewardship. Admittedly, even the worst of such outings can at the very least improve awareness within a target market or demographic, and most artists get through it just fine too.
The latest marriage of hip-hop and corporate America manifests in the form of “Start The Par-dee,” a music video with clear viral intentions. The clip puts together 20 year old rapper Lil Yachty with baby boomer paragon Donny Osmond for an improbable ode to Chef Boyardee, the canned pasta OG. Commissioned by Conagra Brands through advertising agency Havas Creative’s socially savvy Annex, “Start The Par-dee” is an original song that nostalgically samples an old jingle for a modern trap-pop cut over which the intergenerational pair sing and rap their auto-tuned hearts out. Not merely a video clip, it also appears in audio format on major streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.