Successful Hip Hop Icons Endorsing Mobile Devices

Successful Hip Hop Icons Endorsing Mobile Devices

With their immense popularity brought by their hit singles and albums, musicians and particularly Hip hop artists have gained credence in serving as brand endorsers in mobile technology. As endorsers, DIY Musician said the artists are helping companies in reaching potential channels they haven’t reached. A prime example is Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent. In a previous post, bkaezown reported the hip hop mogul was headlining the South By Southwest concert in Austin. By partnering with the mobile application Hang W/ (a tool used by celebrities for live streaming), 50 Cent promised to give concertgoers an electrifying experience, bringing the fans along with him on stage and behind the scenes. In measuring the long-term success of the Hang W/ app, 50 Cent was quoted saying the tool will work with the various verticals of the pop culture.

Below are other instances where musicians served as brand ambassadors:

Nicki Minaj

 After the release of her debut album Pink Friday, the biggest brands were waiting in line to work with Hip hop’s leading lady Nicki Minaj, making her the first female in the Hiphop Cash King’s list of Forbes magazine. One of the biggest partnerships of Minaj is with Nokia, wherein the singer took over the Times Square for a live performance, in front of millions of fans.

The event was for the launching of the Nokia Lumia 900. While performing her hit song “Starships,” a 200-feet high video projector shows the device, accompanied by live dancers. Despite analysts saying a spectacle show featuring Minaj won’t boost Nokia’s fortune, the Finnish company was still able to ship 600,000 Lumia 900 units in the first quarter of 2012.


As declared by New York Mag, Jay-Z’s partnership with Samsung is the prime example of today’s celebrity endorsement, where the mobile company purchased a million copies of the rap mogul’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album. This will be distributed three days earlier (before the official release) to the new owners of the Galaxy smartphone through a special app.

The deal was touted to be a true example of ad symbiosis, wherein the musician got more than a job title -- a million of album sales, and a new mobile distribution channel. As for Samsung, the same report said it’s a good marketing tactic to translate the stardom status of Jay-Z into actual sales. “It’s [a] clever strategy like this that might help explain why, after years of losing, Samsung is beating Apple in the US smartphone wars,” the report said.


Alphabeat is a UK-based band, known for their pop songs with a twist of hip hop. In 2009, the group was hired by telecommunications giant O2 to be one of their featured celebrities during the launch of the Palm Pre, a smartphone manufactured by the company.

During the launch party, the band was singing a medley of their songs, which included “Into the Jungle,” “10,000 Nights,” and “Fascination.” Apart from Alphabeat, the launching party also featured British pop artists Vanessa “VV” Brown and Mel B of the former girl band Spice Girls. Aside from the surprising sales, O2 was happy to receive positive reviews from mobile experts that attended the event, including Gizmodo, Engadget, and TechRadar. O2’s The Blue posted a quote from TechRadar, saying: “In the end, what makes the Palm Pre so compelling, and a better choice for savvy computer users (…) is that it’s a new mobile computing paradigm.”


In the endorsement world where musicians are getting paid to sell a company’s product, Will.I.Am is taking a different approach – he is creating his own smart device. The member of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas unveiled his plans on the Alan Carr: Chatty Man Show, where he was quoted saying he’s no longer using a smartphone. Instead, he donned a sleek black watch that adorned his left wrist, saying – “This is my phone.”

Yes, a smartwatch may be on the way from Will.I.Am. Unlike the ones from Samsung, Sony, and Motorola, Will claims his device can work on its own, which could be a breakthrough in the mobile industry, where today’s smartwatches can only tap into smartphones for optimal use. In addition to calls, Will said the device will be able to support Bluetooth headphones, music playback, and social media integration (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). In his official Twitter page, Will said the device will be released sometime in July 2014.

The above mentioned artists proved that Hip hop musicians are bankable endorsers in the tech world. Who do you thinkwill defeat Jay Z in terms of mobile tech device sales?

Images courtesy of:     "Judge of Me" via flickr

                                  "DWNews Recent Cel" via flickr

                                  "paula via flickr"

                                  "Twitter via flickr"

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