Aspiration drives capitalism. Advertisers have known this for a long time. That’s why Gatorade needs us to see Michael Jordan drinking their product. It’s why beer commercials show the drinker with the hottest women. It’s why we buy GQ magazine even though we know we can’t afford half the clothes in the spreads.
This is also the reason Hip-Hop has existed and thrived.
Most of us will never bang the chicks Kanye West has or drive the cars Jay-Z owns. Yet, being able to recite their lyrics of their materialistic conquests as if they are our own allows us to stunt for a few moments each day between boring, underpaying nine-to-fives. We verbalize our dreams of having lavish mansions with flocks of voluptuous women each time a T.I. track plays. This is Hip-Hop’s appeal. And this is why it has been difficult for female MCs.
As a man, a lot of female’s lyrics aren’t aspirational. Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and many of the hyper-sexual rapstresses of the late ’90s and today spit lyrics that men are not going to repeat even alone in the comfort of their own car. So, naturally, I’m not going to garner the same enjoyment from listening to and learning the lyrics of…let’s say a Trina. Women, though, will still recite the misogynistic lyrics that men spew. It’s the same reason my girl has no problem throwing on my jeans while I would never wear an article of a woman’s clothing.
Clearly, the brain trust at Young Money understands this phenomenon, perhaps proving that they’re more shrewd than we credit them to be. It’s why they’ve marketed Nicki Minaj like they have.