Now, store if you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on on in the scene recently, mind you’ll remember that whole Scion / Bavu Blakes debacle, as covered by matt of houstonsorilllll and yours truly on the best hip-hop podcast site known to woman. But don’t think even for a minute that Scion is the ony coporate entity that is investing heavily in our (hip-hop, urban, Black, -of color, what have you) culture. Oh, no. There are many others, enough so that I might even have to start a series of commentary. Trust me.
With that then, I present the following: Stay the fuck out of my business, HITACHI.
So I was cruising some nerd site or other one day, and I see this link that says something about hard drives being the “new bling”. Even though I had recently listened to that Paul Wall song that talks about trying to pimp out honeys on blackplanet, this made zero sense to me. So I’m directed to this site, which is where the agony begins.
One of the first things that I notice is the title, “Hard Drive Bling”. Okay, Hard Drive Bling. I’m thinking that maybe TV Jewelry is selling iced out Seagates or something. Nah. This is far, far worse, which I realize as soon as I run across this helpful definition of the word “bling”:
“Bling” typically refers to flashy jewelry worn as the ultimate fashion accessory.
Wow, thank you so much, Hitachi. Even though you have to have been living in Qatar for the past 17 years to not know what “bling” means, I am glad that you spelled it out for me in clear, American English. Now I don’t have to feel bad anymore because even Paris Hilton knows what that means.
But just as I’m about to close the page and do something else, I notice that there is a video. Now, I’m not one to let my broadband connection go to waste, so yeah, I click on it. I mean, how bad can it be?
Answer: Pretty fucking awful. In case you’re unwilling to watch the video yourself, though, allow me to take you on a brief yet painful walkthrough:
We are first greeted by this very “urban” and “street” loading screen. How do we know that it is “urban” and “street”? Well, for one, it is written in a typeface that looks like the absent-minded scrawlings of a paint thinner-sniffing four year old, because all “urban” and “street” people have exactly the same mindsets as absent-minded, paint thinner-sniffing four year olds. Great, now that they’re speaking my language, I’m all ready to go.
So now we’re greeted with the heroine of the short film: Kayla. Since the marketing people at Hitachi are trying to be all “urban” and shit, I’m suprised that they called her Kayla. Why didn’t they go all out and call her Boniquaniqanishayahayla?
I mean, if you’re going to do something, do it right, you know? This is sort of like Juelz kinda sorta alluding to the fact that Barbara Bush accidentally left her pointy white hood at home when she was talking about the Katrina evacuees. Whatever.
I forgot to mention. This is some sort of music video. Musically, it’s kind of like one of those coffee-house slam poetry sessions that you might expect to find fans of Common’s last disaster at, in the back, wearing something earthy and made of hemp. Except worse. Kayla is semi rapping, semi talking about how Hitachi’s new line of audio players keep her jiggy wit it, or something.
I think in this frame she’s showing us her new jiggy funky fresh gadgets, yo. Note the gold necklace, the dreads, and of course, the brown skin tone, all very obvious markers of authenticity in the hip-hop culture. Well done, Hitachi.
Here’s some other urban guy. I forgot his name, but for some reason he reminds me of Paul Wall. He has gold teeth, which is good, but he soon stumbles around a bit and collapses due to the weight of his funky fresh beatbox. Obviously he wasn’t funky fresh enough. But check out his hip funky fresh threads, complete with a collar popped up higher than Kanye’s.
This next part I really appreciated. See, our good homiette Kayla is trying to tell us how small and funky fresh the new Hitachi hard drive is. But this is where it gets tricky! Let’s take a trip across time and space to Hitachi HQ, where several diligent ad execs are hard at work trying to come up with a way to depict the size and funky freshness of their new hard drive to a young, hip audience.
Exec A: We need a comparison to show them just how small and funky fresh it is!
Exec B: Well, it’s not much bigger than an inch or so…wait. Do hip-hoppers know what an inch is?
Exec A: Not really.
Exec B: A centimeter?
Exec A: Nah.
Exec B: Shit.
Exec A: Oh, wait. I know. The new hard drive is about the size of a domino. Black people know how big a domino is.
ZING. Those Hitachi marketing geniuses are so fucking clever.
So yeah, you basically get the idea. Here we have yet another example of a company doing its damndest to connect with the pockets of the inner-city youth. But in stark contrast to say, Scion or Sprite or even fucking Boost Mobile, which might trick the less aware of us into actually believing their shit, Hitachi’s campaign is laughably inauthentic and was obviously run by a 50-year old soccer mom.
I mean, Jesus. Watch the video. Is there anyone out there that is actually impressed by this sort of shit? Come on, Hitachi. You can do better than this. If you need someone to handle your next half-assed effort at reaching with urban youth, holler at your boy. I’m a poster child for grimy. One.