Thursday, June 9, 2011

Big Boi pimps the Crown life

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

On the lower floor of Door 44, a club on 12th street that's recently become the venue of choice for liquor launch parties, Big Boi sits in a corner on a vinyl banquette with a bottle of Crown Royal Black placed strategically in front of him. Hot women in microscopic black sequined dresses (Crown girls?) mill about, as do a throng of hangers-on. It's hard to tell who is legitimately there as part of Big Boi's crew and who's there for the photo op. I am there, without a doubt, for the photo op. But to everyone, Big Boi responds with the same cool friendliness, repeating his mantra, "we out chea" to everyone who slaps his hand, asks for a picture, or calls from across the room.

This is the first major product endorsement from the rapper, and it seems almost too perfect to be true. Crown, of all brands, represents the high life and the streets, glamour and the ghetto. I pose the theory to Bog Boi that he's been incredibly careful with his collaborations in his music and artistic career - I wonder if the same holds true for his commercial collaborations. "Most definitely. It has to make sense. The thing that attracted me to this collaboration was that I'm so familiar with it, I've seen [Crown] in my family for years." He also cited the fact that Crown gave him a huge amount of creative input with the endorsement, allowing him to help design the limited edition black bag that launched with this campaign. The company also produced a video with Bog Boi that's part fluff hip hop profile, part product placement.

We are on strict instructions to keep the conversation to Crown - no discussion of his new album, certainly no discussion of his daughter's record label. So we stick to the Crown Life.

I ask him what's the most interesting or creative use for a Crown bag he's seen. "One of my aunties made a Crown bedspread once," he says. "Like a quilt."

"Really? She sewed it? Out of Crown bags?"


If ever there was an example of ghetto glamour (with a touch of handicrafts) that's it. We out chea.

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