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Home / Business / Tesla is not cool. Just ask Hip Hop and R & B. – Quartz

Tesla is not cool. Just ask Hip Hop and R & B. – Quartz



Celebrities display their Teslas. Lionel Richie, will.i.am, and Brad Pitt all drive a Model S-Custom suicide doors, matte paint and matching rims optional. Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk has tricked his Tesla with black satin chrome and 1200 watt loudspeakers. Electronic DJ Deadmau5 had his Ninja Turtle green painted and added black rims.

Teachers in San Francisco Preschools say their students, who can barely speak, look and scream, "Tesla, Tesla," as you pass by. Elon Musk's marketing has conquered the world.

Still, hip-hop artists are generally not overly impressed. Cars crown their lyrics, but Tesla's are barely visible. In the Rap Genius database, Tesla stutters behind just about every model except Toyota (whose fortune has dropped so late), even though it's one of the world's leading automobile brands.

How come that Honda overruns one of the hottest automakers in the world? One reason is that electric cars are not that popular yet. The sales of electric cars is less than 1

% of the US market. Even in New York, only 1% of cars sold in the States in 2017 were electric. (California is the outlier, with electric cars having a 5% market share last year.)

And there is timing. Tesla has only been around for 15 years. Benz and Bentley, who lead the list of the most respected car brands in the rap texts, wear more than a century or more of automotive Caché. Tesla's first electric car, the Roadster, arrived in 2008, followed by the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV a few years later. Tesla's then clientele were the strikingly bourgeois bohemians of Silicon Valley. What is to say, not cool. Few, if any, of its customers have probably heard of Chance the Rapper or visited a Future Show.

Then there is the rivalry between East Coast and West Coast. Rap's musical epicenter has wandered through the years. Auto settings follow. California's car culture favors old-school lowriders on the streets of Los Angeles: Chevys, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. On the East Coast, where harsh winters and sweltering summers prevail, "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz, & Benz" rule the streets. More recently, the south is where warm weather holds vintage caddies on the road, but also home to some of the most conspicuous cities in the states, Miami, where brand-new Bugattis and Maybachs shine, arguably the most influential force on popular hip-hop. In any case, Tesla never had a chance to shine on this timeline.

But Tesla has its fans among hip-hop musicians. The most passionate is Los Angeles-based Jaden Smith, son of movie star Will Smith. The 20-year-old name drops Tesla in more than half a dozen songs and quotes Tesla's Elon Musk as an inspiration: "I want to be the one who can dramatically change people's lives in every way." His lyrics on the album 2017 Syre which Pitchfork called "some of the worst in the rap [of the] year," are littered with references that may have been composed while using his falcon-winged Model X as: [19659008] We drive to the subway, we boom (yuh)
All MSFTS come together in a Tesla
And we zoom in

Not to mention the use of the autopilot to remove tickets.

Did you go fast? Son? Yes, Sir
It was this autopilot on the Tesla
Heart babbling so that my chest hurts
I probably see it through my sweatshirt, scream

Similarly, YouTube Bro raps logan Paul often and awkwardly over the

That is, Smith and Paul have a more … respected … company. Kendrick Lamar says, "You can not test a king in a Tesla" and Tyler, the creator, exchanged a Tesla after he destroyed his McLaren. Both are from Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Kodak Black from Florida sings, "I like the Tesla better when it drives me," and in the refrain to Travis Scott and Quavo's "Black & Chinese," Scott refers to the Lamborghini he drives, but also notices the wife of Er tries to connect to a Tesla, uses its self-propelled function – and calls it "lit!"

Maybe Tesla is not cool yet. It's not surprising to think that most Silicon Valley creations, unlike their larger world, are following a pathway, as Crocs was: hopelessly uncool outside their clique, then loved by millions.

Nevertheless, there is a Valley company that already has a credible road. It quickly overtakes Benz and Bentley among car brands adored by hip-hop artists. And they do not make a single car.

The $ 62 billion Uber is hip hop. It appears 61 times per million words in Rap Genius, compared to 71.2 times for Bentley and 105 for Benz, while Lil Lyft receives only 2.9 mentions. No other way to travel is growing so fast. Tesla should be careful.


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