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Which brands were the most mentioned in 2020 rap songs?

Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada hidden in the Billboard chart

Which brands were the most mentioned in 2020 rap songs? Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada hidden in the Billboard chart

The world of rap and the world of fashion have always been united by a bond that has consolidated over the years. If in the beginning, the fashion system did not look favourably on the passion of rappers for luxury brands, with the climb towards the success of the genre, the two realities have come closer and closer, almost ending up merging. There are not only Kanye West with Yeezy and Travis Scott with Cactus Jack, but over the last few years, many rappers have even gone up on the catwalks of fashion weeks, becoming the absolute protagonists of a world that until a few years earlier repudiated them.

If in the beginning, it was the Hollywood stars who acted as a promotional vehicle for brands to buyers, with the change of audience in recent years, generations Y and Z have established themselves as one of the most important market slices for the luxury industry, forcing brands to review their positioning in that genre for years underestimated. Rap's love of fashion, unofficially born in 1985 with Slick Rick's La Di Da Di, has now become a measurable thermometer of brand desirability by answering the simplest and most effective question: which brands were most cited in rap songs most listened to in 2020? 

A question that was answered thanks to the work of Gabriele Murtas, PhD student in Business & Law at the University of Bergamo who has always been passionate about music and fashion. In his work Hip-hop and Luxury Fashion: a never-ending love, Murtas analyzed the pieces present in Billboard's Rap 2020 Top 20 noting through an intertextual analysis how in seven of the songs in the chart luxury brands and designers related to the fashion world. In the first place, we find Gucci, mentioned in three songs, followed by Chanel and Prada with two, while Céline, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Pucci, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Birkin by Hermès and Virgil Abloh close the ranking.

"Interestingly," says Murtas, "Virgil Abloh is the only designer mentioned in the top 20 who has become famous in the last decade. At the moment Abloh is certainly one of the most resonant designers in the market, and reading her name alongside other far more established fashion brands can actually increase the legitimacy of both her brand and her artistic creations in the realm of luxury." Not a coincidence, given that Abloh himself had understood and anticipated the importance of the trend by choosing to have Kid Cudi and Playboi Carti parade on the catwalk of his first show for Louis Vuitton, triggering a domino effect that in recent times has seen the same Carti among the protagonists of the first Givenchy campaign by Matthew M. Williams and Asap Rocky and Tyler, The Creator in the Gucci branded Harmony Korine.

"A fundamental question remains unanswered at the moment," concludes Murtas "with this growing influence, will centennial brands modernize their collection or will they continue to emphasize their heritage?" The answer, however, could lie in the middle, between the modernity of the choices made by brands such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, ready to absorb the streetwear influences of Off-White and 1017 ALYX 9SM, and the sacred and rigorous respect of the archive shown by Moncler and Stone Island