Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I don't think it's totally fair to lump these two guys in together. Dr. Dre is a legendary rap producer and a millionaire many times over. Him doing a Dr. Pepper, or Coors Light commercial, or shilling his own line of $500 earphones doesn't strike me as selling out as much as it does cashing in on his fame. That's smart money.
Dwele on the other hand, probably fits into the starving artist category. He's "almost famous" (Kayne's 'Flashing Lights', Common's 'The People', All the Slum Village collabs, etc.) in that he's got some name recognition, but not enough commercial success. The guy is mega talented and should be a bigger star, but seems to have fallen victim to a music industry that can't really figure out how to market him (see, also: Raheem DeVaughn).
His last album didn't do very well (although it was good, as I said, this guy is an amazing talent who just isn't marketed well) so he's probably at some career crossroads of sorts. And then, some ad agency gets the clever idea of selling McDonald's milkshakes with some quasi-"spoken word" angle to make iced coffee seem cool. And if you're Dwele, you're looking at your bank account and prolly sayin' "eff' it, I'm behind on my child support! Let's get it!"
It's sad, but it's more a reflection on consumers (ie: me) and the music industry as a whole that he's gotta do this.
So while I cringe everytime I see this commercial, I'm not mad at Dwele, nor do I consider him a sell-out.
If you wanna see the definition of "sell-out", peep this...
Or this. Skip to the 3 minute mark.
Or this musical atrocity.
Is all I'm sayin'.
Cut Dwele some slack, and buy his latest album if you don't wanna see this talented artist doing ads for Popeye's in a couple of years.