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The Economics of “Tip Drill” - page 2 / 4





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upon the success of the corresponding music video (Durant, 2000). Thus, record labels invest millions of dollars in these videos in order to gain widespread public recognition. Because of this particularly economic approach, one might assume that Nelly and his record company, Universal Records, may have overlooked the exploitation of the women in the “Tip Drill” video. Nelly and Universal Records believed that images of sex, money, and power in the music video were likely to be well received by the video’s intended audience and therefore would result in considerable album sales (Passman, 2000).

In a special segment of “Paula Zahn Now” entitled “Women Battling Hip Hop,” CNN correspondent Maria Hinojosa stated, “Today’s hip-hop video cool has gone somewhere else” (Zahn, 2005). In other words, music videos provide artists with a venue to showcase their success, fame, and fortune. Providing price tag figures for several of the material objects that appear in the “Tip Drill” video will aid us in creating some notion of the money surrounding the rap and hip-hop world. To begin with, Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video shows various rappers associated with Nelly’s “St. Lunatics” group in a number of luxurious and exclusive automobiles. This year, Rolls Royce released the “Phantom,” a $350,000 ultra luxury mobile that appears several times throughout the video. In addition, Nelly is shown standing near a $100,000 S-Class Mercedes along with a $250,000 Ferrari. Although in many cases these cars may be rented solely for the shooting of a music video, the real costs of these items are absolutely outrageous.

In addition to the luxurious automobiles shown in the opening of the video, Nelly goes on to display many other symbols of wealth and power. One particular materialistic object that is shown within the video is expensive jewelry. Diamond encrusted nameplate

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