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Hip-Hop News: Hip-Hop & Money: Radio Execs Acknowledge The Power of Hip-Hop
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
7/23/2003 5:47:26 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Jay-Z, Ice Cube and Ja Rule.

Interep Research - the nation's largest independent advertising sales and marketing company specializing in radio, the Internet and complementary media - released a comprehensive report this week that acknowledged the power of Hip-Hop in America. (Well, duh!)

According to the report entitled "The Hip Hop Lifestyle" which documents the growth of the hip-hop genre in the U.S., Hip-hop has emerged as a powerful force in the youth market, crossing ethnic, economic, suburban and urban borders. According to Sherman Kizart, VP/Director of Urban Marketing at Interep, "There is a tremendous amount of interest in the Hip-hop lifestyle, yet until now, a dearth of research. We are thrilled to offer this report to the industry."

The report highlights many of Hip-hop's crowning achievements over recent years, including having sold over 84 million records in 2002, replacing "Pop" music as the No. 2 most popular selling music. Hip-hop/Rap is also the fastest growing radio format, expanding from 6 U.S. radio stations in 1993 to now over 150 across the country - not to mention a top-rated Hip-Hop radio station in each of the top 11 U.S. radio markets. The research report also has a breakdown of the Hip-hop generation, consisting of gender split, ethnic composition, college attendance, household incomes and work status.

Those of us in the loop have long ago recognized Hip-hop culture transcending all expectations since its humble beginnings in the late 70s, early 80s. With pioneers Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Will Smith, Queen Latifah and Ice Cube laying the foundation for future stars like Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent and Ja Rule, advertisers, media/film outlets and radio stations have taken full notice of the affect, and role, that the genre has played in shaping the current U.S. market over the past 10 years.

"Rap is the music. Hip-hop is the lifestyle. Urban is the mindset," said Kizart. "We want advertisers to understand that advertising on Hip-hop oriented radio stations transcends the music played. It speaks to a listener lifestyle, and as such, offers an exceptional environment for product branding." Brand-name heavyweights like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Gap, Budweiser, Nike, Reebok, Lincoln/Mercury and Cover Girl have all employed Hip-hop personalities to pitch their products, and have incorporated the lifestyle into its marketing strategies.

Interep is the parent company of ABC Radio Sales, Allied Radio Partners, Cumulus Radio Sales, D&R Radio, Infinity Radio Sales, McGavren Guild Radio, MG/Susquehanna, SBS/Interep, as well as Interep Interactive - the company's interactive representation and web publishing division specializing in the sales and marketing of on-line advertising.

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