Rolling Stone announced today, via a press release and a very kind article in the New York Times, their collaboration with hair product line Garnier Fructis in a nationwide search for their dignity an "up-and-coming band" to grace their cover.
Firstly, it's not surprising that Rolling Stone would synergize with Garnier or any other major brand. There's no difference between that and McDonald's packaging specifically targeted toys in Happy Meals. What reeks here are two things (three actually, but we'll get to that): Rolling Stone's monetizing of their most prime real estate, the cover -- which hasn't exactly been relevant for oh, 20 years, but still remains their largest asset for selling magazines which does still matter -- and the way in which massive contests like these effect and interact with artists. We can say with certainty there was some money from the artists expected up front (a relatively negligible amount in this context), and there was a surrendering of creative control in order to gain admittance into a likely predetermined contest.
Now, the local connection. Bloomington rapper (sorry, rappers) Mod Sun is one of the 16 first-rounders in the competition. While we're not exactly smitten with his artistry, the fullness, length, and lustre of his hair suggests he's got a good shot in the competition. See him here tearing it up on Lake Minnetonka (we assume):