Y.N. Rich Kids shill for Kmart in "My Limo" video
So it's come to this. How are we to feel about the latest chapter in the growing saga of the artists formerly (or currently?) known as the Y.N. Rich Kids? Based on their latest video, "My Limo" -- a corporate tie-in for Kmart's upcoming back-to-school ad campaign -- that would seem to be a good question.
Yep, that's right: Our beloved north Minneapolis kid rappers have finally found a way to cash in on their unexpected internet fame, sparked last summer by the viral hit "Hot Cheetos & Takis." And really, we shouldn't be surprised: In the months since, it's been well-documented that the Kids (or, as "Limo" now bills them, Da Rich Kidzz) have yet to see a cent for their newfound celebrity. So from that angle, we couldn't be happier to see them get their due.
And yet, there's something a little sad about seeing Ben10 and company hocking backpacks and flashing Kmart bling, isn't there?
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As a video, "Limo" fits in perfectly with the Kids' work to date: There's all the dancing, attitude, and downright cuteness that we've grown accustomed to. In fact, by this point they've gotten things down to a science, handing off their round-robin raps and generally looking like a bunch of 10- and 12-year-old badasses. Hell, the whole idea of the song's central boast -- "My school bus is my limo" -- picks up right where "Khaki Pants" left off back in May. (Well, okay, that wasn't technically the Kids, but let's not split hairs here.)
With that said, "Limo" leaves no room for doubt that it is, above all else, an advertisement. (It will apparently be divided up into a series of 30-second commercials.) The Kmart logo is thrown onscreen at the beginning of the video, it's on the front grill of the school bus, and it's on the huge bling that Frizzy Free shows off. But where things start to feel a little icky is when you realize the raps basically just list off different school supplies that can be found at Kmart, complete with several references to their slogan, "Shop Your Way™." It's one thing to have your music in a commercial; it's another to have it co-opted for corporate ends.
Then again, can we blame them? In interviews last winter, their parents claimed to be "fending off" record deals. Protecting these youngsters from such realities would still seem to be of the utmost importance, although whether an ad campaign is any more desirable in that sense than a record deal would seem to be a tough judgment call. (And, of course, a record could still be forthcoming.)
At the end of the day, the rest of us can simply be happy that there's a new Rich Kids hook to get stuck in our heads. The Blue Light Specials, however, may have to wait for another day.
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