A Rolls-Royce is the ultimate status symbol, so it’s no wonder the brand regularly features in hip hop songs.
Think of car brands that music artists love to drop into song lyrics, and you will probably imagine exotic automakers like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche frequently featuring in pop and hip hop. But what is the most popular brand in music? According to a study by Bloomberg, the answer may surprise you. Beating the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini at the top of the charts as the most mentioned brand in popular music is the luxury automaker Rolls-Royce.
Bloomberg looked at the lyrics of every song that appeared in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 over the last three years from May 2014 to May 2019, and found that Rolls-Royce was mentioned in songs 11 times from artists including Future, The Weekend, and Kodak. Notably, eight of the 12 most popular product mentions happen to be automakers. A Rolls-Royce is seen as the ultimate status symbol, so its popularity with music artists perhaps isn't surprising. Creeping behind Rolls-Royce is Ferrari with nine mentions, followed by Porsche with seven mentions. Hennessey also got seven mentions – the alcoholic drink, that is, not the Texas-based tuner.
Of the 280 songs that were analyzed, both Chevrolet and Lamborghini got six mentions, while Bentley, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz were mentioned five times. In total, 212 brands were highlighted in lyrics, with other popular non-automotive brands making the top 12 including Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, Rolex, and Xanax. If you need an example of a Rolls-Royce reference in music, Drake raps the verse "park the Benz, just to ride the Wraith" in his hit song "Portland," which peaked at number nine in the charts this year. This isn't paid product placement, either. Spokesperson Gerry Spahn told Bloomberg that Rolls-Royce sometimes provides cars for musicians to feature in music videos.
And since around 20 percent of Rolls-Royce buyers are celebrities and musicians, the automaker's prominence in music can help boost sales too, while keeping the brand in the public conscious as a luxury symbol.