One Million Moms is likely to blow a fuse over a new hip-hop heavy Toyota commercial that features a young girl who begins her rap, “Listen up, motherfathers.” But OMM will have lots of company as the ad is getting blasted from all sides. According to the car blog Jalopnik, the ad for the Sienna is “proof that the ad industry has run out of ideas.”
I saw the video Friday night after a few car blogs posted it. Everyone generally agreed it was ridiculous. But then Twitter caught a hold of it and all the accusations of cultural appropriation started flying. Here’s my beef: I couldn’t give a shit about cultural appropriation. I’m not here to talk about how pissed I am that Macklemore won a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar or why Iggy Azalea has the most popular rap song right now. White people doing rap is a debate that should have fizzled out a decade ago and really, I don’t care either way. What I don’t get is why Toyota and other companies keep doing this, this whole “let’s put a bunch of clearly awkward white people in a hip-hop setting and laugh at them because it’s a whole inside joke we shouldn’t be taking seriously”-type advertising. Isn’t the inside joke played out? Like using blue liquid in tampon ads? There’s no other way to get the point across?
Stereogum has posted a recap of music, car, and pop culture sites that are denouncing the clip.