Earlier this month, New York Times reviewer Jon Caramanica’s name was taken in vain by Queens rap artist Shirt. The musician mocked up a fake article with the journalist’s byline and e-circulated it as an upside-down way to promote his personal brand.
Today, Brooklyn-based writer Kris Ex very intelligently dissects the lessons in a lengthy NPR.org blog post. There’s no doubt Shirt derived a ton of publicity from the bizarre maneuver. But what does the PR stunt mean more broadly, if anything? Notes Ex:
While Shirt’s stated goals are art and promotion, the rapper (perhaps unwittingly) has made telling commentary about the hip-hop journalism playing field. In the wake of his stunt, he’s generated more thoughtful digital ink than he has in four years of putting out actual product.
Wow. So there you have it, rhyming kids. Don’t waste your time putting out a single, EP, SoundCloud tease or some such. Best instead be figuring out which journalist name you want to co-opt.
Read the rest of Ex’z great piece about the “cybersnake eating its own virtual tail” here.