It’s back to school time, and Kmart (there are still Kmarts in the country) is feeling a little social media heat for a viral video by Minneapolis group Da Rich Kiddz the company uploaded to YouTube. The video, which shows the kids rapping about their school bus being their “limo,” has gone viral in the past month, with over 2 million views and counting.
Here is the video:
One commentator said: “Really? Target features white kids in the classroom learning, doing science experiments and fitness activities in the school gym while Kmart features Black kids rapping and dancing in halls, sitting on lockers, flaunting cash and making it rain? Try again Kmart. FAIL.”
Kmart responded: “Thanks for your feedback. The commercial features Da Rich Kidzz musical group in a creative way for Back to School.”
A local Minneapolis music page writes:
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.
By the way, Kmart’s ad campaign is all about the kids. Here is Julio with “Yo Mama.”