The Brand Is Strong

The brand is strong.
If you don't know Desus & Mero, you do now.

MUSIC & INDUSTRY


Jahseh Onfroy, better known as hip-hop artist XXXTentacion, was found shot dead on Monday after an apparent robbery. He was 20 years old. When a young musician dies tragically, they're venerated. We're all robbed of future masterpieces; we're all left with an incomplete oeuvre. Mr. Onfroy's legacy is more complicated, though inarguably centered on the zeitgeist. He emerged atop the industry's greatest meritocracy, Soundcloud, and his influence permeates nearly every hip-hop record released over the past two years. His name marked a music industry still resisting its #MeToo reckoning, and he was at the center, along with R. Kelly, of Spotify's hateful conduct policy (and subsequent reversal). He uplifted millions of fans with his music, but he also beat one fan with a microphone. He is alleged to have violently and repeatedly abused his girlfriend, and then kidnapped and harassed her to coerce her to drop the charges. How do you separate art from an artist who did that?

BRANDS & BANDS


Self horn-tooting alert! We typically try our best to avoid using this newsletter to tell you how awesome we are… because, well, you already get enough spam. However, Event Marketer recently caught up with American Honda's Susie Rossick to discuss the strategy behind this year's new (and Marketing Factory produced) activation at Governors Ball Music Festival. Read the story here for all the details. And for the sake of editorial balance, here's a story on Airbnb (not our client) and the future of live music.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


Disposable plastic straws are wasteful, ecologically disastrous, convenient, essential for certain types of physical disabilities, and ubiquitous. They're also an excellent allegory for the 150-year tale of modern consumerist capitalism, and why it's so hard for us to separate disposable plastics from our daily habits. Or, more eloquently, "The straw is the opposite of special. History has flowed around and through it, like thousands of other bits of material culture. What’s happened to the straw might not even be worth comment, and certainly not essay. But if it’s not clear by now, straws, in this story, are us, inevitable vessels of the times in which we live."

EVERYTHING ELSE


LISTEN


Kamasi Washington
Street Fighter Mas
Bodega Boys (Desus & Mero)
#114 Everything Is Finite

LOOK


The Carters
Apes**t
Bodys Isek Kingelez

WEEKEND PLAYLIST

FACTORY FLOOR


Congrats to Joanna & Matt <3 <3 <3

Photo by the one-and-only Betsy Newman.

FRIDAY GIF


See ya next week...