Hip hop artists having been throwing names of fashion brands and designers into their lyrics since we can remember. And the rule has generally been: the more expensive and luxurious, the better. Which explains the fact that the brands mentioned most frequently in rap lyrics are, according to Rap Genius: Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Louis Vuitton.
More recently, though, rappers with a genuine interest in and knowledge of fashion like Kanye West and A$AP Rocky have come to the forefront, rapping about lesser known, more contemporary or fashion-forward brands like Alexander Wang and Martin Margiela.
Of course the widely-known brands are still being talked about. Drake's song "Versace" does feature the hook:
Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace Versace, Versace Versace, Versace Versace Versace, Versace Versace, Versace Versace
However, Drake at least goes a bit into the history and branding behind the Italian fashion house. In the song, he mentions the Medusa logo ("Versace Versace Medusa head on me like I'm 'Luminati") and the brand's mansion in Miami (which exists). It's also a pretty catchy song.
But in his latest release off of new album Magna Carta Holy Grail, it feels like Jay-Z has taken us back in time with "Tom Ford," which is one of the more unimaginative instances of fashion name dropping in hip hop.
We hate to say it--but while Jay-Z might be the greatest mc of all time, "Tom Ford" is not the greatest song of all time. Granted, we're not hip hop experts, but we do tend to take notice when fashion is mentioned in music, and this song just doesn't seem fair to Tom Ford. In a song that otherwise has nothing to do with Ford or fashion (unlike Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" in which Ford is also mentioned), Jay-Z simply ends each hook by saying "Tom Ford, Tom Ford, Tom Ford." Though there is the line "I don't pop molly, I rock Tom Ford," which compares the designer to the drug (it's all the rage these days!).
As is common in a lot of hip hop, the name is just sort of randomly inserted in there, as a pop culture non-sequitur. And we think the beloved designer deserves better.
Honestly, this Tom Ford pizza is more creative, in our opinion.
Listen to the song below. Do you think fashion labels have become meaningless in hip hop songs?