Best Unsuccessful Local Subway Poster Campaign (2008)

HOT 97

Check out the jumble of signifiers in these posters: "We're flossing! We're street! We're friends! We're celebrities! We've been captured living our lives for you!" What we really are is engaged in a branding exercise that leaves everybody involved—Nas, especially—looking unconvinced by the tableaux they've been roped into. Nas and Angie Martinez playing pool on Houston Street? Ludacris, Mr. C, and DJ Enuf at a strip club? Ja Rule on Sunny's motorcycle? (We just met her—what do we care?) HOT 97 and their wishful ads sum up the cynical dance hip-hop has become. Somebody somewhere desperately needs to believe it all, but nobody can decide what it is.


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