Generation Why: Macklemore Is Wack, And So Is Bloomberg's Piece On Cadillac

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Rivaling Jack’s tales of his harem in the “Most Unpopular Subject Matter on TTAC” Sweepstakes is my constant references to rap music. What I perceived to be a wink-and-a-nod to younger readers who enjoy hip-hop was succinctly summed up by one commenter who wrote “It wouldn’t be a Kreindler piece without a [deleted perjorative for white wannabe rappers] reference”. Although I resolved to tone down the “shout-outs”, an recent piece by Bloomberg demonstrates that there is a time and a place for a knowledge of hip-hop music.

Bloomberg, – a notorious peddlar of pro-Cadillac stories, even in the face of contradictory date – is committing yet another act of fellatio-in-print upon GM’s luxury brand, suggesting that a song by rapper Macklemore is indicative of Cadillac’s rising fortunes, along with a 22 percent bump in sales in 2013. There are, of course, a few issues at play here

1) Nobody who is a real fan of the genre regards Macklemore as anything but an interloping yuppie, adopting hip-hop modes of dress and language while preaching overly PC themes. This is neither the time nor the place for a discussion of hip-hop’s attitude towards gender relations, other sexual orientations or state and federal penal codes, but it’s safe to say that people from all walks of life, whether black, white, gay, straight male or female enjoy hip-hop music, including its darker sub-genres – and part of it is because the edgy, if not downright criminal themes, resonate within them the same way that any form of rebellious, anti-social music does. Macklemore is like the helicopter parent that wants Little League to abandon scorekeeping and make every game a tie, when everyone else is alright with the spirit of competition.

2) Cadillac has not been relevant in hip-hop, or with young people, for some time. Over time, rappers’ taste in cars has evolved, with imported luxury cars becoming the preferred vehicle of choice. Maybe the 2015 Escalade will make a resurgence, but it’s hard to see rappers backing away from the G-Wagen and Range Rover as the SUV of choice.

3) Even though a late model SRX is driven for 2 seconds in the video, the song is not singing the praises of the XTS, CTS or any modern Cadillac. The brand made its way into hip-hop culture via old body-on-frame sedans like the Fleetwood, which were both prestigious in hip-hops early days, and popular with the low rider crowd on the West Coast. Dr Dre may have been “ King of the beats you ride to in your Fleetwood” but nobody is ever going to rap about the ATS. Speaking of which…

4) In a growing luxury market, Cadillac sold 182,543 units, including 38,319 ATS models. Subtract sales of the ATS from that total, and Cadillac’s 2013 performance is worse than any other year since 2009. So while adding a nameplate has been a help for Cadillac’s overall volume, the rest of the brand is down, and the ATS itself has been struggling, with residuals taking a beating due to incentive spending. Those $299/month lease deals are going to be very expensive for Cadillac once the term is up.

5) Bloomberg’s piece also sneaks in the inevitable mention of Cadillac as a global luxury brand. Can we please stop this? Mary Barra may be targeting 1 million units in a decade, but with diesel engines not arriving for another three years, Cadillac is, and will remain, an utter non-entity in Europe

The “White Walls” video isn’t so much an ad for new Cadillacs as it is an homage to the Broughams and B-Bodies of yesterday, the ones that cemented Cadillac’s reputation as a “pimp mobile”. They might still be writing songs about Fleetwoods, but in 20 years, nobody will ever be rapping about the XTS. Now, the Elmiraj on the other hand…

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Badcoffee Badcoffee on Feb 15, 2014

    I'm a 25 year old white male who dislikes most hip-hop, listens to country, and drives a caddy. Theres always an anecdote

  • Amca Amca on Jul 19, 2014

    I'm hoping the new big Caddy - about which they seem to have managed o maintain good pre-introduction silence - comes out with some sort of highly up to date plug in or full electric power train. That might, maybe, possibly, boot Cadillac ahead of its competition. But if it just comes with the 3.6 in turbo and regular flavors . . . ho hum. My hope here is based on the fact that the car has been so darned long in gestation, and the fact they've succeeded so well in maintaining control of information about it. Cross your fingers, Cadillac devotees.

  • V16 I'm sure you could copy and paste most of the "NO" responses to 1960's Japanese sourced vehicles.
  • Canam23 I believe the Chinese are entirely capable of building good cars, BYD has shown that they are very forward thinking and their battery technology is very good, BUT, I won't buy one because I don't believe in close to slave labor conditions, their animosity to the west, the lack of safety conditions for their workers and also the tremendous amount of pollution their factories produce. It's not an equal playing field and when I buy a car I want it made with as little pollution as possible in decent working conditions and paying a livable wage. I find it curious that people are taking swipes at the UAW in this thread because you can clearly see what horrific labor conditions exist in China, no union to protect them. I also don't own an iphone, I prefer my phones made where there aren't nets around to catch possible suicide jumpers. I am currently living in France, Citroen makes their top model in China, but you see very few. BYD has yet to make an impression here and the French government has recently imposed huge tariffs on Chinese autos. Currently the ones I see the most are the new MG's, mostly electric cars that remind me of early Korean cars, but they are progressing. In fact, the French buy very little Chinese goods, they are very protective of their industries.
  • Jerry Haan I have these same lights, and the light output, color, and coverage is amazing!Be aware, these lights interfere with AM and FM radio reception with the stereoreceiver I have in my garage. When the lights are on, I all the AM stations havelots of static, and there are only a couple of FM stations that are clear. When Iturn the lights off, all the radio stations work fine. I have tried magnetic cores on the power cords of the lights, that did not makeany change. The next thing I am going to try is mounting an antenna in my atticto get them away from the lights. I contacted the company for support, they never responded.
  • Lou_BC Are Hot Wheels cars made in China?
  • DS No for 2 reasons. 1-Every new car pipelines data back to the manufacturer; I don't like it with domestic, Japanese and Euro companies and won't put up with it going to Chinese companies that are part financed by their government. 2-People have already mentioned Vinfast, but there's also the case of Hyundai. Their cars were absolutely miserable for years before they learned enough about the US market