Calculating product placement in hip hop songs: CDZA's $56 million musical shopping spree

How do you calculate the value of product placement in hip hop songs? Joe Sabia's CDZA ("Collective Cadenza") project on YouTube attempted to do just that, with a virtual 56 million dollar hip-hop shopping spree.

Their "Methodology for price determination" breakdown follows:

Prices were calculated based on current retail or market value, not resale value. For vehicles, values for the most part were selected from the high end of the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price range.

Iyaz - Replay: 80GB Video iPod
Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy: Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis prices were from packaged and unopened items found on eBay
Chamillionaire - Ridin Dirty: We went with the PS1 price, even though Chamillionaire can probably afford a PS2.

Black Eyed Peas - My Humps: Went with average prices for a lot of these accessories
Macklemore - Thrift Shop: Yes mink fur coats can be this expensive

Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
Eminem - If I Had...: Nike Air Hat/Pair of Lugz
Nelly - Air Force Ones: We should have gotten white ones, sorry.
LMFAO - I'm in Miami Trick: Vans
Notorious B.I.G. - Mo Money Mo Problems - Rolex
Snoop Dogg - Drop it Like it's Hot: Went with a $9,100 rolex, even though they can be much more expensive. And a lower end bottle of Chandon at $109

LMFAO - I'm in Miami Trick: Red Bull and an affordable Smirnoff even though they would probably drink Grey Groose
Jagged Edge - Where the Party At: A fifth of Bacardi
50 Cent - In Da Club: A pint of Bacardi to sneak into the club
Busta Rhymes - Pass the Courvoisier: A less expensive type and size
Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice: Seagram's Gin
Ke$ha - TiK ToK: Jack Daniel's
R. Kelly - Ignition Remix part 2: Got this empty bottle of magnum Cristal off of eBay for 25 bucks.

Sir Mix-a-Lot - I Like Big Butts: Mercedes E Class
Jay-Z - On to the Next One: Lexus and Range Rover
Far East Movement - Like a G6: CDZA doesn't provide items to rent. We only provide items to BUY.
Vanilla Ice - Ice, Ice Baby - Lamborghini

This edition of CDZA's weekly musical experiments features Mark, Todd and Stasia from the Key of Awesome.

Related: CDZA merch, and an MP3 download, neither of which cost $56 million.


  1. I think their methodology is a bit off.  They should take the price at the time of the song’s publication and then normalize for inflation to like, say, 2012 dollars.  So like Sir Mix-A-Lot’s E class Mercedes would have be around $20,000 in 1986 dollars.  Adjusting for inflation, that’d make it around $40,000, not the $75,000 of a modern version.  It won’t have any real impact on the big price point there (the G6) since we’re talking only 2 years.

    /pedantic economist

  2. Without the G6 it would only be a $0.66 million dollar shopping spree. Not as impressive. Also, I believe I heard the lyric “Cristal poppin’ in a stretch Navigator”, as in Lincoln Navigator which seems to be left out.

  3. Country surely has an even bigger budget, at least in alcohol placements.  “One more round of Jose Cuervo” anybody?

  4. If they’re trying to persuade the audience of something, they need to make a more scientific case. 
    As-is, what does this number represent? The combined value of some products mentioned in carefully-selected snippets of an arbitrary number of particular songs? Their final sum was entirely an editorial decision on their part. Add a song, remove another, and the price changes dramatically.

    It would be more impressive if they found a particularly egregious brand-referencing song and used that.

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