Boardroom examines the latest happenings in brand partnerships with music’s top artists. Tyler, The Creator headlines this week.
Tyler, The Creator is one of the more compelling creators going, in music and beyond. This month, he has reaped the fruits of his labor on several fronts.
Tyler won Best Rap Album for Call Me if You Get Lost at the 2022 Grammy Awards. His seventh studio album was pressed to vinyl, selling 49,500 vinyl LPs and returning the 16-track manifesto to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 nine months after it debuted atop the chart last July. History was made in the process:
Tyler, The Creator’s immense influence was additionally measured by $32.6 million gross earnings and 389,000 tickets sold for the recently completed North American leg of his Call Me If You Get Lost Tour, per Billboard Boxscore, making it “the highest-grossing hip-hop tour in the post-pandemic era.”
While on the road in early March, Tyler helped Converse kick off its 2022 All-Star Series with a “Tyler Talk” in Los Angeles. The hour-long conversation touched on NFTs — seemingly the antithesis of vinyl albums — and his Golf Wang brand.
“I’m really outside, living,” Tyler said, in part. “So, what the fuck is an NFT? I paint at home, I play instruments, I know [people] who sculpt. I have a friend making me speakers by hand, right now. What the fuck is an NFT?”
Tyler, The Creator is encouraging his fans to indulge in tangible creativity, too. It was announced last week that Converse, Tyler, and Golf Wang are rolling out “Converse By You.”
Beginning April 28 at 10 a.m. EST and lasting just 24 hours on Converse’s official website, you can customize your own Converse x GOLF WANG Chuck 70s.
The collection is the perfect Venn diagram for Tyler, The Creator fans:
“Converse is reintroducing classic Golf Wang logos and other customizable aspects from Golf Wang archives to go along with six base colors,” explained an official press release. “The launch will give fans an opportunity to design a shoe that could be truly unique, with more than 100,000 possible design combinations at their fingertips.”
Below is a top-line view at other musicians combining forces with big-name brands to become ultimate tastemakers across pop culture.
Olivia Rodrigo has collected a lot of firsts since dropping her debut, world-beating single “drivers license” in January 2021 that instantaneously made her the main pop girl for Gen Z.
Glossier has made Rodrigo its first-ever celebrity face, beginning with the “You Look Good” campaign:
“Beauty has always been a way for me to express myself,” the SOUR songstress told Vogue. “I’m still figuring out what works for me. I imagine that’ll continue to change as I get older, but that’s what’s fun about it — getting to grow up with your beauty, style, and routine, and, most importantly, having your own relationship with it and not worrying about what others say or think.”
To start, Rodrigo singled out her top-three Glossier products as brow pomade, buildable lipstick, and liquid eyeliner. The three-time Grammy winner’s honorable mentions were solar paint, stretch concealer, and cloud paint.
Bad Bunny’s innovation is firing on all cylinders, and his personal brand couldn’t be more relevant.
Tuesday, it was announced that he will portray a new leading Marvel hero “El Muerto” both in comic book and movie form.
The 28-year-old also recently placed a classified ad in his native Puerto Rico and used his birth name, Benito A. Martinez Ocasio, to list a Bugatti Chiron. The phone number accompanying the luxury sports car sent out texts to anyone who inquired revealing that Bad Bunny’s next album will be titled Un Verano Sin Ti.
Bad Bunny took a similarly low-key approach — if posing next to wax figures of yourself at Madame Tussauds can ever truly be low-key — to introducing pale blue Adidas Forum Lows earlier this month.
The natural assumption is that the blue colorway will be the next available in Bad Bunny’s lone silhouette since entering a long-term creative partnership with the Three Stripes in March 2021. The first collaboration arrived days after the announcement, the First Café Forum Buckle Low, which sold out in minutes.
The other existing colorways are the Easter Egg Forum Low from last April followed by the all-black Back to School last August.
Whenever the blue colorway is made available, high demand is guaranteed — the same as just about everything Bad Bunny touches. The reggaeton star now owns the highest-grossing tour for a Latin artist in Billboard Boxscore history after his El Ultimo Tour del Mundo earned $116.8 million from 575,000 tickets across 35 shows throughout February and March.
Tyga joined Joe La Puma for Complex’s latest installment of “Sneaker Shopping,” and while dropping over $2,000 at SoleStage in Los Angeles, the Platinum-certified rapper wore his newest collaboration with MSCHF: the “Wavy Baby” silhouette.
“It took, like, nine months,” Tyga told La Puma of the skate shoe’s design process. “It took like eight, nine tries because it was like, how do you make the shoe not too big? How do you make it wavy and able to walk straight and functional? I think this one is the ninth try.”
“They had to test some people out skating in them,” he continued, later adding that he chose to create with MSCHF because “they go against the grain.”
It opposes the more traditional sneaker deal Tyga entered with Reebok in 2012, which birthed the T-Raww silhouette.
The “Wavy Baby” dropped April 18 for $220. MSCHF was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit from Vans, which MSCHF Chief Creative Officer Lukas Bentel defended against on the “Complex Sneakers Podcast.” It isn’t MSCHF’s — nor Tyga’s — first bout with controversy, as the provocative Brooklyn-based brand was behind Lil Nas X’s infamous “Satan Shoes” last year.
The Boardroom Musician Endorsement Roundup is young, but so far, one hasn’t gone by without Doja Cat.
Her reign continues for at least one more week.
The Planet Her singer-songwriter and rapper claimed her first Grammy after walking the red carpet toting a bedazzled JBL Clip 4 Speaker — a precursor to JBL naming her an official global brand ambassador. Doja then starred in BMW’s “Road to Coachella” campaign leading up to her headlining set at the Indio, California festival.
But before all of that, Doja did the Lord’s work by crafting a “contractual” Taco Bell Mexican Pizza jingle:
The 26-year-old created so much buzz that Taco Bell decided to bring back the Mexican Pizza next month. As the restaurant put it, “Doja Cat, the voice of the Taco Bell people, was one of the first to confirm the news”:
As illustrated here by Tyler and Doja — and even through Rodrigo’s desire to help her fans feel comfortable as they are despite industry beauty standards — brand partnerships are at their best when directly involving or serving the fans.