Earlier this month, New York Times reviewer Jon Caramanica’s name was taken in vain by Queens rap artist Shirt. The musician mocked up a fake article with the journalist’s byline and e-circulated it as an upside-down way to promote his personal brand.
Today, Brooklyn-based writer Kris Ex very intelligently dissects the lessons in a lengthy NPR.org blog post. There’s no doubt Shirt derived a ton of publicity from the bizarre maneuver. But what does the PR stunt mean more broadly, if anything? Notes Ex:
While Shirt’s stated goals are art and promotion, the rapper (perhaps unwittingly) has made telling commentary about the hip-hop journalism playing field. In the wake of his stunt, he’s generated more thoughtful digital ink than he has in four years of putting out actual product.