Still image from “P.I.M.P.,” by 50 Cent/Image courtesy Interscope Records
If you’ve heard a pop song some time in the past 10 years, there’s a half-chance it mentioned a car brand of some sort—but have you ever wondered which automakers turned up in tunes most often? Thankfully, somebody did some number-crunching.
Bloomberg scoured the pop music charts to find songs that have made it into the top 20 spots of the Billboard Top 100 during the past three years, and found most of the well-known brands that get name-checked in pop songs belong to car manufacturers.
Specifically, they found Rolls-Royce is the most oft-mentioned car make, following by Ferrari and Porsche.
Carmakers make up eight of the top 10 brands whose names regularly turn up in pop songs, and the rest of the list included the likes of Chevrolet, Lamborghini, Bentley, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.
Note that seven of those eight are premium brands, which isn’t surprising: Bloomberg asserts the rise of hip-hop music has contributed to big-name luxury brands getting more mentions in popular songs. But not all the songs in question are of that genre. Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Meghan Trainor all drop names of famous products, though none of them are cars.
In some cases, Bloomberg says sometimes the artists are being paid to mention the brand in question, but just as often a singer or rapper will mention a car because the name fits the esthetic and rhythm of the song, or because they hope it will get them noticed by the brand they’re calling out.
In speaking to Rolls rep Gerry Spahn, Bloomberg learned the British prestige manufacturer sometimes provides vehicles for use in music videos, presumably whether they’re mentioned in the song or not. That makes sense, considering celebrities make up a fifth of the company’s customers.
So next time you see a car that looks like it belongs in a hip-hop video, it has probably already made an appearance in one.