Suburban chic no longer means just a white picket fence – numerous hipster parents are bringing “cool” back to parenthood, complete with a minivan rap song. The Minivan rap song tries the equivalent of getting an online cash loans for the minivans' image - proving they are "awesome" by doing what all the cool children are doing. Did this strategy work, though, and is the minivan rap song offensive?
Minivan rap song - trendy parody?
The Toyota Sienna Minivan rap song is apparently very self-consciously trendy. Two rather average-ish looking parents rap about loving being parents and loving their “swagger wagon." This admittedly very amusing commercial seems very self-consciously parody. The humor of the video is situated on the idea that white suburb-dwellers “shouldn’t” be rapping, though. This is doubly ironic, though, since over 70 percent of the billion-dollar hip-hop music industry sales are made to white people. Pop music charts are also being taken over by hip-hop music.
A trend began by SNL continued with Minivan rap song
Far from the first, the minivan rap song is one of a long list of advertisements that have “ironic rap”. Everyone from Taco Bell to Smirnoff have done comparable commercials, to different levels of success. SNL skits seem to be where this trend started.
Is the Minivan rap offensive?
From online commentary, most just discover the minivan rap song amusing. The “Head of Cultural Trends” at a minority-marketing agency gave her opinion about this type of ad a year or so ago. She poses a question that is worth discussion:
What is designed to be humorous about this video? White people posturing in (stereotypically) non-white scenarios? When is race role-play and cultural appropriation okay? When is it acceptable, and when is it derogatory?
How do you see this question?