Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 9th 2007 5:00PM by Scott Boyd
Noah Kerner, a DJ turned marketer, and Gene Pressman, a former CEO of clothing retailer Barneys, wrote the book on cool -- literally: Their 'Chasing Cool' analyzes the people and products that have attained and maintained their cachet, and makes the case that cool is the outcome of a process, not a strategy that can be manufactured. The duo has selected five artists who each exemplify one of the many tenets of cool, who achieved it, without chasing it.
1. Public Enemy: Public Enemy is for sure the hip-hop group that took the biggest risks. They veered left when everyone was moving right. Always. It should be inspirational for anyone launching a brand or creative endeavor. The group started a revolution in hip-hop that not only converted fans but also scared the shit out of everybody who wasn't a fan. Imagine an album today titled 'Fear of a Black Planet.' At the end of the day, you sell product when you put your balls on the line. People should do it more often.
2. Yellowman: You need to remember where you come from and always stay true to your DNA. My [Kerner's] father used to play Yellowman on the car radio at full blast blast and while this was embarrassing, since my dad's a little Jewish man. In retrospect, it helped me become who I am today. So I guess my DNA is part albino reggae artist.
3. The Beatles: Is it possible to be both mainstream and edgy at the same time? Yes, if you're the Beatles. One of my favorite lines in 'Chasing Cool' was from Scott Bedbury (formerly the chief marketing officer of Starbucks and advertising director at Nike), who said to us, "You can be Goliath, but you always have to think and behave like David." When boy bands came out, chasing after the Beatles' success, they should have taken a cue from the original boy band: You can get big, but you have to keep it real along the way.
4. Prince: Ed Limato from talent agency ICM told us, "Great legends are usually people who die young, because they usually don't live long enough to spoil their image." True ... unless you're Prince. He's the master of changing things up while continuing to produce consistently high-quality music.
5. Miles Davis: What's a list without Miles Davis? Today, when everybody is making more and more noise to grab attention, we should really take a page out of Miles' book: He was known for his legendary whisper. He perfected a gravelly speaking voice because he knew that rather than screaming to be heard, people would lean in to listen. Leave it to a musician to recognize the power of silence.
More info on the book at www.chasingcoolbook.com