Rhyme Report

Published on August 12th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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From “Obey Your Thirst” to “Thirst For Yours”, Sprite Celebrates Hip-Hop’s 46th Birthday

(Photo Credit: Braylen Dion for Sprite®)

August 11, 2019, ushered in the 46th birthday of Hip Hop as a musical genre which has evolved into a global community and lifestyle. In 1973 when Kool Herc threw that back to school jam at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx, there is no way anyone could have foreseen the impact Hip Hop would have on the world yet here we are nearly half a century later and the culture is a dominant force in everything entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle.

NOTHING grows this large and lasts THIS long without having champions, and Sprite has been one of the stalwarts of Hip Hop for over 30 years and counting!

The Hype Magazine got a few Sprite execs to reflect on “What made it important for Sprite to support the Hip Hop community over the past 30 years?”

  • Stefan Miller – Senior Brand Manager, Sprite: “Sprite has always been incredibly focused on putting our community at the forefront. ‘Obey Your Thirst’ launched in 1994, and is core to our brand DNA. At the time, hip-hop was very much in the background, and served as a rebellious force in music. We looked at our audience and at what the genre was doing as a whole, and saw the importance of empowering our audience and giving them a voice. As we look towards the next 25 years, ‘Thirst For Yours’ is the next evolution of us championing our audience. ‘Thirst For Yours’ leverages what our audience is thirsting for, and gives them the tools to make their mark, showing them that they can make an impact.”
  • Dipal Shah – Director of Integrated Marketing Content, Sprite: “Hip-hop has been a part of the our heritage for more than 30 years, and its been important for us to use our brand to spotlight where hip-hop is going as a broader culture, and how it impacts the world around it. We have a longstanding history of partnering with artists who have been reflective of who Sprite is, and it’s important for us to be respectful of that and support them along the way. ‘Thirst For Yours’ is a response to how hip-hop has evolved, and how we have grown alongside it. Artists today are not content to be labeled as just one thing, and through ‘Thirst For Yours’, we want our audience to define their own ambitions.”
  • Aaliyah Shafiq – Group Director, Sprite: “For Sprite, it’s all about being a leader within our space. We’re not content to just rest on [our] laurels, and we want to make sure we are consistently growing to achieve the ambition we have for the brand.”

Here’s a benchmark time line on how Sprite has been down with the cause:

Sprite has championed the tastemakers of the Hip Hop genre for more than 30 years, including the recent launch of its “Thirst For Yours” brand platform earlier this year.

Sprite has embraced the music, culture, and community of hip-hop, providing established and emerging artists with unparalleled platforms to express themselves. In 1986, Sprite cast rapper Kurtis Blow in their “Now More Than Ever” campaign, making it one of the first mainstream brands to feature a hip-hop artist in a national ad.

From there, Sprite continued to spotlight the creativity found within hip-hop, paving the way for the iconic “Obey Your Thirst” platform.

Launched in 1994, “Obey Your Thirst” championed the rebellious nature of hip-hop, tapping talent such as A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Drake, Rakim, Missy Elliott, Vince Staples, Kamiayah, Logic, Rae Sremmurd and more, who each embody the genre’s groundbreaking spirit.

Now, Sprite has evolved to a new brand platform after 25 years, playing a pivotal role in putting on up-and-coming talent through “Thirst For Yours”. Empowering the future creators of tomorrow by providing opportunities to showcase their talent, “Thirst For Yours” was announced through a series of television spots featuring Atlanta-based rapper Kodie Shane and rising fashion designer Seth Giscombe – two emerging talents hand-selected by the brand.

Sprite is also putting its audience in control of the next generation of creators through Sprite Way, a community-led platform and playlist series that highlights unsigned artists through fan submissions. Since its launch, Sprite Way has created several real-world opportunities for its talent, providing rapper Bino with an opening slot during this year’s BET Experience in Los Angeles, in addition to a post-show performance by Kodie Shane at the BET Awards.

In honor of hip-hop’s birthday, Sprite Way announced its second crop of artists on August 11, featuring them in an exclusive playlist on Spotify and Soundcloud.

From the artists selected we wanted to know “What does it mean for Sprite to handpick you as one of their choices for Sprite Way?”
 
  • Bino, featured on first Sprite Way playlist: “It means this was meant for me this is my purpose it’s my time. All my sacrifices and hard work are making my vision come to life. To me it means someone is always watching keep your faith. Thank you Sprite”.
  • Cam The Artisan, featured on second Sprite Way playlist (launched 8/11): “It really shows that Sprite is at the forefront of connecting with underground artists that are shaping our culture. Being selected to be a part of Sprite Way is an amazing feeling honestly, especially being able to represent the city of Atlanta. Little things like this show me I’m on the right path.”
  • Oh Hi Ali, featured on second Sprite Way playlist (launched 8/11): “It means the world to me being picked by Sprite for Sprite Way. I’ve knowni’vewanted to make music sinceiwas 7 years old, So being selected for this lets me knowi’mmaking steps towards my dreams. I have a story to tell andi’mhonored that Sprite is here to help me tell it to the world.”
  • Yejin_Hong, featured on second Sprite Way playlist (launched 8/11): “Itshistory making& means the world to me!! I’m able to rep for the Blasian community but also put on for all my Koreans out there!! Introduce “KTrap – Korean Trap Music” to the world and give them a vibe they’ll never forget, KTrap Queen!!”

I’d say that the glorious world of Hip Hop is in great hands based on the diverse artist sampling represented in the “Sprite Way” playlist. In just four brief years the community as we know it officially hit its “Golden Anniversary” which will be made extra special by having supporters like Sprite on board who recognize the culture for what it is and the thirst of those who live within it to continue on towards greatness.


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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