The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy
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The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The business marketing genius at the forefront of today's entertainment marketing revolution helps corporate America get hip to today's new consumer-the tan generation - by learning from hip-hop and youth culture.

"He is the conduit between corporate America and rap and the streets-he speaks both languages." -Jay-Z

"It's amazing to see the direct impact that black music,...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 8th 2011 by Gotham (first published June 9th 2011)
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Melissa Phung
After Pharrell recommended The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy on Twitter, I instantly knew that this book would be would be authentic, professional, and fascinating. Steve Stoute, the founder of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, specializes in connecting corporate brands with the community of hip-hop, which is refers to as “urban.” However, he advocates about how it is more than using the popularity of different artists, wher...more
Nathan
About 75 pages into this book I realized that I had been expecting something much different than what I was actually getting from Stoute. I had very high hopes for this book and was hoping for more reflection upon hip-hop's relationship with our culture rather than simply what it has caused us to buy. After reworking my expectations for the book I was able to take it for what it was and found it to be a pleasant and interesting read.

My main issues with the book were that it sometimes seemed lik...more
bfred
I have a lot of respect for the Commissioner, but this is one of the most poorly written non-fiction books I have ever read. Coming from someone who supposedly witnessed so much of hip-hop's evolution first hand, it's frustrating to hear how canned and generic his retelling of history is. From a marketing perspective, he brings up some broad ideas but never effectively illustrates them with examples. In the end, he comes off as a self-aggrandizing simpleton who has stumbled into success by havin...more
Ian
Wasn't sure at first but music & marketing expert, Steve Stoute's book on the lessons corporate and even political America can learn from the US evolution to a more 'poly-ethnic' cultural society is well worth your time.

Stoute's background in hip-hop lends real credibility when he outlines how that music and it's surrounding culture has been instrumental in that evolution, a process he calls 'tanning.' Even more impressive is Stoute's grasp of marketing and advertising thinking, especially...more
Kitty
I'd like to thank Steve Stoute for writing what has been plain to me for so long. Hip hop has altered the mental landscape of this country, and everywhere else in the world that has been touched by it. More importantly, the way African Americans (specifically speaking about those of us descendants of African slaves in the USA) have influenced our country, by just being ourselves. No one wants to be us, but everyone wants to be like us. Every art form we've created has been absorbed into mass cul...more
Izzie Driftwood
Definitely a business book at times, the author does a great job integrating history & personal experiences to show what he calls "tanning" (roughly the breakdown of race as a qualifier, replaced by culture). An interesting read, it puts a lot into perspective & provides a guideline for ad execs & marketers going after the millenials (like myself) who grew up with hip hop in the air and less awareness of race as a defining boundary marker.
Feiz Najmi
A provoking and insightful look into hip hop culture, it's growth throughout the world and especially it's impact on the way business is conducted.
As an old school hip hoppa I feel a sense of pride that despite the many setbacks hip hop has delivered on it's promise-a universal culture. And the author shows this through many examples how it's mantra of stay true to yourself has helped grow and shape many iconic brands and finally how it delivered a Black President.
He highlights that America be...more
Briana Myricks
I was excited about this book because of some of the rave reviews. It was good, but I think the expectations were set a little high. It started out strong, of course beginning with the history of hip hop. Then somewhere along the way, things got a bit repetitive. There were many good examples and case studies presented, including names you know and maybe some you don't. I enjoyed the narration by Kerry Washington, and I wish I would've counted the number of times Steve wrote "aspiration" or "asp...more
Souris
Mandatory reading for all hustlers of culture.
LiteraryMarie
Steve Stoute, founder and CEO Translation Consulting & Brand Imaging, is one of the most credible sources to discuss tanning. He has a diverse background in the music industry, successful at brand marketing, and is in tune to the new generation of consumers. Steve Stoute was also inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement. His clients include McDonald's, State Farm, Target, Jay-Z and Reebok, Lady Gaga and MAC Cosmetics. He is also the managing director and CEO of popular hair and body...more
Chris
Give him 2 thumbs up. Quite informative, expressed numerous examples on the effect of connecting relative businesses for the benefit of the investors and the public. Hip-Hop influenced. Took what he learned, be it street-knowledge, the music industry (dj, management, production) and put it to use in building a career for himself, reaching new heights in the advertising field, in which he started up his own agency. Through networking and continued drive for learning, Stoute's business endeavors n...more
Kenda
Everything about this book was golden. I loved getting a true insiders look into the way Hip Hop has changed America and the world. I am casually interested in the marketing aspect of it. I really loved the "1520 Sedgwick to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" chapter. It is my favorite chapter. I love the way Stoute writes this story. It doesn't feel like a history book but it is. It is a historical accurate depiction of how the world ins no longer a black and white place. Great read for any fan of Hip H...more
Alejandro
A unique approach to the formation of cultural beliefs of Millenials and beyond. Being no fan of hip-hop myself, I found this book revealing because it doesn't focus on what separates hip-hop from other forms of music, but on its elements that are relevant across all ethnicities and social classes, mainly aspiration.

The book also features insightful thoughts and stories from industry leaders in music and marketing. Anyone who's interested in culture and marketing and the interaction between them...more
Kojo Baffoe
While focused on America, the globalisation of this idea of tanning makes it relevant to anyone who deals with advertising, marketing, etc. by being extremely conscious about our evolution, Stoute forces you to take a step back and truly look at your space honestly. It reinforced my own thinking while also opening me to perspectives that I hadn't seen or struggled to articulate. I would love to share it with the many marketers and brands I interact with.
Kirsten
I picked up this book more because of the connection to hip-hop than because I care marketing. Hip-hop was all over and so was marketing. I enjoyed his writing style and the interludes he threw out there. I learned an awful lot about how executives are viewing the general public - or at least, how they should be. Those with marketing background or even an appreciation for hip-hop/popular culture would certainly enjoy this book.
Rushay Booysen
Very informative book written by former hip hop exec Steve Stoute.The books focus was mainly on marketing but proofed very informative in showing us the path that hip hop has taken and how it influenced purchasing.I can still recall when hip hop was limited to a few ears and how people asked me what "crap" im listening to,guess what the whole world is absorbed in it someway or the other
Sebri
The content of the book was mostly interesting. Some parts annoying as they came of like "i invented the internet." However the story telling of the deals that he researched, was told about, or was part of are GREAT. I do feel like style-wise that this read like a really good first draft of a book. He should have had better editors so that it read a little more smoothly.
Cheryl
Jan 16, 2014 Cheryl marked it as started-may-finish
I was so excited about Stoute and this book, I pre-ordered it.
Sat down the day it came out and started reading.
Now, it sits there taunting me, waiting for me to carve Reading Time out of my day.
Unfortunately, there was no audiobook available. So consumption will be s l o w .
California
Powerful. Engaging. Loved it. I would love to read whatever book Steve Stoute writes next.
Yasheve
Seems to be written by someone who was actually detached from the culture.
Chip
I needed an update on how marketing works in current times. Refreshing...
King
It was ok.
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Aug 17, 2014
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Aug 06, 2014
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VH1's The Tanning of America Series 1 2 Feb 26, 2014 03:46PM  
  • Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop
  • The Big Payback
  • Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music & Culture)
  • One Day It'll All Make Sense
  • The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther
  • How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks
  • The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture
  • Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete
  • Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
  • Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists
  • Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office
  • The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why
  • Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
  • Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop
  • The Grey Album: Music, Shadows, Lies
  • Black Is the New White
  • The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll
  • Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama

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