The Beastie Boys were the exception that probably proved the rule: White guys shouldn’t rap, especially not old, rich ones whose nerdiness is beyond parody. Apparently inspired by the private equity firm’s profitable investment in Beats Electronics (co-founded by rapper/producer Dr. Dre), Carlyle Group’s co-chief executive David Rubenstein wrote and performed a rap song in a holiday video for the firm’s investors. Rubenstein introduces the video with: “You know, Dr Dre. is an incredible businessman and artist, and he even inspired me to write my own rap.”
Reached for comment about the Carlyle video, Magdalena Babblejack, Professor of Rhetoric & Communications at Northern Southwestern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute, who’s written extensively about missteps in corporate messaging, was unconvinced:
Considering how ridiculous the guy looks in this video, is it possible that he’s so feared at this firm that there wasn’t a single person with the courage to say, “Hey, Dave, not a good idea, you shouldn’t do this”? That video should have been marked Internal Use Only or Do Not Distribute. Maybe even Never-To-See-Light-Of-Day. The way he pronounces ‘private equity’ is priceless. The lock-ups on the investor money must be years out.
My recommendation? Next year, just put the stupid Santa hat on and sing a normal holiday song.
From the Carlyle website, here’s Rubenstein’s rap:
It takes a lot of brains to do what we do,
Looking for a way to make some dough for you.
Energy, commodity, we do it all,
So pick up the phone and give us a call.
Corporate mezzanine, private equity,
Carlyle Group is the place to be.
We’re global, we’re mobile, we’re aiming to please.
Only goal in mind: serve the LPs.
When asked about Rubenstein’s song, Thusnelda Neusbickle, Professor of Rap History and Culture at the Diesel School of Visual Arts, avoided a direct critique of the financier’s foray into rap:
It’s great to see someone like David Rubenstein acknowledge Dr. Dre as a great artist. The man is a poet. When he came upon the rap scene, his voice was a shock to the lyrical system. He’s avant-garde, metafictional, even post-post-modern. My class “Dre vs. Shakespeare: A Steel Cage Match” is oversubscribed every year. For someone new to Dre, I recommend listening to the curiously affecting “Bitches Ain’t Shit” from his debut album The Chronic.
For the benefit of our readers, here are the only lyrics to “Bitches Ain’t Shit” that are even close to printable (typical of the entire Dre ouvre):
Now as I’m rollin’ with my nigga Dre and Eastwood
Fuckin’ hoes, clockin’ dough up to no good
We flip flop and serve hoes like flap jacks
(But we don’t love them hoes) Bitch, and it’s like that
This is what you look for in a ho who got cash flow
You run up in them hoes and grab the cash
And get your dash on
While you’re chillin’, with your homies and shit
And how my niggaz kick the anthem like this
Bud Fox News’ Silence Bellows played “Bitches Ain’t Shit” for Professor Babblejack, who conjectured:
Funny, but I can’t imagine Rubenstein sippin’ on gin and juice while listening to his business partner and so-called artist. Doesn’t he seem more like a GWAR guy?
In 2013, Carlyle made a $500 million minority investment in Beats Electronics, which was co-founded by Dr. Dre. Carlyle probably doubled its money in less than a year when Apple (ticker AAPL) bought the headphone maker earlier this year for $3 billion.