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.