Owning a Cadillac is a symbol of status in the Black community and remains a badge of prestige and success. It’s only natural, then, that the cars have coasted their way into the culture’s music. Whether we’re singing about cruising on the freeway of love or rapping about rims and booming systems, Black folks love Cadillacs and referencing our long-time affinity for the iconic luxury brand in songs. Cadillac recently celebrated its connection to Black culture and the community with Play My Cadillac, a curated playlist of songs by Black artists showcasing Cadillac, and unveiled a national spot for the all-electric Cadillac LYRIQ featuring the music of GRAMMY Award-winning singer Lucky Daye.
Curated by Alex Tyree, Creative Strategy Director for Spike DDB, the Play My Cadillac playlist exclusively on Spotify features SoulBounce faves such as John Legend, Masego, Eric Roberson and Jill Scott, among others. The playlist takes listeners on a ride through the past, present and future of Black music from Jimmy Liggins And His Drops Of Joy in the 1940s to the ’70s with William DeVaughn and ’80s with Aretha Franklin to today with the inclusion of Beyoncé’s “I’M THAT GIRL.”
Notably, some of the most iconic references to Cadillac come from hip-hop songs. Think of tracks like “Southern Hospitality” by Ludacris and Pharrell Williams, Outkast’s “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” and Common’s “The People,” all of which are included on the playlist.
Cadillac chronicling its nearly 100-year relationship with Black culture and the symbiotic relationship between the two through song is extremely dope. We spoke with Juanita Slappy, Multicultural Marketing Manager for Cadillac, and asked why she thinks Cadillac is still such a strong part of the Black American experience. “Cadillac understands the importance of being seen and represented,” she said. “I’m fortunate to work for a brand that consumers love and love how we show up in culture; so much so that they put it in songs.”
In the commercial released in tandem with the playlist, Cadillac pairs luxury vehicles with the soulful vocals of Lucky Daye to amplify a Black success story, that of Prestige Cadillac, a Black family-owned and operated dealership in Warren, Michigan.
The ad directed by Rodney Passé shows a stylish couple visiting Prestige Cadillac to check out the equally stylish and well-apportioned all-electric Cadillac LYRIQ. They walk through the showroom giving newlywed vibes. The camera pans the vehicle’s interior and exterior as they take it all in. We then see them in the LYRIQ, succumbing to its swanky plushness, as dealership owner Gregory Jackson says, “Play My Cadillac,” and Lucky Daye’s “Real Games” fills the cabin.
In the next shot, we see Jackson and his two adult children talking as the camera captures glimpses of family photos on his desk, and he hands a set of car keys to his daughter. We then see a shot of his daughter and son proudly sitting in a vintage Caddy before we rejoin the original couple in their new LYRIQ. Keys in hand, they ride off into the sunset, cruising Detroit’s iconic Belle Isle with the skyline and GM headquarters illuminated in the distance.
The moments between Jackson and his children symbolize trust and the passing of the baton and his legacy to the next generation. According to Juanita Slappy, it was important to include this imagery in the spot. “Heart and intention are central to what we are doing at Cadillac. Our dealers look like our diverse customer base," she said. “We see you and celebrate you, not just during a month, but every day.”- Advertisement -
We applaud Cadillac for their commitment to diversity and equity and appreciate them telling our stories of entrepreneurship, innovation and artistry with – as the Notorious B.I.G. would say – style and grace.