Apple’s on the quest to continue the longstanding stronghold on popular culture. With the acquisition of Beats by Dre, they are well positioned to dominate the next wave of consumer products.
The first time I ever touched a computer was when I was 12 years old. I played games on my uncle’s HP desktop during the summer before I started school and thought it was the best thing ever. After that summer, I enrolled in the local middle school. Computers there were weird; they were colorful and were shaped different. The software design was also different; it was a lot easier to draw stuff on this computer. I also understood how it worked faster than I did the HP machine.
They were just different.
iMacs made it easy for students to express their individuality. These colorful machines were tools for expression. This approach to design is continuous in all of Apple products. We are all witnesses to the dent the iPod put on the music industry. It is in Apple’s DNA to do things differently; to influence and drive culture.
Dr. Dre’s Influence
Hip-hop has grown from being a genre that was ridiculed to one of the most influential genres on pop culture. This statement in itself could be a blog post so I won’t go too deep into that.
During the late 80s / early 90s, hip-hop took a turn from easy-going party music with some drug references to hardcore gangsta rap. This transition came as the opportunity for Dre to express himself.
At a time when rappers were by rapping with limited explicit lyrics; NWA came on the scene with brash, unforgiving lyrics that spoke of of the harsh life in Compton. Even after media uproar, they held no punches when expressing themselves. This was their life unfiltered and they saw no other way to tell it. This became the meat and potatoes of hip hop’s culture:
Expression has been a big part of the success of Beats by Dre. With a slick design and a multitude of colors to pick from, Beats allow music lovers to show their style through the color of their headphones. This is true at every level; from the NFL and NBA athletes, to the kids playing on school yards.
Outside of the slick design of the headphones and having color choice, Dr Dre’s influence on pop culture is what makes Beats’ stronghold on the premium headphone market unstoppable. Dre sits atop the influencers of today’s culture: Music. The Beats By Dre YouTube channel has multiple interviews with music artists and celebs alike. Additionally, the big screen shows athletes using beats as a way to tune out noise and redirecting their focus on the game.
Acquiring the mind and influence of Dr Dre will allow Apple to continue mission of influencing culture.
The crazy thing is that we have a (ex)gangsta rapper part of a team making decisions on products that will be used across the globe. Hip hop’s influence has hit it’s highest stage yet. My guess is Apple is switching gears from think different to express yourself.
is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.