It’s a right of passage—and a seal of credibility—for a brand to be mentioned in a rap song. From Versace to Buckhead’s popular jewelry store Icebox and, of course, Magic City, hip-hop has helped long shape culture both here in Atlanta and globally, telling listeners what to wear and who to care about. (Not that these references always age well—take, for example, the many nods rappers once made to Donald Trump and his wealth before the genre largely revoked support of him during his presidency.)
Social and marketing platform Butter.ATL hopes a recent rap reference will cement them into popular culture in much of the same way after rapper Ludacris released a song Friday named after the popular brand, which was created by ad agency Dagger in 2018.
According to Brandon Butler, Butter.ATL’s executive director, the song came together after a studio meeting with Ludacris’s longtime manager, Chak Zulu, a few weeks ago. It was during this time that Butler first heard the song and learned the rapper wanted to name it after the platform. “First, I was looking for the Punk’d cameras and Ashton Kutcher to come running out,” says Butler of the surreal moment.
The two-minute song, which is actually a collaboration with a peanut butter company for an upcoming ad campaign that will launch Monday, doesn’t mention Butter.ATL outside of its title. Instead, the song features braggadocious lyrics such as “put a crown on the man with a mic in his hand from Atlanta because there will never be another.”
Butter.ATL designed the artwork for the song, which features Ludacris wearing his signature afro. (An alternate version features just the stylized song title.) “Now people are going to see what Butter is capable of creatively on a worldwide scale,” Butler said of the artwork. “We just want to continue to show the world what we’re capable of. I always say Atlanta’s number one export is our culture, and we’re really serious about representing in the right kind of way. The [upcoming Krystal x Butter pop-up], this song, our content, our newsletter, all of these things are about the best parts of Atlanta.”
An Atlanta native, Butler said he’s been a fan of Ludacris well before his success as a rapper and actor; in the ‘90s, Ludacris worked as a radio disc jockey for Hot 97.5 FM under the name Chris Lova Lova.
“I’m always amazed and humbled to see the people that have come to love and respect what we do,” he said, noting that Killer Mike, Ryan Cameron, and Goodie Mob have previously expressed support of Butter.ATL. “This is just another proof point that we’re doing the right kind of work and the right thing.”
“I have so much love for my hometown and I truly respect what Butter.ATL is doing for the culture,” Ludacris said of the song via press release. “They are telling Atlanta’s stories authentically, like a love letter to the city. It was only right that we partnered for my new single in celebration of our great city,”