Sometime between 1986 and probably 2001, corporate America decided that the best way to connect with new employees would be to show just how hip they are by incorporating rap into their employee training videos. Almost certainly this sh*t brick of an idea was thought of by some middle-aged HR exec who probably saw some teens buying LL Cool J cassettes at the mall.
Like most attempts by the middle-aged rich guys to cash in on an emerging new trend, it failed miserably. “Check it, dawg!”
When you think of hip-hop do images of floral pattern throw pillows and wicker baskets come to mind? Didn’t think so. Pier 1 took it upon themselves to find Wayne Brady’s third cousin with the least threatening voice known to man and have him rap about making sales to suburban housewives. Notice the extra gold nugget of comedy at 1:12 where his co-star points to the woman and refers to her as a ho. Ahh, classic Pier 1 hip-hop humor.
Conan writer Deon Cole breaks down the Pier 1 video above, but then promptly gets burned by Conan for his own employee training video rap.
When fast-food chain Wendy’s was met with the challenge of connecting with 1980’s youth they took the surefire approach of hiring a cool sunglasses wearing black dude to rap about grilling burgers – genius! The video starts out with a possessed television set that zaps the employee in training into an alternate universe where cheesy rhymes like, “the reason to press you gotta think, when the meat hits the grill it starts to shrink” reign supreme.
This training video tricks the new employees into thinking they’re about to get to watch some cutting edge MTV music videos – sike, suckers! This is Maintenance TV where you learn about the cool job of public transportation maintenance. Normally the only time you’re going to see public bus transit associated with hip-hop is some bus fight video on World Star Hip-Hop, but this jam is all about the less stab-y side of bus transit.