Citing the success of Ohio rappers such as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Lil Bow Wow, Governor Ted Stickland today launched a campaign entitled Hip Hop On Over to Ohio, aimed at encouraging rappers and other hip-hop artists to visit, live in and rap about the state of Ohio.
“The state of Michigan is making a play to attract the motion picture industry,” said Strickland. “It’s high time that Ohio gets into the entertainment business as well. The thriving hip-hop community is a wonderful way to promote our state to the youth that will lead our nation forward.”
State representative Fay Canahme said, “My children and all of their friends are huge fans of the rap music. We hope to achieve for Ohio greater name recognition and heightened popularity which can come just from being associated with one of these wonderful artists.”
A press release put out by the Governor’s office this afternoon cites other recent examples of rap music-based city promotion:
Nelly and the St. Lunatics have been extremely successful in drawing the eye of the world to St. Louis, and Will Smith has been able to effectively rebrand the city of Miami into a place where people can “party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach until the break of dawn.” Although we don’t have a beach, we hope to form a connection where performers feel comfortable enough to mention the Flats in Cleveland, Whitehall in Columbus or any part of Cincinnati.
The Governor’s plans for Hip Hop On Over to Ohio include concerts, tax incentives to performers who live and work in the state and an allotment of federal stimulus money for the support of recording facilities, late night performance venues and fashion entrepreneurs.