The old adage that sex sells has been proven time and time again in entertainment, from movies to music. However, in spite of misogyny running rampant throughout a multitude of genres, cultures and societies, hip-hop has been tagged with the label multiple times throughout the years. The culture has lived up to it in terms of the music, visuals and figures that hip-hop celebrates as status symbols, with publishing icon, Playboy founder and lifestyle maven Hugh Hefner being among.
Playboy magazine was founded in 1953, after Hefner quit his job as a copywriter at Esquire to launch the publication, which was an instant success. The mag quickly becoming one of America’s most beloved, and polarizing, brands in publishing. Far from a mere nude mag, Playboy and Hefner also made it their business to broach controversial topics revolving around sexuality, race, religion, gender and other facets of society. Hefner is also credited with helping to jumpstart the career of comedian/activist Dick Gregory, and publishing interviews with civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King prior to their deaths.
However, Hugh Hefner’s reputation as a bachelor and ladies man is the one that precedes him the most and made him a hero to a multitude of rap artists who dreamed to mirror his lifestyle prior to reaching their own stardom. Known for paying homage, rappers began to show their respect to Hefner by bigging him up in their rap lyrics, a bond that has been reciprocated, with legends like Snoop Dogg and Uncle Luke being just a few of the rappers to have had the pleasure of visiting the Playboy Mansion on Hefner’s behalf.
Unfortunately, Hugh Hefner, 91, passed away Wednesday night (Sept. 27) at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Hefner’s death rocked the hip-hop world, with a overwhelming amounts of artists and fans alike paying their respects to the legacy he left behind.