Home Around the Web K-Mart Back-to-School Rap Commercial Accused of Being Racist, Pass or Fail?

K-Mart Back-to-School Rap Commercial Accused of Being Racist, Pass or Fail?


K-Mart may have fumbled with this rap commercial from the Da Rich Kidzz to promote their back-to-school products, there has been a lot of mixed emotions and backlash over the catchy tune:

Another controversial commercial features YouTube child stars known as “Da Rich Kidzz” (previously known as “Y.N. Rich Kids,” it seems). Their fame took off with their “Hot Cheetos & Takis” rap video. Even Rolling Stone reviewed the song and rated it a 4 out of 5. In a K-Mart ad they’re now rapping, “My school bus is my limo, I roll back to school with my cap on and my brim low.”

“Get it off my TV!!!” one viewer pleaded. Another angered consumer said, “I’m tired of watching companies pander into the Rap culture thinking its mainstream. Its Not. Its only driving away a larger part of society.”

The last comment, for me at least, has an underlying tone of racism itself with its insinuation that the “larger part of society” (aka Whites?) are being driven away by music that supposedly only targets minorities. Not every African-American enjoys rap and not every Caucasian likes country music. But it is a simple marketing strategy based on what is most alluring to a particular target audience.

But even more simply, the retailer is trying to do something young, fresh, and funny. Clever kids rapping and cracking jokes about spending wisely is their interpretation of that.

While K-Mart is getting a bad rap — pun intended — for their latest commercials, I honestly believe we’re too sensitive and need to lighten up a little.

What do you think? Is it racist or just a marketing tool?

[Read more at MadameNoire]


  1. WAY too sensitive! Does everything in our society have to be a culture war? Corporations have a right to market how they see fit, if they want to embrace hip hop culture, then so be it. For non-blacks who take issue with this, I say look in the mirror and ask yourself "Are you a racist"?! To blacks who want to make an issue of this, I emplore you to remember the days when neither us or our kids were in commercials like these and not stifle every nugget of progress as an act of neo-coonery, its kids for goodness sake!

  2. Hes specifically talking about the rap culture which is clearly stated. So this means the “larger part of society” would mean people who don’t enjoy rap. Which isn’t a racist bash whatsoever. There are White rappers

  3. While it is just a marketing tool, i think we need to be more self conscious and careful about HOW we present ourselves in media. On one hand we celebrate the music and its culture.. It's how we choose to go about doing it…and on the other hand we complain about being sterotyped.. i have travelled a lot in this world, and some of the ways I have seen blacks imitated makes a minstrel show look like a tribute to MLK. i don't think that we see the full picture of the the effect we have on the world as well as ourselves in it.. we only see the fact that our style is imitated. we don't see how it's imitated and what others really think of us … the music moguls at the top just don't care.. what they do care about is the dollar.

    1. In response I have to ask the following:

      Are these kids throwing up gang signs? Are their pants sagging? Are they cursing and degrading men/women? Are they talking about drugs or violence? The answer is a resounding NO!!! They are dancing and being excited about being in school, which is in stark contrast to what much of mainstream hip hop is portraying. So I find it hard to correlate negative imagery with these kids. I hear what you are saying, I just feel that in this instance it misses the mark.

    2. Thank you! Somebody finally "made it plain" as my grandfather would say. It's amazing how far in left field some people's minds are!!!

  4. Racist? What? I disagree. People are hypersensitive these days, always trying to find something to get offended about. smh

  5. Yea….I think people are really reaching with the "this is racist". These kids started off making youtube videos about "Cheetos" and "Khaki Pants". Now they have a K-Mart commercial????? These kids are WINNING!!!! If we take a real look at the flip side of the hip hop culture there are a lot of models of kids who are the same age who are negative representations of the hip hop culture. Its always interesting to me when talks of the "larger part of society" are brought up to create this us….and then thats them over there complex. Especially taking into account that Hip-Hop (black music) has been overwhelmingly supported by "the larger part of society" (whit folk) for decades. Maybe im just missing the harm in the ad.

  6. I didn't think the commercial was racist just stupid.__The knowledge that the kids are a real group doesn't change my mind one bit.

  7. K-Mart has stooped to an all-time low, "pimping" black kids to boost its waning sales. Surely black kids can be featured in commercials that reflect them in a more positive light!!! We see enough black youth rapping and gyrating to the music!!! Now you have the audacity to use 10 – 13 year old kids!!! I guess with K-Mart it's all about the almighty $$ dollar$$. Shame on you!!!

    1. thank you, i totally agree as we see and hear too much of this music on a daily basis whether you want to or not. i can hear it going up and down the road in front of my house over my tv playing. i am so sick of people assuming we should like this kind of music. the blacks dont want to be stereotyped, well when everyone sees a commercial like this what do they think will happen.

  8. I don’t see racism at all..there is nothing hateful about this song but many other aspects of it are bothersome to me. I don’t like the theme or the words or the idea that there is anything stylish or envy worthy about what they are wearing or how they are arriving at school. It’s a very negative and superficial image to progect! It is symbolic of this time we are in when “reality star” is a profession. And Kmart stooped very low on this one, in my opinion. This country is slowly losing every value we were founded on. When did we stop wanting to teach our children that school is for education and enrichment NOT a popularity contest or social club. There is no “paparazzi” for these children (other than the fact that they’ll be snapping pictures of eachother all day and updating their Facebook statuses class by class with something like, “Ugggh..this class is so borrrringgggg!!! :-)”

    1. Slowly losing every value we were founded on? Seriously, since when did we follow our ideologic values. Land of possibility and freedom…for who? Equality…for who? Opportunity…for who? Clearly percentages of granted home loans, degrees, incarcerations, etc show that we don't have values. Or rather, or values only matter when you're White.

      One value that America has been true to, regardless of color, is materialism. I think it's so unfair. There are literally hundreds of commercials that display materialism and yet articles are not written on them. No one speaks up on them. But I guess we need to directly see ourselves in something to get the blood boiling enough to write a post or comment on it.

      What about where we don't see ourselves directly and it still impacts us greatly?

      FYI the whole purpose of advertisement is superficial. It is to get you to buy something.

  9. I just have four things to say:

    1. These are kids rapping about school. There's nothing wrong with that and just because they choose to rap does not me that we as viewers need to automatically associate it with wrong.

    2. Who was really offended by this commercial? Before seeing this article and realizing others were offended, how many people thought that it was racist or would be viewed as racist?

    3. The commercial is not racist, people's replies are racist. They don't want to see rappers or a part of Black culture on their TVs and made it clear on the comments. Complainers only want to see "mainstream" (read White) culture because the only time people are ready to complain is when there are Non-White folks involved, (Target's Latino song, Cheerios Bi-racial family, etc). But the little white girls playing in the grass in their back to school outfits are perfectly "mainstream" and reflect a culture worth using in advertisement.

    4. As far as watching how "we" portray ourselves in the media…get real! "We" do not control how we are portrayed in the media, if we did there would be much more of a positive portrayal. I'm not saying that we cannot control how we are portrayed, I am saying that we don't.

  10. I like the commercial. They're our kids, they're excited about going back to school, and their flow is a lot better than some of these rappers with million dollar record deals. I honestly don't understand what's so bad. Yes, it's unfortunate that it's K-Mart but oh well. The kids are still cute and I bounce along with them every time it comes on. I had no idea that they were a group. Rapping about Cheetos and Khaki pants? I will be checking that out. They got some exposure for doing music with content appropriate for kids because let's not forget they're kids. Good for them!

  11. How would the commercial be received if it were a bunch of Caucasian kids rapping instead of African-American kids? I'm just curious what anyone's thoughts are on that… not trying to attack or anything. Would people still think it's racist? I don't get it.

  12. Personally I couldn't give two sh*ts about race or ethnicity shown. It's the damn music that gives me a splitting headache every – single – f*ing – time I hear it. I myself may be white, but I actually like rap. Correction… I like 'Good' rap. What these kids are doing is watering down a music industry as well as only showing one side of a very diverse culture. And also, would it kill the producers to have a single white or hispanic kid in the commercials as well? I mean, it's one thing to pander to a younger generation, but to exclude entire ethnicities just because they are not 'hip enough' and 'urban enough'? That's just wrong.

  13. I just saw this commercial, I was thinking instantly that there will be someone to call it racists so I did a google search… Oddly this came up and what I assumed someone would complain about wasn't listed here… Did you not notice that the black kids were sitting in the back of the bus? Isn't that racist?

    Full of sarcasm, but I know there is someone out there that will wanna sue…..

  14. Worst commercial EVVVEERRR!!!! ….and I don't care if the kids were green. Although, I do think it just continues to perpetuate the 'hood rat persona, which I don't know of anyone that wants to be a 'hood rat. It may look cool to kids who watch it on a rap video, but in reality, rappers have done everything possible to leave the 'hood….and they certainly don't stay in the 'hood once they make their money. The only reason they sing about it is because it is the only thing that kids from urban areas can relate too. I mean show a black doctor or lawyer who speaks correct English and carries themselves with respect and dignity. That would be something to look up too. Obama is something to look up too, and you don't see his children actin' a fool!

  15. Most of these posters are black. Us whites could care less what kind of clothes ghetto kids wear to school. Why throw a little white girl in the mix, because kmart does not want to be deemed racist. I will never shop at kmart again nor will anybody I know. I'm not racist nor my people this commercial is racist. These kids do throw gang signs just kmart told them not to. Kmat sucks.

    1. Throwing a token white kid in is not different from all the movies, tv shows, commercials, that throw a token black person in it. Get over yourself. Blacks had to get over seeing only one black person in everything so it won't be considered racist. Now you are in blacks shows and you don't like it. LMAO. And Im white so I'm not being on one side or the other. I just recognize hypocrites.

  16. I think the kids are cute, and I'm white, and I shop at K-Mart. There's one near me and their prices are good and they have some cute clothes for adults and kids, not as good as Target's, but much better than Walmart.. There's nothing wrong with these kids and the ads are clever, using rap and even "the dozens" to make a positive spin on going to school.

  17. I’m so white, I’m practically translucent and I hate the “yo mama” playground commercial. So much that I posted on Kmart’s Facebook page, which I never do, because I did find the commercial offensive (racist). I may be overreacting a bit, but I really was not happy to see them portraying those little kids as these defensive, poor English-speaking, stereotypical “urban” children. The rapping commercial didn’t bother me as much. I don’t like the “gangsta” poses that the boys are doing. I don’t ever like it when they attribute adult characteristic to kids. I mean do they think to appeal to a demographic they need to have them rapping with gold money falling from the sky? Again, it’s just my humble opinion and take on it.

  18. When I first saw the Yo Mama Kmart commercial, I was like What is this?! The school bus rap commercial was catchy but started making me question why when black people FINALLY have a starring role in a mainstream-not seen only on BET-commercial, they have to be a stereotype? Did Kmart think throwing a couple white kids in the mix would make it less stereotypical? Black people don't always go around telling yo mama jokes and only listening to rap. I'm black and these commercials don't sit right with me. I love my culture and am open-minded enough to appreciate an array of music from Nirvana to Mozart. 🙁

  19. I find your commercials totally absurd. Kids acting like thugs, rapping. You should find a new advertising agency.

  20. I am very disgusted and disappointed KMart chose to depict African-American youth as rappers. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t be cast as dentist, lawyers, educators or even a PRESIDENT! KMart , however decided to stereotype these children in roles that many parents, educators and community activist tell them they can be more than.
    So I ask the executives of Kmart, would you comfortable with Caucasian children in sheets standing in front of a burning cross?
    NO, because that’s racism.

  21. For those of you that say these commercials are racist. For the longest time most kmart commercials were white. Directed their buisness towards white. Geez it’s just a commercial. I’m white and I love these commercials. I think they are cute and innocent like they are meant to be. They r children very talented children at that. So if u don’t like em change the darn channel. I sure didn’t like the boring commercials before this and I think these commercials are directed for kids. Geez get lives if u have that much time on ur hands to complain u need to get a life.

  22. This commercial is soooooo bad I hate it so much the song is ridiculous the kids acting like pimps is just bad the school bus is my limo are u serious OMG what kind of parents let their kids present their selfs that way on tv they did not got pay enough to do the most ridiculous thing uugg disgusting such a bad taste I change the channel every time I see it

  23. The only thing i think of it is that it is annoying, im not into the rap/hiphop thing, im a rock gal but to each there own.

  24. I am a white female senior citizen and I think this commercial is really good,
    the song is catchy and the children are talented and cute.

  25. Come on. Rapping and school are exact opposites. If your goal in life is to be a rapper, you don’t participate in school. If you say that’s a racist comment then you don’t live in reality.

    Let a back to school commercial be for kids that will actually participate in school, not small negro children who will sit in the bathroom smoking crack.

    1. Some rappers have attended college for music and lyrical professions. Just as well, some are very articulate in poetry and every day conversation and debate.

  26. Yuck! Let teach our kids how to talk, walk and behave themselves in a way people will respect and take them seriously. I’m a mother of two half African American children and this is exactly the opposite of what I want for them. And if my children presented themselves like that I would EXPECT people not to take them seriously. Recipe for another generation working at Kmart Nd McDonalds!

  27. Yuck! Let teach our kids how to talk, walk and behave themselves in a way people will respect and take them seriously. I’m a mother of two half African American children and this is exactly the opposite of what I want for them. And if my children presented themselves like that I would EXPECT people not to take them seriously. Recipe for another generation working at Kmart *& McDonalds!

  28. It is simply a marketing ploy aimed at kids. These types of commercials appeal to them no matter their race or economic station. But I am sad to report to K Mart that it is still parents that control the money in most homes and this type of commercial does not scream at me to run out to their store and spend my money there. We all want out kids to look there best and be accepted by their peers but we are also looking for the most value for our money, not just what is most attractive to our kids in an advertisement.

  29. People just need to hush! Rap/Hip-hop is a culture. Just like country has banjos and cowboy hats, rap and hip hop has gold chains and flashy clothing!

  30. HEY HEY HEY, it's Fat Albert and I'm gonna sing a song for yoooou, and we're gonna teach you a thing or two. learnin from each other while we do our thing.

  31. I admire the kids for having ambition- or maybe they should be spending their time getting into trouble or playing mindless video games. Kmart simply featured a group that went viral. Hopefully, the parents will be able to put some money back for college.

  32. I do think its racist they got black kids sitting in the back of the bus hello Rosa Parks, and the only white person is a blonde girl, sterotyping the black boys.

    1. If you know anything about kids and school buses you would know that the "cool" thing for kids to sit in the back of the bus. I have worked in schools with majority black and schools that have a good mixture of both. The cool thing to do is to sit in the back. The further away from the adults the better.

  33. Um, I only came on this site because I can't even tell what the h*ll these kids are babbling about. If Kmart wants to appeal to white customers, they need to include subtitles.

  34. I think they are racist because they don’t have any white rappers. And they are driving away a large group of people, the African Americans. I don’t appreciate being portrayed as rappers and thugs all the time. Its just stoopid az heell.

  35. To yall whites who don’t like the commercial change the fuckin channel. I don’t get on the internet everytime I see a commercial with all whites on it singing some country shit. Yall bitches think yall the superior race. Yall not…most of yall junkies..even the ones with a lil money. Blacks and Hispanics are the superior ones. We took crack and made it into a multi-billion dollar tax-free industry(that mostly whites are the users) and now we learned the legal ways to make a monopoly. And yall bitches mad suck it up and get over it.. Fuck you hatin bitches we on top now!

    1. That would be amusing if it weren't so completely devoid of facts. If your race is so "superior", how do you explain taking over former wonderful, productive, beautiful cities and turning them into ghetto slums? If that's your idea of superiority and progress, then by all means you've certainly achieved "success". This is the exact ghetto cancer thats ruined Detroit, Philly, Newark, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans…the list goes on and on. The NYTimes just published a study that reveals the "alarming rate" by which (white) Americans are renouncing citizenship and moving out of the country every year. Our family is moving from Blacklanta to Salt Lake City mainly to escape the black urban sprawl, but we're not opposed to leaving the country entirely if the demographics in Utah dips below 92% Caucasian. Your so-called mainstream, hip- hop loving black community has a pattern: they move into a nice, safe, predominately white area, completely ruin it within 5 to 10 years, forcing the upperclass taxpayers to leave, thus creating another suburban ghetto. Dissatisfied with the crap neighborhood OF YOUR OWN MAKING, you then go chasing us into yet another nice area, where you proceed to do the exact same thing. If your "people" are so awesomely superior to us, stay with your own kind for a change, quit following us around, ruining our schools, and destroying our property values.

      1. wow, that was stereotyping and racist. Not ALL black peope are getto…and the "your" people comment was offensive in the extreme….black, white, brown, whatever color, we are all "our" people..well that is unless you are a nazi white power full of yourself person …and if you are…well, good luck with that in these United States…maybe you should get out now before you are "tainted" even more…oh, and I hate the commercials because they portray American children as having poor language skills….I don't care if the kids are black, white, or somewhere in between, they would have been better served to portray them as educated with good language skills….p.s. I am an educated white woman with white relatives, black relatives, and relatives that are somewhere in between….skin color should NOT be used to judge a person or a culture.

  36. I’m white so maybe my opinion on this doesn’t count for much but I don’t see how this is racist at all. They’re cute little kids rapping about school! I don’t know how it’s demeaning or racist. These kids are actually a group of kids who do rap together, I’ll admit that I’m not sure if every kid in the commercial is in Da Rich Kidzz but I’m not sure how K-Mart hiring a group of kids that ready exist is racist. It’s not like they went out and hired random kids who were black. It kind of seems racist to me for people to tell these kids that they can’t be in a commercial because some people are overly sensitive to it.
    I’m not sure if black people in general are upset about this ad or if its another case of white people looking at the video and trying to be a champion of a cause that doesn’t even exist.
    Like that commercial where the white guy buys a car then starts talking with a Jamaican accent and being laid back. There were all kinds of white people from the US going crazy over it online, meanwhile actual Jamaican people were saying they found it funny and were insulted that the angry white people were trying to tell them what to be insulted about.

  37. I am African American and think it's a cute and amusing commercial that displays young talent which should be applauded. We have enough young people rapping about the wrong things.

  38. I am sorry but this ad is propitiating the images of what "society" think of black people. Yes we have hip-hop culture but we also have Obama. Can we see them with a book or coming first in a spelling bee like the white girl in that JC penny Ad? Instead of at the back of a bus talking about "my school bus is my limo"…

  39. Stereotyping? Yes, There is one Caucasian girl in the street commercial so it's not racial. Annoying?? Very, especially when it is one of only 2 commercials a channel runs throughout the night.

  40. Why does everything turn black & white? I think the kids are cute & Kmart is just trying to relate to kids. And actually, yes, you have to be rich to shop there! Their products are usually more expensive then other stores. I can't believe there are people accusing them of being racist. If they had the kids playing the piano instead of rapping, what would that be considered? Why not bring responsibility to the parents who allowed their kids to be in it, before back lashing a store for making several kids famous. The parents were paid. So if you feel this was a racial commercial, point the finger where the blame lies….the parents!

  41. Are those commercials racist???? No, because there is one white kid on there….”Da Rich Kidzz”????? Really??? Stop dancing and do your homework, kids (or kidzz)..

  42. I wish KMart would go out of business already!! I find these commercials pathetic and demeaning. Is this what our children should aspire too? Showcasing and sensationalizing uneducated ghetto kids who can't articulate correctly is mind boggling!. Hip-hop Generation??? Whatever!!! Its just disgusting to watch and very offensive as these kids are used unknowingly.

    But don't fall for the race wars the media is spinning right now!!! Its a total diversion to the real issues OBAMA!! TSA, NSA, The Prism Program, The IRS Scandal, Benghazi, The Syria spin. Don't fall for the race war propaganda!!!! I hate these pathetic commercials!! They should be removed from the air!

  43. This says to me that they're targeting the black community, and we all know KMart's a thrift store. Cheap products at cheap prices for those who can't afford better. So KMart is telling us that they feel the black community is their target customers because they can't afford as much non-blacks? 😮

    It's ok, crackers, we still have WalMart!

  44. I don’t care who it’s targeting. I’m a white woman in my mid 20s who listens to a good amount of rap… the commercials are ghetto and make me cringe. If you want diversity put a black family school shopping in your store for the commercial, or talking about their school supply list… this rap bull is just distasteful and ghetto, again.

    1. I'm a white woman in my 30's and there is nothing cringe worthy about children rapping/singing about going back to school. Distasteful and ghetto? How rude! K-mart is a thrift store and if I had one near me; I'd buy school our supplies from them. Whether I could afford better or not. Who doesn't want to save a dollar? Forgive me if I offend you by suggesting Kmarts number 2 pencils are just as good as walmarts. You have to admit these kids make Kmarts cheap products look good. 🙂

  45. The way the commercial makes going to school all about having the latest hip-hop image and not about the importance of gaining an education and ultimately pursuing higher learning, yielding to broader opportunities for jobs and career opportunities is disturbing. This sends a message to kids that what is important at school is having a trendy style. I don't care what store sells this message, or what audience it is targeted to. While I am generally opposed to the idea of school uniforms and forced conformity, I would welcome such institutionalism in exchange for the disaster of identity crisis that results from children who are not privileged enough to wear clothes that meet the demands of the latest fad. Any parent who has ever passed along "hand me down" clothes to any of their children should be starkly opposed to this commercials. The best way to ensure your children do not fall victim to the demand of commercial trends is to boycott stores that target kids with messages that enforce a message that self worth is based on what kind of clothes and image they have.

  46. People have gone overboard with their claims of racism. Ever since Obama was elected, everything and everyone is a racist. I'm sorry if my comment offends anyone, but I have heard more about racism in the last 6 or so years, than I have in my 30 years on this planet before Obama was elected. It's beyond ridiculous! I think this video is cute. My kids walk around singing, "my school bus is my limo" and I applaud this young rap group for making the ride to school on the big yellow banana sound/feel cool. My kids hate riding the bus, so any help I can get in convincing them that they will thank me later (LOL) is great.

  47. While I don’t care what others listen to, I am SICK of hearing these spammed commercials they drive me insane. Even if they use songs i like it annoys me. So if they use a genre i don’t like, it REALLY REALLY ANNOYS ME TO THE POINT OF FURY. they are making the artists and music seem cheesey, they are making themselves cheesey. It’s like your 90 year old grandpa coming to your class trying to talk like the youth and rapping. It doesn’t work.

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