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How Hip-Hop and Beer Got Me a Job


Deutsch LA's Danger Bea recalls how a chance encounter with a hoppy IPA set her on the path for a career in advertising

How Hip-Hop and Beer Got Me a Job

I grew up in a rather academic family. Alongside a predisposition to skin cancer and osteoporosis, National Merit Scholarships and graduate degrees flowed through my bloodline. Being nerdy was almost a prerequisite to belonging. 

And nerdy I was. 

I loved language. I devoured books. Words and the linguistic way they played in my mind were everything to me. Even as a child I would ask my mother to put me to sleep to talk radio (it was Seattle in the 1980’s, think NPR segments on the scientific irrefutability of global warming). Soothing, indeed. 

It wasn’t until roughly the age of thirteen though that this penchant for language became a passion. A friend introduced me to underground hip hop. The Living Legends, Dilated Peoples, Sage Francis, Talib Kweli, Freestyle Fellowship, Aesop Rock, People Under the Stairs, MF Doom, Atmosphere - I could not get enough. Books had been my foundation but hip hop was my fortress. I spent hours face down in a journal disassembling and reassembling syllables like Lincoln Logs. When lyrics like “hip hop’s dead but I’m a necrophiliac” dropped, I knew who I was. I was no longer just nerdy, I was a necrophiliac. 

Lacking rhythm and overall stage presence I wasn't destined to be a rapper, but hip hop continued to guide me. I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in the Comparative History of Ideas, packed up my journals and like the migratory birds before me headed south in an effort to find my destiny. 

It wasn’t until then, a recent college grad freshly arrived to Los Angeles from the academic confines of my Pacific Northwest upbringing, that I first heard of the word ‘copywriter.’ It was thanks to a six pack of overpriced Stone Ruination IPA that my then roommate Carly and I were pooling our paltry funds together to purchase that I inadvertently discovered advertising. On the back of the packaging the beer explained to be "so named because of the immediate ruinous effect on your palate." What absolute genius wrote that, I wondered aloud. When Carly informed me it was a copywriter I was blown away, phonetically misunderstanding the word I wondered if maybe I should have been a lawyer after all. I don’t recall Carly’s exact response but it was something along the lines of “Not a copyRIGHTer, you fool, a copywriter - a writer who works on copy in advertising.”

And that was my first real introduction to the world I now call home. Having been banned from watching television as a child (ironically because my mother didn’t want us watching ads) I didn’t even really know that the field existed, and certainly didn’t consider that it was a field I might find so absolutely suitable for me. One might even say love. 

It was this perfect amalgamation of right and left brained. It was academic but playful. Cultural but calculated. It allowed me to play with words, but with purpose. I could be creative but logical at the same time. And for the most part, I could do it at my desk with hip hop blaring from my speakers and an IPA in hand. It was destiny. 

It wasn’t until years later when I got hired at Deutsch, in an effort to introduce myself to a weary team, that I reflected on how it was I first found my way here. How it was somewhere between the back of an album cover and the back of a six pack that I discovered an entire industry. How it was thanks to Hip hop and beer that I have the career I do today. 

A lot has changed since then. My taste in hip hop has grown more mainstream with the likes of Drake, Kendrick and G-Eazy. My palate for beer has adapted too. After years of steadfast commitment to the hoppiest of IPAs I am currently on a porter and sour kick. But what hasn’t changed are the roots that got me here. I am still that same nerdy little necrophiliac who would gladly spend her last eight dollars on a palate-obliterating alcoholic beverage. 

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Categories: Alcoholic Beverages, Beers

Deutsch LA, Wed, 06 Apr 2022 07:15:00 GMT