When Paris-based branding agency Agenda monitored brand mentions in the Billboard Hot 100 from 2003 to 2005, the company found brands and products were most frequently name-checked in hip-hop.

That's hardly a surprise to anyone who possses a passing familiarity with contemporary pop music. And an examination of Billboard's list of the top Hot 100 songs of all time shows that hip-hop acts alone account for six of the 10 songs that mention brands.

While other genres tend to deal with more abstract concepts, hip-hop is often direct and visceral, says Agenda founder and president Lucian James. "In other styles of music, it's more general themes--love, happiness and missing people, which doesn't really lend itself to brands,'' he says.

"The thing you notice [about] a lot of the main players that always get mentioned--Hennessy, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac--is these brands always crop up because they are the best shorthand for success and material wealth," James says. "It's a poetic way to use language. When you say 'Benz' you're not just mentioning a product, you're connecting to a whole set of values and how you see yourself in just four letters."

Agenda stopped monitoring brand mentions in 2005 because its agenda, as it were, had been fulfilled. "It was a time when Jay-Z and Kanye West were seeming to understand what luxury brands were,'' James says. "They were wearing them and talking about them. It was the first wave of that and now it's kind of matured. Now it's a lot more structured. Luxury brands have learned more about themselves from their relationship with hip-hop in the past four to five years than in the past 10."

What follows is a listing of the songs in the Billboard's all-time Hot 100 that mention brands.

Rank on all-time list: 11
"YEAH!" Usher Featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris (LaFace/Zomba)
"I left the Jag and I took the Rolls, if they ain't cutting then I put em on foot patrol."

Rank on all-time list: 19
"LE FREAK" Chic (Atlantic)
"Like the days of stopping at the Savoy [Ballroom in New York]"

Rank on all-time list: 23
"LOW" Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain (Poe Boy/Atlantic)
"Shawty had them Apple Bottom Jeans
And the Reeboks with the straps
Professional, drinking X and O [Hennessy]
Cadillacs Maybach for the sexy grown
Patron on the rocks that will make you moan
I knew it was ova, that Henny [Hennessy] and Cola [Coca-Cola]
Gah it was fly just like my Glock"

Rank on all-time list: 46
"STAYIN' ALIVE" Bee Gees (RSO)
"The New York Times' effect on man"

Rank on all-time list: 49
"GOLD DIGGER" Kanye West Featuring Jamie Foxx (Roc-A-Fella/Def
Jam/IDJMG)
"With a baby Louis Vuitton
She said I can tell you ROC [Roc-A-Fella Records]
An I gotta take all their bad asses to Showbiz [Showbiz Pizza]
I pulled up in the Benz [Mercedes-Benz]
You will see him on TV Any Given Sunday [film]
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
She was s'pose to buy ya shorty Tyco [Toys]
Should of got that insured Geico for ya money
He gone make it into a Benz [Mercedes-Benz] out of that Datsun

Rank on all-time list: 72
"YOU'RE SO VAIN" Carly Simon (Elektra)
"Well, I hear you went up to Saratoga [Horse racing track in New York]
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia"

Rank on all-time list: 79
"FAMILY AFFAIR" Mary J. Blige (MCA)
"Cause we celebrating No More Drama [name of her first album] in our life"

Rank on all-time list: 84
"I'LL BE MISSING YOU" Puff Daddy & Faith Evans Featuring 112 (Bad Boy/Arista)
"Us in the 6 [BMW 625], shop for new clothes and kicks"

Rank on all-time list: 89
"BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY" Fergie (will.i.am/A&M/Interscope)
"We'll play jacks and Uno Cards"

Rank on all-time list: 96
"MARIA MARIA" Santana Featuring The Product G&B (Arista)
"She reminds me of a West Side Story"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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