Artists and Brands, McDonald’s seek unknown rap, R&B talent

Rodney Jerkins has worked with Lady Gaga and other music stars. He’s behind Artists & Brands. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times, Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Producer Rodney Jerkins is a heavyweight in the pop music world who’s worked with an array of A-list artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige and Britney Spears. But now, the urban music hit maker has set his sites on a new kind of star — one who can sing the praises of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese…. Well, you know the rest.

Jerkins and his Chicago-based company Artists & Brands are mining new musical talent from the rap and R&B world, coaching young artists on the art of a catchy hook, then offering the tunes to companies such as McDonald’s (their main sponsor) for use in their commercials.

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