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Mercedes most rapped-about brand in 2005

Car, gun, fashion and booze labels populate list of 100 most popular brands in year's rap hits.

December 30, 2005; Posted: 1:52 p.m. EST (1852 GMT)

By Rob Kelley, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Mercedes-Benz was the most mentioned brand in 2005's biggest rap hits, found a survey released this week.

Mercedes received 100 mentions, while Nike came in second with 63 mentions and former No. 1 Cadillac took third with 62, according to American Brandstand 2005, a report by Agenda Inc., a San Francisco-based marketing firm. The report tallies which products were most name-dropped in the 106 songs that reached the Billboard Top 20 this year.

Auto brands dominated the Top 10, with Bentley, Rolls Royce and Chevrolet also among the most-mentioned.

A total of 35 percent of the songs that made the charts in 2005 contained product references, compared to 40 percent of songs in 2004. The top product categories in this year's list were automobiles, fashion labels, beverages and weapons.

The brand which made the biggest gain in ranking this year was the pistol-maker Beretta, which debuted at No. 13 with 24 mentions.

Rapper 50 Cent was the most brand-dropping rapper of the year, with 17 product mentions in 7 songs, mentioning brands like Bentley, Cristal, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Nike.

It was unclear how many of the product mentions were paid placements -- advertising industry analysts quoted in AdAge said that revealing such a deal would likely undermine both the rapper and the brand's credibility.

Top ten brands:

1. Mercedes-Benz

2. Nike

3. Cadillac

4. Bentley

5. Rolls-Royce

6. Hennessy

7. Chevrolet

8. Louis Vuitton/Cristal (tie)

10. AK-47

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