(Getting his Bill Cosby on)
I've gained a significant amount of respect for Jay-Z in the last few years, even with the slow-motion disaster of his Linkin Park mash-up "Collision Course."
How can you not, this is the man that twists out Beyonce on a regular basis (and Rihanna on a slow day) while doing commercials for HP computers.
His ad is hot by the way,
Check it here.
He's partly responsible for bringing the Nets to Brooklyn (for better or worse) and he just donated $30,000 to a few public schools.
As the Def Jam president, Rihanna and Young Jeezy, however crappy they may be, are platinum artists and his "Reasonable Doubt" 10-year anniversary concert he announced sold out in about 2.56 seconds.
So it was pretty bizarre when Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of Louis Roderer Cristal, said that he considers the mentioning of Cristal by rappers as "unwelcome attention."
You can't really be surprised considering the beating hip-hop has gotten this year in the media.
Rap is struggling to reconcile its immense commercial power with constant stream of murders, shoot-outs, drug arrests and airport bans that will always overshadow any drops of positive news hip-hop can generate.
In recent weeks, even Oprah has called out Ice Cube, 50 Cent and Ludacris.
This is a rap war I would love to see. (Don't make Oprah tell the white mothers to get angry.)
Granted hip-hop has some violence issues, Puffy may have cracked someone over the head with a bottle of Cristal and Jay-Z may have a stabbed a nigga or two in his life.
But with his entrepreneurial spirit, why would a luxury brand move away from someone like Jay who has the ear of the young conspicuously consuming Negro like no other.
This is the man that mentioned that he would stop wearing sports jerseys in favor of button-ups and almost bankrupted Foot Locker and tripled the sales at Brooks Brothers.
It goes to show that some companies may be willing to disassociate from hip-hop's money just to get away from hip-hop's image.
You don't want the rich white men that keep Cristal in business to think that they are buying a product negroes can afford and may assault them with.
But Jay-Z does have the money and power to let his displeasure be known and he has banned Cristal from his 40/40 Club and his personal liquor shelf. He also launched a boycott to match.
Just last year in Young Jeezy's "Go Crazy" Remix Jay-Z said,
"I'm not a role model, my bad influence got the world drinking gold bottles
When Puff was in that tub spilling Mo
I was at my video
Cris on the speedboat."
I guess we'll only see rappers pour Moet on video hos from now on.
It'll take some time to get used and the video hos might be upset, but I'm willing to stand with Jay on this one.
Cristal said, "Sorry Jigga, please pour our liquor on your video hoes."
Or maybe they said this,
- “A house like Louis Roederer would not have existed since 1776 without being totally open and tolerant to all forms of culture and art, including the most recent musical and fashion styles, which, like hip-hop, keep us in touch with modernity.”