Just as beefs and discontent inform some of the best music ever made, a backhanded comment made by French Champagne mogul Frederic Rouzaud (Louis Roederer’s managing director) motivated Jay Z to create what is now one of his most valuable assets.
In a now infamous interview with The Economist in 2006, Rouzaud was asked if the association with rappers like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Diddy, could have a negative affect on the brand. He said, “That’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
As outlined in a video created by Business Insider, Jay Z swiftly launched a Cristal boycott and began his mission to leverage his fame beyond his music, investing heavily in the alcohol industry.
“It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frédéric Rouzaud, views the ‘hip-hop’ culture as ‘unwelcome attention’”, said Jay Z at the time. “I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands, including the 40/40 Club, nor in my personal life.”
The rap magnate invested in French champagne brand Armand de Brignac, nicknamed Ace of Spades because of its logo. He also has a Cognac brand called D’USSÉ, a joint venture with Bacardi.