Breaking Beverage News: Rap star, entrepreneur and Beyonce's boyfriend Jay-Z is boycotting Cristal champagne after some remarks Cristal management made about the rap world. Jay-Z is going to stop drinking Cristal in his personal life (note to all musicians about to appear on Cribs - get the Cristal out of the fridge!) and remove it from the bars of all 40/40 club locations. Here's a summary of what caused the boycott from the AP:
In a special summer issue of The Economist magazine, Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of Louis Roederer, said the company viewed the affection for his company's champagne from rappers and their fans with "curiosity and serenity."
Asked by the magazine if the association between Cristal and the "bling lifestyle" could be detrimental, Rouzaud replied:
"That's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."
"Curiosity and serenity"? Jay-Z released a statement on Wednesday, saying, "It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the 'hip-hop' culture as 'unwelcome attention.' 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 AP does point out that the article's writer actually used the phrase "unwelcome attention" to refer to Dom Perignon and Krug, but whatever, Jay-Z's clubs (and personal life) will now be bubbling with Dom and Krug. Gothamist can't believe the Cristal people are so upset - Courvoisier sales jumped after it was passed around. Perhaps it's because they aren't seeing much of the profit when clubs sell bottles for $600 a pop - it's highway robbery!
Here's a 2002 UK Observer article about hip-hop and Cristal. And during tours, P Diddy likes Cristal, but Busta Rhymes has opted for Moet. One fun Cristal reference in a Jay-Z lyric: "Let's take the dough and stay real jiggy, uh-huh/ And sip the Cris' and get pissy-pissy." from a Hard Knock Life.