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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Hip-Hop's "Unwelcome Attention" Fights Back

Rap mogul Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter has dropped all lyrics containing references to Cristal Champagne at a gig to mark the 10th anniversary of his hit album "Reasonable Doubt".

The furious hip-hop star has already withdrawn the drink from his New York nightclub 40/40 after the company's boss made "racist" comments about the wine's association with hip-hop. And now he's threatened to omit all Cristal-plugging lyrics from his Sunday show at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

'Can't Knock The Hustle', 'Dead Presidents', 'Feelin' It' and 'Brooklyn's Finest' will all be altered for the extravaganza, according to Page Six.

Jay-Z also adds: "The response from our customers at 40/40 has been incredible. This weekend, we sold more bottles of Krug and Perrier Jouet than (ever) and we expect that trend to continue. They are great products and we are glad they have embraced us with open arms."


El Gaffney said...

i not a businessman, i'm a business, man! cristal's statement clarification was worse than not saying anything at all (at least the hip hop haters may have joined to buy it) - now it's: i still don't really approve of you drinking it, but i'll criticize the way you drink/party/celebrate with it. wonder what kind of internal implications it's having?

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

I commented before on the MORAL INDIGNATION OF HOW THE BRAND IS ENJOYED...which clearly is Cristal's conflict. Not that the drink is sold, but the wrong people are enjoying it the wrong way.

And that is the part that gets me the annoyed.

I'll reprint:

Well...I dunno if Cristal's true pedigree as the drink of the emperors and czars screams "well behaved" and civilized sipping. Let's be real here. I think the brand is firmly rooted in old world excesses and flambouyance. This isn't expert wine, it is celebratory baccanal juice. In fact, post-modern excesses (of the hip-hop flavor) seems quite the fitting update for this brand. This is $600 a bottle juice, here. So noone in the room should be surprised to learn that the old world lords and emperors poured a bottle or two on some strumpet's toes (or other body part) in the parlor room of his castle.

I don't see these excessive lux brands as refined sipping for gentlemen, I see them as old world hedonism juice for the lord who can afford to throw a bottle against the wall, smash up the hotel room and giggle about it. Today, that same hedonist lord archetype is a Rock Star, a Hollywood Celebrity, a rich debutante, Sports Athletes, the Super Model, the Gangster/Druglord, and the Hip-Hop star. Let's be real, WHO DO YOU THINK REALLY DRINKS THIS STUFF, AND HOW DO THEY REALLY ENJOY IT?

Brands like Cristal serve an archetypal purpose in our minds, as the QUIET COURTIER TO HEDONIST LORDS, who like Vegas or your weed supplier (not that I know about these things), knows enough to keep what happens on the hush-hush and "between gentlemen". That is truly the value equity of such brands to the czars of yesterday and today.

We don't look to $600 bacchanal juice to issue morality judgements. Czars and lords and rock stars have lubricated their orgies with Cristal for centuries, why is Ying Yang Twin's orgy suddenly any different?

So, really, I don't buy that extravagant rappers pouring a bottle on a girls breasts as so off-brand strategy. What is most off-strategy is Cristal getting on the mic condemning that hedonism when that is very much it's quiet legacy and brand purpose. Stick to your purpose - consiglieres don't expose their capos. Ever. Stay on strategy.

El Gaffney said...

Thanks for reposting. I agree, it's all about excess. Cristal's worst move is to define "celebration" for the drinking public. Even referring to it as a "wine" may be off-strategy. You know what they say/toast (and by they, I mean Edward Norton), "Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my champ friends."