HIP HOP + ALCOHOL – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
The hip hop industry is practically fueled by alcohol, and big shots in the industry such as P diddy and Jay Z are brand ambassadors for heavyweight brands. What better way to prove you’re drinking the finest spirits than by snagging an endorsement deal or, better yet, creating your own line of premium liquor. Although many partnerships fizzle and celebrity brands get discontinued after a year or two, some top hip-hop celebrities are going strong in the alcohol game. From Drizzy to Puffy, they’re all here.
1. DRAKE, VIRGINIA BLACK BOURBON
The Canadian rapper launched his own whiskey, Virginia Black Bourbon in June. It’s a smooth, sweet bourbon—perhaps the perfect spirit for those looking to dip their toes into the world of American whiskey. We wonder why he chose to create a bourbon rather than represent his home country with a Rye.
2. JAY Z, ARMAND DE BRIGNAC CHAMPAGNE AND D’USSÉ COGNAC
One of the most successful rappers of all time, Jay Z shows us he’s the greatest by hooking up with not just one but two alcohol brands. Hov once drank D’USSÉ out out of one of his Grammy Awards, skyrocketing the brand’s rep and solidifying his role as its spokesperson. The mogul also made headlines in 2014 when he flat-out purchased the entire Armand de Brignac Champagne brand for a reported $200 million.
3. NICKI MINAJ, MYX FUSIONS
Nicki Minaj’s entrepreneurship skills might just be almost as hot as her rap bars. The “Anaconda” artist is a co-owner of Myx, which sells single-serving bottles of fruit-flavored wines. The brand has become the best-selling moscato in the U.S. after being featured in a number of popular songs.
4. DJ KHALED, D’USSÉ COGNAC
DJ Khaled has proven that he knows the major keys to success. The unofficial king of Snapchat announced in May that he will be partnering with D’USSÉ, with the help of mentor and partner Jay Z, of course.
5. LUDACRIS, CONJURE COGNAC
Conjure was founded by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and partner Kim Birkedal Hartmann in 2009. Luda became one of the first in the rap business to go beyond endorsing a brand and actually rolling up his sleeves to participate in the blending process. One of the rapper’s favorite ways to drink cognac is with a splash of cola.
6. E-40, SLURICANE, EARL STEVENS SELECTIONS WINE AND E40 MALT LIQUOR
E40 has three different bottlings on the market. His newest addition, E40 Malt Liquor, is an homage to his rap moniker, itself a nod to his ability to drink numerous 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor. The rapper also reps a line of Northern California wines under the name Earl Stevens Selections, as well as Sluricane, a 36-proof premixed Hurricane concoction that comes in three candy-colored flavours.
PITBULL, VOLI VODKA
Pitbull, popularly known as Mr. Worldwide, is an outspoken advocate of partying and having a good time. The Miami rapper has repped Voli since 2011, saying its product was one of the best spirits he’d ever had. Along with becoming an ambassador and spokesperson for the company, Pitbull is also a shareholder in the vodka brand.
8. NAS, HENNESSY
Nas has partnered with the famed Hennessy brand for half a decade. He has become the face of the company’s Wild Rabbit campaign and, in turn, has voiced a handful of commercials that tell stories of pushing one’s limits to discover true potential.
8. DIDDY, CIROC AND DELEÓN TEQUILA
Sean “Diddy” Combs’ is the brand ambassador for Ciroc vodka. Before P-Diddy came on board, the brand was best known for being made from grapes, rather than the traditional potatoes or grains. But now, the rapper leads the company’s brand management and has helped Ciroc make a name for itself. In 2014, Puff Daddy beefed up his alcohol mogul cred by acquiring DeLeón, which he calls “an outstanding brand that appeals to those who love exceptional tequila in a distinctive bottle.”