Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I don't drink Cristal, them @%$^! racist...

Sensitive Drunks

“… I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."
- Frederic Rouzaud

A few years back, the company who makes Cristal champagne publicly went on record saying that it did not want any association with Hip-Hop.  Not surprisingly, this pissed everyone off.  Rappers and supporters of Hip-Hop lambasted the company, labeling them racist and insensitive.  Jay-Z who was the reason Cristal entered the culture, decided to boycott the champagne and “coincidentally” provide us with a suitable alternative (of which he has a financial interest).  Cristal pretty much told us (members of the Hip-Hop community) that we’re not good enough to drink their champagne.  But I’m not upset – In fact, I not only understand why they feel this way but I support their decision.

If you own a company or worked for anyone that makes and sells a product, you understand that branding is everything.  Who and what your brand is associated with can make or break the future of your company.  Two examples:
  • If you design children’s education toys, would you be thrilled if you found out that R. Kelly was singing about your product and using them in his videos?  
  • If you run a chain of pet supply stores, I bet you’re gonna stay far away from a certain football player who’s last name rhymes with “Mick”.
So if you were the maker of a luxury beverage in a highly competitive market, would you want your brand to be linked with drug dealers and murderers?  I didn’t think so.  Its not that Cristal had a problem that you rapped about drinking a bottle of their champagne in the club… It’s when you took that same bottle and smashed it over someone’s head, pulled the strap out, peeled his cap back and then made it rain with all of your earnings from narcotics trafficking.

I know what you’re thinking, man not everyone in Hip-Hop is selling drugs and killing people?  Whatever.  We can’t have it both ways.  We can’t talk about keeping it real and keeping it gangster and then get upset when other people believe us.  If you don’t want your awards show to censor you to the point where your whole performance is on mute, don’t make a song with 50 curses in it.  If you want to perform at the Superbowl and get corporate sponsorships, rapping about cocaine and getting head in the whip isn’t the way to go.

A business has the right to protect its image and as consumers, we have the right to buy products from companies appreciate our business.  So don’t worry, you don’t have to pop Cris’ anymore - I’m sure St. Ides is still around somewhere.   And if all else fails…

Hov will be there to take your money.


  1. i agree with your point of view. It is hard to get rid of an image when the only people promoting it is the Hi-hop community. It limits your buyers, and you loose quality for the product. Branding is everything.

  2. yea its just funny they waited so long to say anything, the champagne was being "promoted" for a while before someone stepped up. They made what they wanted off of hip-hop now they were ready to move on.

  3. "We can’t talk about keeping it real and keeping it gangster and then get upset when other people believe us." <---- My sentiments exactly!

    Just last night my husband and I were listening to old hip hop and lamenting current hip hop. Old hip hop was about knowledge and black empowerment and a rapper's confidence in his skills. Now, we don't even understand what the hell rappers are saying (Souljah Boy anyone?) and when you do you wish you didn't (because its about selling massive amounts of drugs to black people, shooting people and treating women like disposable garbage). So, no, I am not mad at Cristal but of course I won't be buying their overpriced champagne just like I won't be spending my money buying lame, so-called "gangsta" hip hop albums either.

  4. It's not a matter of racism. Not only did the man in charge of Roederer not care about the unwelcome attention, he also didn't care about how his remarks would come across. Any guesses why? Because at the end of the day, Cristal is a limited edition luxury champagne only accessable to people willing to spend the money on it. Want to take a guess as to how many bottles of it are guzzled over in Europe and dumped into oceans? When you take the percentage of Cristal consumed by the hip hop culture and compare it to the whole world, it amounts to nothing. Every rapper in America could stop drinking it tomorrow and it wouldn't change anything. Roederer's vineyard would still be open for business and actually might over time sell more champagne after the negative image passed. Nobody is being racist, it is common for people who of class and modesty like to stay away from products/things that are associated with being flashy. Nobody has any respect for people who do things such as buy 250 dollars of bottles of champagne to simply look cool. It shows lack of character and individuality. They buy bottles of 300 dollar champagne that are better becuase they ENJOY DRINKING THEM. If you truly are a fan of this stuff and drink it in your own home out of public view and have been doing it for a long time, more power to you. However, do you think rappers are like this? NO, they are buying it in clubs and bars to show how "TOUGH" they are. That's the image that Roederer doesn't care about.

  5. well i somewhat agree with your comment and disagree, from a musical standpoint, no not all rappers are drug dealers/killers... ever heard of underground? hip hop music can be as casual and relative to anyone like rock music or any other music, the only thing that annoys me is the generalizations of the hip-hop culture, but i guess people would be referring to the mainstream bullsh**, so you can't blame them really, i enjoy hip hop culture, and hearing about such drinks such as hennessy, alize, cristal, hpnotiq etc... made me look them up and find out about what they're about, and go out there and try them, so i appreciate them for what they are because they're all good product, tastes good and appreciate the work put behind it (harvesting the grapes, vintage, where it's from etc.) so no, not all do it to show off, some actually like it for what it is, but of course i agree with the ceo if he's gonna get mad over some fake-rapper pouring his expensive product over the rear end of a music video model (it's made to drink, not to be poured onto the ground and wasted, alcohol in france is like food in italy, how would a passionate italian chef feel if you were to waste his food?) so no Jay-Z, Louis Roederer aren't racist, they just don't like their product wasted, i like your old stuff man, but come on, stop coming up with things to try and make a market, don't tell me you've started your own champagne brand? you make music for the streets but the streets can't afford your champagne that doesn't make sense.

  6. JusHH and a few of you posters are an example of the problem. You speak as if you actually understand first the main issue of what this jackoff Frederic Rouzaud has said and two perpetuate ignorance of the hip-hop culture...

    90% of these rappers are no more drug dealers than Al Pacino is a drug lord. many of the people in the clubs that order and drink the stuff are successful African-American adults 25-35, what are you surprised they exist?

    I could go on and on, but my main point is if Chevy put out a statement like that they would be scrutinized to the fullest, but because this guy has a grandeur of "luxurious" it is OK, please. Do not lump criminal acts with this because it is not one and the same.

    To people like Rachel, did you realize that 70% of the billboard hip hop songs are about dancing? yeah thats real gangster... Just because we could understand early hip hop doesn't mean when can decipher what the new generation is saying. I hate soulja boy and that dance, but it was hot at it's peak and cannot be mad at that. Heck Elvis was a pervert in his's about comprehension

  7. sum it up dude said i dont want hip hop promoting our product anymore. cristal got alot of publicity while it lasted no one would have ever heard of the crap if it wasnt for rap. the hip hop community definately should have got more props then go pick another brand rofl. how can you get a bad image if no one drinks the crap and reflect a bad image by promoting racism.

  8. As a fan of Hip Hop since 1985 this is absurd. L. Roederer never came to Biggie, Diddy or Jay Z and asked these self-proclaimed Hustlas to endorse Cristal. Sure it gave them a boost in sales but L. Roederer doesn't owe these rappers or Hip Hop anything.
    Jay Z sounds like a little whiny bitch, who bragged and then got offended when L. Roederer said who are you? who cares?

  9. Why do they care you gotta love "gangstas" keepin it real by puttin their issues public LOL you can obviously tell who's black on the comments lol it wasn't racist they would've told any other genre besides somethin like classical music not to advertise them.

  10. Has anyone actually read the economist article? How Jay-z took that article as rascist is beyond me. Either he only read the headline of the article, or he is an idiot(or smart, considering his financial interest he has in the competition). If anything, the ceo is saying that the association with rappers is a good thing. In this situation Jay-Z comes off looking like one of those overanxious feminists who compain about everything.

    1. Stop it!!!!!! Cristal made a very stupid comment.When you own a company,you don't want to lose any business no matter how small the percent of sales they bring in,unless you are hateful or racicst toward a certain group.besides,the hip hop community was an important part of their sales.Welcome to the recession Crisal

  11. You people are stuck in the tiny shells of your existence. Let's get a few things clear. 1st of all, this article is clearly derogatory, suggesting that majority of hip hop is violent. YES, I'm not a fan of soulja boy. However, music is music and at the end of the day the French guy was a bit harsh. For a multi-millionaire he sure came off a bit shrewd. Even if he's not racist, as most Caucasians are (don't be fooled PLEASE), he could have at least made the comment less offensive. But why would he do such thing. He knew the audience he would offend but making such a statement. It's time for folks to remember the third grade and brush up on you're context clues!! The world was never designed for blacks to progress, the world needs an escape route so they portrait hip-hop as being harsh, as this person describe it in this text. If it was rock stars popping bottles, I'm sure you wouldn't hear the Frenchmen complaining after more then a decade of making profits from it!!!

  12. The dominant subject matter in hip hop now are dancing, sex, and spending money. These are all things associated with having a good time by the standards of young adults. These things are often talked about in other genres of music. Though there is some violence mentioned in hip hop songs, if you actually listen to hip hop outside of what the "mainstream" tells you is cool, you would know that those types of songs are associated with particular artists. In the 90's "gangsta" rap was introduced to hip hop and stuck around for a long time and dominated the decade. Eventually, it became a small part of the genre.

    If anyone can remember, rock was associated with the bad apples of society and anyone who listened to it were met with ridicule. Before rock became a mainstream thing it was a black thing and associated with low class but a "good time." The problem with many statements on this board is the fact that hip hop is
    associated with the culture of the black community. Not saying that all blacks
    listen to it. (many of my black friends prefer r&b) Generalizations are attacks on those being generalized. The generalization of the hip hop culture through the amplification of certain artists currently using violence in the music is an attack on those pro-dominantly in the culture (e.g. Blacks). Btw, in response to one comment above referring to those finding offense having to be black.... I am not.

  13. Ummm... I know I'm super late; but someone said that only lame black people buy cristal to impress ladies and look gangsta - that's patently untrue. Rich lawyers, execs and ceos buy the stuff and leave it sitting on their table across Europe (especially in London) to attract ladies and look sophisticated, most of them couldn't tell the difference between a bad Cava and Cristal. The assumption that black people are the only ones who try to look like something they are not is tired. These guys weren't ordering chill buckets full of Cristal 15 years ago; it was Dom back then. Don't play us off cold. JayZ and other rappers introduced this product to black middle class folks and made a drink/product that was languishing in obscurity come back into fashion. They took a lot of business from Dom and others. Black people are in a position now to speak with their wallets when they don't like something. Good on JayZ for putting his money where his mouth was. I wish PBR would come out and say they didn't want to be associated with Country music. Rich and Tim and Toby and everybody else would be livid! And i'm sure nothing they did or said in response would be 'out of bounds'.

  14. That last part..its touching which in fact might be true to protect there image if not they wouldnt care! A corporation will do anything for more money and infact that would of helped them if they kept shut

  15. Changing it up,Charlamagne is super cool!

  16. The comment was given and received exactly as intended...elitist (self-proclaimed)

    The French have a long known self-proclaimed pious attitude. They often tend to think they are the trend setters of class. Class is a relative term. This quasi businessman made a statement that did what he needed; put his brand in the news. Any news is still news. For every offended follower that stopped patronage for this drink, I guarantee there were those that saw the comment and purchased more simply because they now feel that the label is exclusive. Take note, the bottles are expensive and that amount will only be billed to a certain select few. Make no mistake, there are better tasting champagnes but with this back and forth banter those that get their news (and opinions) in media snippets, they will make sure to try the beverage. As someone mentioned in an earlier post, they were glad to know and try something different. Heaven forbid a book or credible magazine is read to increase knowledge rather than living through someone else’s views. Pouring champagne and sitting the bottle on a table to be impressive only impresses those who don’t know any better; much like the brand’s commenter (notice I don’t even use the name because he is trivial at the end, middle and beginning of the day).

    Any news is news. Any sale is a sale. Both are highly sought. The comment was a mere sales pitch from a mere sales person. Truly wealthy, don’t sell. Selling is done in any mall. In this instance, the club or party is the mall and this brand is only the seasonal item to impress. If something is truly good, word of mouth will suffice and no interview or comment is necessary. Exclusivity is the essence achievement.

    If the brand was truly exclusive and thus meant for the select few, it would be private and not on a list open to any and all who have the means to pay. It would be gifted and never purchased.

  17. To test virtuous wine and champagne, you are able to pop in this red wines at this shop, or you may merely examine that.

  18. The dude if French , they think they're better than everyone. If you like it drink it. If not go buy some Asti

  19. Your comparisons seem ludacris at best... And that Is not a hip hop reference. Baby toys and R Kelly.. what!?
    We are talking about alcohol here friend. It is consumed by people who want to get drunk. Im sure that Frederic whatever the he'll his name Is wishes that only light colored Frenchman that wipe their ass with silk would consume his glorious product.. And he may get his wish..
    But as far as the individual who wrote this article comparing hip hop and alcohol, to hip hop and baby toys or whatever, ridiculous.
    And you referring to the hipod hop community as murderers and drug dealers only shows that you yourself might be racist, and you don't realize that there is alto of theatre involved this music just like many other forms of entertainment. just cause they way some things doesn't mean that they arent just personifying that lifestyle for the purpose of appeal and sales.. Ignorant article