Steada Treated, We Get Tricked


A Cristal exec offends the highly sensitive Jay-Z:

Rappers have long proclaimed their love for Cristal, frequently mentioning the high-end champagne in songs and popping the corks of the clear, gold-labeled bottles in music videos and at nightclubs.

But the makers of Cristal don't seem to feel the same way about hip-hop, at least that's how Jay-Z sees it.

The Def Jam Records chief has decided to boycott the beverage he once loved over comments by Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of Louis Roederer, the company that produces it.

In The Economist, Rouzaud 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."

Jay-Z called Rouzaud's remarks "racist" and pulled the brand of bubbly from his chain of clubs. I guess I missed the racism part, but Cristal's bling-amenability nicely counters the idea of the passive consumer, brainwashed into blind obedience by scheming admen. Cristal's brand meaning wasn't dictated by marketers so much as recast by consumers.

Jim Twitchell's fantastic 2000 Reason piece, "In Praise of Consumerism," is here.

Lryics to "Hard Knock Life," also culturally recast, here.