The hip-hop lifestyle is known for its bling. It’s all about the best cars, the best mansions, the best jewelry and, of course, the best booze. And there’s no 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.
The “One Dance” rapper launched his whiskey in June amid much hype. With its somewhat-lower (80 proof) alcohol content, it’s a smooth, sweet bourbon—perhaps the perfect spirit for those looking to dip their toes into the world of American whiskey. Our only question is why the Canadian rapper chose to create a bourbon rather than represent his home country with a quality rye.
One of the most successful rappers of all time, Jay Z has hooked up with not just one but two booze brands. Hov infamously 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. If he can spend like that, then surely neither money nor alcohol are one of his 99 problems.
Nicki Minaj is going full hip-hop lifestyle, and that includes a major stake in an alcohol brand. 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, making the Harajuku Barbie a major player in the hip-hop entrepreneur game.
Major key alert! 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. We can only imagine what kind of inventive phrases and hashtags he’ll come up with to promote that brand he already calls “the best cognac in the world.”
Created in 2009, Conjure was founded by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and partner Kim Birkedal Hartmann. 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.
The Bay Area legend is no stranger to the booze biz, with 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 flavors.
Partnering with a liquor brand was an obvious step for Mr. Worldwide, 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, Mr. 305 is also a shareholder in the vodka brand.
Staying true to the trend of rappers endorsing cognacs, 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.
Perhaps the most famous of all hip-hop booze is Sean “Diddy” Combs’ 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. The apple variety has already been named the best-selling vodka innovation this year. 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.” Give it a few years, and perhaps the agave brand could become as big as Ciroc.
Interested in celebrity booze beyond the hip-hop world?