Over the years, Jay Z has rapped about everything from selling drugs in his younger years in Brooklyn to becoming a husband and, more recently, a father. Jay Z’s music has always expressed love for a little liquid refreshment. With his late night spot The 40/40 club offering custom cocktails and single malts, it is clear that Mr. Carter takes his drinking seriously. Here are Jay Z’s 7 favorite types of booze—from popping champagne to sipping on the good stuff.
On his first release, the instant classic Reasonable Doubt, we quickly learned of Jay’s affinity for French brandy in “Can’t Knock The Hustle” (“sipping Remy on the rocks”) and “D’Evils” (“but now this higher learning got the Remy in me”). By his third album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, Jay Z had already progressed from Remy Martin to Hennessy, boasting on “It’s Like That” about taking straight shots of Henny. These days, however, there’s only one cognac that Jay Z drinks: D’USSÉ Cognac VSOP. After appearing in a commercial for the liquor in 2012, Jay-Z referenced D’USSÉ in two major radio hits with his wife Beyoncé, “Part II (On The Run)” from his Magna Carta Holy Grail and “Drunk In Love” from her massive self-titled fifth album.
On the first track of his first album, the previously mentioned “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” we were also introduced to Jigga’s other favorite libation, Champagne. While that song and “Imaginary Player” from In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 talk about popping bottles of Cristal, Jay Z also alludes to Dom Pérignon on “People’s Court” from Backstage: A Hard Knock Life and even Pink Rosé in “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)” from American Gangster. But as we found out in “On to the Next One” from The Blueprint 3, the makers of his once-beloved Cristal made offensive remarks toward hip hop culture’s association with the beverage, so Jay boycotted the company and pulled their products from the 40/40 Club menu. His new preferred brand of bubbly is Armand de Brignac (more commonly known as “Ace of Spades” due to the large logo on its trademark gold bottle), which he reminds us of on “Primetime” from Watch the Throne, his record with Kanye West.
Despite repping the Polish stuff (“We got cases of Belvedere”) on 2000’s “Get Your Mind Right Mami” from The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, Jay Z would quickly go Scottish due to Roc-A-Fella Records’ 2002 distribution deal with the Scottish distillery Armadale. The rapper would endorse the spirit on “All I Need” from The Blueprint” and “Excuse Me Miss” from The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, before bragging “I’m like a Russian mobster, drinking distilled vodka” on “Allure” from the legendary The Black Album. A few years later, S-Dot would show off his knowledge of the premium French vodka industry on “Primetime”, spitting “I hit the club, order some Grey Goose, switched it for Cîroc to give Puff’s stocks a boost.”
Yes, Hova likes to turn up in the club, but he also likes to “sip fine wines” as we—again—learned on 1996’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle.” His appreciation for wine clearly developed over the years, as he would go on to drink a luxe Italian red (Gaja ‘97 on “Excuse Me Miss”) before moving on to pinot (“Party Life”) and finally vins de Bordeaux, Burgundy and Riesling (“Tom Ford” from Magna Carta Holy Grail).
On 2007’s “Party Life” from American Gangster, Jay “Ordered some Patreezy”, aka Patrón, the luxury brand of Mexican tequila.
On his fifth album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, we heard Jay Z wanting to emulate his father by drinking “Miller nips” on “Where Have You Been,” but a few years later, he had moved on from “The Champagne of Beers” to a Dutch brew. Hov appeared in a 2003 commercial for Heineken before going back to domestic brews by founding the Budweiser Made in America Festival, taking place in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles during summer.
On his Legends of the Summer tour with Justin Timberlake, Jay was quoted saying that in addition to cigars, there would be a lot of whiskey drinking on the road. A couple months later, JZ and JT ended up collaborating on “Holy Grail”, a smash hit of the summer that, in spite of its title, is actually not about drinking.
(Photo courtesy Vibe.com)