At this point, Jay Z’s not trying to hide the fact that he is, in fact, a business, man, as the rapper now offers his own drink at Walgreen’s and Duane Reade convenience stores.
According to Forbes, Hova’s drink is an Arnold Palmer-like concoction called “40/40,” like his nightclubs, and is distributed by former Def Jam president Kevin Liles’ Go N’Syde brand, which also sells a Mariah Carey-partnered beverage called “Butterfly.”
Launched in late May, the beverages are currently moving at a pace of 1,000 bottles a week, according to Liles. Each bottle, which retails for $1.99, also includes an augmented reality tie-in that allows customers to point a smartphone at the container and call up a content platform connected to each act.
“We have great tasting beverage,” says Liles, who is also a cofounder of 300 Entertainment and manages acts including Trey Songz and Estelle. “But the second part of it is providing a new network for the brands or icons to communicate with their fans. I call it disrupting the consumer packaged goods industry by having your products actually talk to you.”
For those who are thinking, “hey, doesn’t he already have his own drink in Ace of Spades champagne,” kind of (wink, wink); not to mention his probable partnership with Ace of Spades’ maker Sovereign Brands, LLC aims to exploit the higher-earning demographic that drinks champagne more regularly. With 40/40 the drink, Jigga can now sell a product to Johnny Basketball in Dublin, Ohio, or Manhattan, and then pop out the can to thank him for the purchase.
Unlike other business deals, Liles assures that both Jay and Mariah will receive their fair cut from the products.
He reached out to Jay Z and Carey, both pals from his label days, and put together deals quite a bit different from the traditional endorsement pact. Both artists formed their own companies to produce the drinks; Go N’Syde serves as the distributor. Liles points out that they will receive a much larger cut per sale, percentage-wise, than they would on a typical record deal.
“Every time people buy a bottle, they get paid,” he says of Jay Z and Carey.
That they will.