jay z smiling in muave suit and white shirt with glass of champagne
Jay-Z attends 2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on January 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Jay-Z Sells Half Stake Of 'Ace Of Spades' To Moët Hennessy In New Partnership

LVMH has acquired one-half of Carter's champagne line, Armand de Brignac

Jay-Z's Armand de Brignac aka Ace of Spaces has sold 50% of its stake in an acquisition by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). On Monday morning (Feb. 22), The two leading luxury spirits brands announced their new alliance which includes a global distribution agreement.

“I’m proud to welcome the Arnault family into ours through this partnership that began with Alexandre Arnault and continued with his father Bernard Arnault and Philippe Schaus, at my home in Los Angeles," said Carter in a press release. "It is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time. We are confident that the sheer power of the Moët Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further.”

Moët Hennessy's president and CEO, Philippe Schaus shared how his company has been a long-admirer of Armand de Brignac's success in the champagne and wine categories.

“Often referred to as 'Ace of Spades,' Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary luxury, while preserving the traditions of the Champagne terroirs. Today, we are incredibly proud to be partnering with them and believe that the combination of our Champagne experience and international network coupled with Shawn 'JAY-Z' Carter’s vision, the strength of the Armand de Brignac brand and quality of its range of prestige cuvées will allow us to take the business to new heights across the world.”

Watch Jay-Z's sitdown interview with CNBC's Squawk Box (which aired shortly after the published announcement) where he talks about how the deal came to fruition and his growth since entering the wine and spirits space after boycotting the champagne line, Cristal back in 2006.

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Jay-Z's MONOGRAM Drops 'High Tales' Ep. 1 Featuring Jadakiss' Smoking Stories

In celebration of the launch of MONOGRAM, Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter's cannabis brand has premiered High Tales, a video series spotlighting music artists recounting their memorable ganja experiences. The L.O.X.'s own Jadakiss kicks things off in Episode 1 where he shares a funny story about his first time smoking with hip-hop O.G. Snoop Dogg.

After telling his friends how Snoop is a "top of the line smoker" and how "his lungs off top can tell him whatever he's smoking," they decide to test the cannabis connoisseur while kicking it in between shots of the "WW III" music video. "My man gave me thing [joint], I light it and gave it to him. '[I ask] Snoop, what's this?' 'That's that Purple Haze, nephew!' Everybody started laughing."

But Jadakiss' craziest story happened at a 2005 Grammys afterparty at a home where Prince happened to be performing. He begrudgingly decided to attend the star-studded event, but after rolling one up, he remembers how actress Penny Marshall walked up to him and asks to take a hit. "Me?! Laverne from Laverne & Shirley? Hell yeah!" the Yonkers native recalls before sharing how other actors came up to him for a hit, too.

"The dude from Bad Boys. Not the Martin and Will joints, the Sean Penn bad boy. The guy he had beef with. Him. [He said] 'Yo, let me hit that.' Me! What the f**k is going on?! I let him hit it. [Then] Mark Wahlberg, out of nowhere, 'Kiss, what's up!' I said, 'I can't believe it. This is crazy!'"

Watch Jadakiss share his anecdotes about the power of cannabis and how it has helped him not only build traditional rapport but also smoking rapport. Upcoming episodes of High Tales will feature N.O.R.E, 2 Chainz, and The-Dream. Stay tuned.

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Driely S. Carter

If You Haven't Heard, Beyonce And Peloton Have Partnered Up For The Culture

Beyoncé and  Peloton are uniting for the culture. To spotlight the annual Homecoming season celebrated at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the nation, the Grammy award-winning entertainer has signed a multi-year partnership with the global interactive fitness platform.

“Peloton and I both believe that the power of music can help uplift, motivate and inspire those on their fitness journeys,” said the Ivy Park founder in the official press release. “I’ve been a Peloton member for several years, and I’m excited to partner with a company that helps people, young and old, be the best versions of themselves, in an innovative and adaptable way."

To add to the unprecedented moment, students of select HBCUs (Bennett College, Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Wilberforce University) will be gifted with a 2-year Peloton Digital membership by the end of this month. "I’m proud to celebrate the students at HBCUs with this donation, to encourage them to find and embrace their own wellness regimens,” added Queen Bey in her statement.

The two brands have worked closely on the creation of themed workout experiences for Peloton's streamed fitness classes. The "Beyoncé Artist Series" class schedule kicked off this week with the On Demand cycling class "Beyoncé Two for One Ride" taught by the platform's two of Peloton's prominent Black instructors, Alex Toussaint and Tunde Oyeneyin. Other exercise classes include "Beyoncé Yoga Flow," "Beyoncé Full Body Strength," "Beyoncé Bootcamp," and more on the Peloton App —all taught by instructors of color. The last class will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10 am ET.

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Bombay Sapphire

Artist Hebru Brantley Collabs With Bombay Sapphire To Support Black Lives Matter Chicago

The front lines of various movements can be filled with not only the physical presence of people but also the creative spaces that support the way. Visual artist Hebru Brantley is adding to the Black Lives Matter Chicago organization with the help of spirits brand Bombay Sapphire. Brantley, a Chicago native, is world-renowned for his artistry. His images and symbolism of blackness gives colorful scenes of spirited aviation and flash worthy stylishness with his young Fly Boy and Lil Mama characters.

For his link up with the Gin brand, Brantley drew on more universal themes as stated in the press release for the union, it's "an extension of Stir Creativity, the global platform from Bombay Sapphire, the Hebru Brantley Limited Edition embodies the brand’s mission to inspire and awaken the creative potential within everyone." The 750 ML bottle went on sale on July 1st and retails for $26.99. A portion of the proceeds will help BLM Chicago in their efforts against racism.

Brantley spoke to VIBE on the collaboration, raising Black children and his place of inspiration. To purchase the collab bottle click here at Reserve Bar.

VIBE: How did this Bombay collaboration come about? 

Hebru Brantley: It all started with me being a part of the Artisan Series back in the day. I had a very successful Miami Art Week experience as a result, which was a turning point in my career. Since then, the brand has been a big supporter of my various creative ventures, like sponsoring the opening night of Nevermore Park, immersive art experience, and one of my most ambitious projects to date. Meanwhile, Bombay Sapphire approached me about doing a very special project, which was designing their first-ever artist-designed limited-edition bottle. I want it to inspire hope for a better future and shine a light on the courage and resilience of Black people in America. It felt only right that Bombay Sapphire and I were able to do this together to benefit Black Lives Matter Chicago, to support the critical work they do in fighting for racial justice in my hometown.

Despite COVID-19 and the country confronting systemic racial injustices, where you are drawing your inspiration from these days?

I've always drawn inspiration from film, TV, comic books, my culture, and history, so not much has changed there. What feels different is my motivation to get out what I create, there is an even greater sense of urgency for me now then there was before. I am grateful for the opportunity to uplift and inspire and I feel that my message really resonates with people now more than ever.

Speaking of racial injustice, we saw your Harper’s Bazaar editorial and as a father raising Black children, what are some conversations you're having with them that you didn't have growing up?

A lot of the conversations are the same or similar to the ones I had with my parents growing up. The only difference is that I was taught to be aware of racism and certain incidents felt historic. For my kids they're living in a racial justice movement, we are living part of history. The conversations and relevance to those conversations are true and current. They're on TV, on social media for my kids to see and experience firsthand.

Besides Bombay, what other projects are you working on?

I'm working towards a few exhibitions in 2021, brand collaborations, etc. We have some exciting things coming up, so stay tuned.

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