First of all, having reread Frederic Rouzaud’s comments in The Economist, it doesn’t even appear that he was actually dissing hip-hop in the first place. Here are his comments again, with a little more context than was provided in the original reports at AllHipHop, which has never been know for its accuracy anyway.
Asked if an association between Cristal and the bling lifestyle could actually hurt the brand, he replies: “That’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
So you see, it’s not like he was saying, “What can we do?” in the sense that, “If there was a way we could bar you jigs from drinking our champagne, we woud.” Instead, it comes off more along the lines of, “Even if we did want to restrict our brand to a certain community, there’s no way we could.”
The comment, “I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business” which was quoted widely in the press surrounding this incident – and again, out of context – comes off more so as him saying, “I bet Dom Pérignon an Krug wish rappers shouted them out more often.”
And as noted in today’s update on the issue, Rouzaud himself never actually referred to the hip-hop community’s patronage of his brand as unwanted attention. That particular characterization was actually made by Gideon Rachman, the author of the Economist piece.
Today Louis Roederer Cristal, the company that manufactures Cristal, issued a response to Jay-Z’s call for a boycott that reads:
“A house like Louis Roederer would not have existed since 1776 without being totally open and tolerant to all forms of culture and art, including the most recent musical and fashion styles, which, like hip-hop, keep us in touch with modernity.”
As I mentioned in my other post on this issue, Cristal has a pretty good reason to be concerned businesswise. That said, I wonder if they’ve actually done anything to deserve such a boycott.
Here’s the actual Economist piece in its entirety.
I’d at least encourage you to check it out if you’re considering boycotting Cristal, just to have all of the facts. Interestingly enough, Jay-Z also figures into and is featured in an illustration accompanying the article.
 Indeed if there’s a lesson to be learned from this, it’s that you should never believe anything you read at AllHipHop.