You’ll have to excuse me because I’m likely en route to Chicago as you’re reading this and I wrote this the night before while drunk as a native American Indian (on Natural Light, no Jay-Z), but details are beginning to emerge with regard to product placement fuckery in the new video for Jay-Z’s god-awful “Show Me What You Got.”
In the video, Jay makes it a point to shout out a specific brand of Champagne – Armand de Brignac, er, “Ace of Spades” – and there’s a pretty ridonkulous scene in which Jay-Z is shooting craps or some such and a waiter comes by with a bottle of Cristal. But Jay’s like, Nah, I don’t fuck around with that Cristal anymore.
Seconds later, the waiter returns with a bottle of this Armand de Brignac bullshit. The camera makes it a point to linger on the bottle long enough that you can notice its gold tint (not unlike Cristal) and its distinctive Ace of Spades logo.
In the actual song, there’s the following bit:
H-O-V-A/ Gold bottles of that Ace of Spades
Not a whole lot perhaps, but then it only ever took a few mentions of Cristal to make it the Champagne of choice among jigs who are really into status symbols, i.e. the audience any luxury brand would covet.
You’ll recall that earlier this year Jay and Cristal had a falling out over some shit Louis Roederer managing director Frederic Rouzaud may or may not have said about rappers in an issue of the Economist, a magazine I’m sure plenty of rappers read. Roerderer brand Champagne Cristal was subsquently banned from Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club sports bars.
Now Jay just so happens to mention this new brand in his big comeback single and prominently feature it in its accompanying video, presumably out of the kindness of his heart. The good people at Armand de Brignac even went so far as to note the fact that this isn’t paid product placement in the press release celebrating their brand’s mention in “Show Me What You Got.”
Which would be very kind of Jay if it was true, but it almost certainly isn’t.
An investigative report by some frenchman at a site called Hip-Hop Game reveals that despite the fact that Armand de Brignac purports to be some legendary Champagne dating back to 1763, it didn’t even have so much as a website until about a week ago. What’s more, said website was registered by an employee of Jermaine Dupri’s 3 Vodka. Um, why?
The frenchman called around to several wineries in the region in which Ace of Spades is alleged to be from and none of them had ever heard of the shit. Indeed, it appears as if Armand de Brignac didn’t even exist until fairly recently, when Jermaine Dupri’s 3 vodka began importing Chapagne from the region under that name.
What’s the likelihood of Ace of Spades being one of the most legendary and coveted Chapagnes in France if none of the other wineries in the region ever heard of it? I’d say about none. Similarly, you have to wonder about Armand de Brignac’s claim to have not paid Jay for product placement.
While it may be true tha Jay doesn’t have an arrangement with that brand, which doesn’t exist anyway, that wouldn’t necessarily preclude him from having some sort of deal with 3 Vodka, now would it?