How does one even begin to describe Jay-Z?
A quick glance at his Wikipedia page has his occupations listed as “Rapper. Songwriter. Record Executive. Businessman. Media Proprietor. Record Producer”. Despite that impressive résumé, he is so much more than that.
I was 17 years old in 1996, and when Reasonable Doubt dropped, I bought TWO CDs—one for my car and one for my house. In 1998, as a sophomore at Drexel University, there wasn’t one day that went by without rolling a blunt, firing it up, and listening to “Hard Knock Life.”
Jay was such a large part of my childhood and young adulthood, so when he ventured outside of the music world and launched Rocawear in 1999, I remember heading to South Street to wait on-line to buy one of the first t-shirts. When his high-end sports bar, the 40/40 Club, opened in NYC in 2003 (and later in Atlantic City), I was there to support even though I could barely afford it as a recent college grad.
Somewhere along the line, Jay-Z became much more than a rapper. He was a brand, and his consumer’s brand loyalty is off the charts. It comes as no surprise that in 2019, it was announced that he had become hip hop’s first billionaire.
When I heard that he started a new cannabis line named MonoGram back in December, I was beyond intrigued. Because it is only available for purchase in the state of California, I couldn’t run out and grab it as I did my first Rocawear t-shirt, but I was excited nonetheless.
"Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, yet it is still an industry whose legacy of skilled craftsmanship is often overlooked," said Jay-Z via press release. “I created Monogram to give cannabis the respect it deserves by showcasing the tremendous hard work, time, and care that goes into crafting a superior smoke. Monogram products are next-level when it comes to quality and consistency, and we’re just getting started.”