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Jay-Z: Cristal Chief's Comments "Racist"

June 16, 2006 1:09 PM ET

Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in New York City will no longer be serving Cristal champagne. Hova's decision to boycott hip-hop's favorite beverage is a reaction to comments made by Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of Louis Roderer Cristal, who told The Economist that he approached rappers' constant name-checking of the brand "with curiosity and serenity" and went on to say, "What can we do?" when asked if association with the rap lifestyle could hurt the brand. Rouzaud also said, "I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business." Jay-Z responded by saying, "I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands." The 40/40 Club will now be exclusively carrying Dom Perignon and Krug as its high-end champagnes. This morning Roederer responded to the rapper's comments by releasing this statement: "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." Uh-huh.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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