Yesterday (Oct. 17), it was reported that JAY-Z filed a lawsuit against Bacardi over transparency issues with D’USSÉ, the popular cognac brand that each party shares 50/50 ownership. According to TMZ, the mogul’s company SC Liquor is demanding “all books and records” pertaining to D’USSÉ, the locations of every warehouse that stores said brand and its components, and all information on Bacardi’s inventory. One part of the document obtained stated that SC Liquor wished to “monitor the conduct of [Bacardi’s] business to protect SC’s rights as” an equal partner.
JAY-Z first connected with Bacardi to found D’USSÉ in 2012. Since then, the spirit, as well as its signature bottle and logo, have become prevalent in hip hop and music as a whole. Its name has been infused into some of the past decade’s biggest songs, including Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” Rick Ross’ “The Devil Is A Lie,” and Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love.” A year after its inception, Hov famously drank D’USSÉ from one of the three Grammys he earned during the 55th awards ceremony. In 2021, a bottle of D’USSÉ signed by the Roc Nation head honcho sold at an auction for $52,500.
In a 2017 interview with Billboard, sales and marketing director Phillippe Jouhaud recalled when JAY paid a visit to France’s Château de Cognac to try out early versions of the product prepared by master distiller Michel Casavecchia:
“The first time we met with [JAY-Z], we were very pleased with the fact that he really loves it. We could see from one tasting to another that he really had strong opinions about the cognacs he preferred and that he could recognize different samples…for us, being able to communicate the quality of the liquid, the making process, where it’s made, and what [Casavecchia] wanted to achieve in terms of taste profile is something that was extremely important…probably as much as having JAY-Z on board and being a fan of the product himself.”