Many of you know him as Jadakiss — a dope lyricist hailing from Yonkers. One-third of The LOX. The man with the iconic laugh that set the Verzuz stage ablaze with his groupmates last year as they battled Dipset. What you didn’t know is that Jada, birth name Jason Phillips, has had another major project brewing — literally. He’s teamed up with his father, Bob Phillips, and his son Jaewon Phillips to bring you Kiss Café, his own coffee brand. Jada and his dad spoke exclusively with REVOLT about the new venture.
The seed for Kiss Café was planted long ago when the rapper decided he wanted to go into business with his father. The first idea was for a detox coffee to help with hangovers. “After the first Verzuz and everybody said I was drunk, he wanted to come up with a coffee for a detox for when you’re hungover. But that kind of, like, came and went. That didn’t really stick, so we went back to the drawing board and finally came up with the Kiss Café, a perfect blend that we all agreed on,” said the famed emcee and businessman. “The perfect packaging, the perfect story, and, you know, everything was everything. Came out right after we went back to the drawing board — me, him, and my son in the marketing staff. And like I said, timing is everything. So, the timing happened to be right and here we are.”
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Bob has been in the business since 1977; his career first started with General Foods. The company had one of the largest coffee brands in the world at that time, Maxwell House. Once he transferred into the java division, he was introduced to the world of “green coffee,” where he focused on imports. “It was such an intriguing product and to find out that coffee was the second largest import in the world — that sort of captured me, and coffee is a product or business where it’s constantly evolving. Where it is tomorrow — the coffee business — will not be the same business that it is today,” he told REVOLT. It’s the ever-evolving market that captured and held his attention.
Naturally, as time went on, he wanted to bring his son into the business, but a little thing called hip hop called Jada’s name instead. With his son enjoying success in other arenas, the elder Phillips focused in on his grandchild. “I started a business 25 years ago, my own business in coffee. And every father wants his son to follow [in his footsteps] and take over the family business because usually, in privately owned business, when the founder passes away, the business usually passes away as well,” Bob explained. After graduating from college, Jaewon didn’t take to his grandfather’s sector of the coffee business, which involved importing, trading, derivatives, and more. Instead, it was the coffee brand that got his attention, and the young go-getter was able to put his studies in industrial marketing to use to grow it.
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“This really stuck with him,” Bob revealed to us. “So, for us to get the opportunity for the three generations of us to sort of work on a project together, it’s something that I don’t think happens very often, and I think all of us are enjoying it for what it is. I mean, it’s, you know, besides trying to build a brand, it’s actually building a family or system, and it’s three generations, which is something that I was certainly never involved in. So, it’s a dream. It’s something that I can leave for my family in the future — and [Jada] has more than one son.” Jaewon has four more brothers that their grandfather hopes will continue the legacy, which could soon come to include brick-and-mortar locations.
Make no mistake, The LOX lyricist isn’t just lending his name to the brand. In his father’s words, “We know that most of the people, particularly celebrities, that are involved in brands such as tequila, champagne and all the other things… they really have no real connection to the product other than monetarily.” This isn’t the case with Kiss Café. Jadakiss is taking an authentic, hands-on approach. “We tried to develop a product that basically reflects his persona. He’s a man of the people, and we tried to develop a coffee that’s for the people. I mean, that a serious coffee [any drinker] can enjoy. And also, I don’t wanna say connoisseur, but I think that even a coffee snob might enjoy a cup every now and then,” Bob went on to say. However, don’t get “for the people” confused with generic. It’s anything but that and as the brand grows, there will be high-end product launchings in the future.
Referring to his father as “the JAY-Z of coffee,” the rapper with the infectious laugh is ready to shatter glass ceilings in the espresso world and introduce a whole new demographic at the same time. Right now, Kiss Café is exclusively available at the website https://www.kisscafecoffee.com.