When Rick Ross first started pushing the sparkling rosé Luc Belaire, we wondered if he might be able to kickstart the next big booze trend in hip-hop. But the more he appears to be succeeding, the more we wish he would stop. The incessant references to “black bottle boys” in songs is irksome, as is the emphasis on social media to push the product through a dozen equally aggravating hashtags. And while other artists are trying to break new ground in hip-hop’s relationship with booze, selling a sparkling rosé based on the color of the bottle seems like a step backwards.
Needless to say, telling Rick Ross what to do is not a good idea—just look at what happened that TMZ guy. And we’re not out here trying to stop Rozay from getting money. But the black bottles have to stop, and here’s why:
The search for “Black Bottle Girls” is extra creepy.
We’re all for celebrating women who have been ignored by traditional alcohol advertising, which is dominated by a certain type. But unfortunately the Black Bottle Girls campaign is a viper’s nest of unfortunate cliches: bottle-service girls, a social-media strategy built around thirst-trap selfies, ridiculous levels of innuendo, and other things that can never be unseen.
— Black Bottle Girls (@Blackbottlegirl) December 15, 2013
So is the attempt to claim the hashtag #champagneshowers.
It’s laudable to compete in a realm previously dominated by bikini-clad white chicks on yachts, but this doesn’t help with the creepy factor.
— Black Bottle Boys (@BlackBottleBoy) January 2, 2014
Booze pushed so heavily on Twitter and Instagram targets young consumers.
Online advertising is evolving, and we have no problem with companies finding innovative ways to reach people through Facebook, YouTube, et cetera (shouts to Taco Bell). But there is a lot of evidence that underage youth is particularly susceptible to booze advertising on social media, which is less regulated than traditional TV and print advertising. Should Rick Ross self-police himself in the Wild West of Internet advertising? No. Could he show a tiny bit of restraint in his attempt to profit by pushing a boozy lifestyle on platforms that he knows are full of impressionable kids? Maybe not the worst idea from someone who once jokingly rapped about date rape.
We’ve been down this road before.
Selling bubbly based on the color of the bottle? Jay Z has been pushing “gold bottles”—a.k.a., “Ace of Spades”—down our throats since “Show Me What You Got” came out, and Moët sells its white bottles on the backs of the Miami Heat. Do we need another status-symbol bottle that’s better to Instagram than it is to actually drink?
This is your life on Belaire Rose.
How are Black Bottle Boys different from mooks at Lavo, again?
Chances of an Illuminati conspiracy to control your mind with sparkling wine: Off the charts.
Listen to “Devil Is a Lie” (or any other Rick Ross-Jay Z collabo, for that matter) and you know that the duo is not shy about fueling Illuminati rumors. But it’s deeper than rap: Belaire’s trademark (filed in 2011) is owned by Alana Berish, who also has under her name the Bacardi-produced Henri D’Usse’ Cognac, which is endorsed by Jay Z. And guess what? She is also the wife of Brett Berish, owner of Sovereign Brands, the very same company that birthed Ace of Spades. What part of the game is this?
In summary, we will not be repping Black Bottle Boys anytime soon. Pass us a value-driven sparkling wine from the Santa Barbara and we’re straight!