Music & Montecristos: The Billion Dollar Lifestyle of JAY-Z
Shawn Corey Carter is perhaps one of the most influential billionaires that you have never heard of, but his professional moniker Jay-Z invokes a lot more than just a man with a lot of cash. Since his hip-hop debut in 1996, Jay-Z has not only navigated an atmospheric rise through the music charts, but has also managed to found a multi-million dollar clothing brand, a popular chain of sports bars, and a burgeoning media empire that has its sights on global domination.
Not only has Shawn Carter managed all this in less than 25 years, but he has done so in a way that is idiosyncratic of the rapper’s dynasty-minded persona: with a straight face and a good cigar.
Indeed it seems like Billionaires and Cigars go hand in hand to the point where many of us hardly recognize it anymore. Despite strict Manhattan smoking bans it is not a rare sight to see an image of Jay-Z behind a veil of thick cigar smoke, whether it is sitting pensively behind his business desk or strutting across the stage.
Considering the way he likes to get things done, it was only a matter of time until he decided to try his hand at the cigar business.
The Cohiba Comador
In 2014, Jay-Z partnered with the massive, Virginia-based General Cigar company to release a new cigar beneath the pre-existing Cohiba brand. The result was the Cohiba Comador, a large but mild-smoking cigar made primarily of Connecticut-grown wrapper and aged, constructed, and packaged in the Dominican Republic.
Known primarily for its considerable price point and the fancy cedar-lined humidor that they came in, the Comador was described as being both woody and spicy, but neither of those are words that the American Gangster himself would use to describe it. Dan Carr, who served as president of General Cigar when the Comador was released, offered a few words to Forbes about how Jay-Z likes his cigars:
“He’s not a guy that tells you it’s got hints of chocolate … That’s not him. … He told us, straight up, he knows what he likes, and he knows it when he sees it.”
The Cohiba Comador was discontinued only a short time after its release, but the wannabe music mogul can probably find one at an online retailer somewhere. Truth be told, if you really want to smoke like Jay-Z, you’d be better off to go with a Cuban Montecristo, which is reportedly the most common stick in his repertoire.
Jay-Z: Cigars are “A Gift You Give Yourself”
When you are worth over a billion dollars and your spot on Billboard’s Top 100 Musicians Of All Time is secure, then you can give yourself a gift whenever you please, which perhaps explains the high-dollar nature of Jay-Z’s various brand.
Still, there is something about maintaining a proper mindset that makes the smoking and enjoyment of a cigar that much more special. Talking to Cigar Aficionado, Jay-Z expounds upon his own mindset when it comes to fine cigars:
“I don’t know the lingo—like ‘It’s got an oaky flavor,’ stuff like that. It’s just based on what I like. No one schooled me in cigars, like no one schooled me in how to buy art or drink wine. “A cigar is like a gift you give yourself. I smoke at times when I’m relaxing, or celebrating.”
No surprise here, but we imagine that he must do a lot of both.
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