ebogjonson.com's environment archive
August 10, 2006
and in other hip hop liquids news
Jay-Z is getting wet for a good cause:
UNITED NATIONS -- Jay-Z boycotted premium champagne Cristal at his clubs after the brand's owner made some remarks he didn't like. Now the rap superstar has a new favorite drink: water.
Jay-Z, president of Def Jam Records, teamed up with the United Nations and MTV on Wednesday to get children involved in the fight against the worldwide water crisis. He cited statistics that 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water and 2.6 billion lack proper sanitation.
"I figure that once I stumbled upon that, if the information was out and young people knew that these problems exist while we're having Poland Springs at Cipriani and things like that, that we'll get involved," said the 36-year-old rapper, referring to the high-class restaurant chain.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said he had been looking for a way to help people, and when he visited Africa on tour he was struck at how many of the world's poor lacked such a basic necessity.
"As I started looking around and looking at ways that I could become helpful, it started at the first thing -- water, something as simple as water," he said at a news conference at U.N. headquarters. "It took very little, very little to see these numbers."
I was underwhelmed by Jay's Cristal boycott ("hey! look at me! I'm so fucking rich and bored I can boycott, like, DIAMOND ENCRUSTED SOLID GOLD TOILET SEATS and shit") but as Jay points out water is a bit more fundamental. There was also something moving encoded in the line "as I started looking around and looking at ways that I could become helpful." Due to various upheavals and dislocations happening in my own life, I've developed an over-attunement to the sound of soul-seeking and personal transformation, so the image of Jay-Z sitting around on whatever it is Jay-Z sits around on and asking himself "what is to be done?" struck a warming chord in me.
Water - specifically bottled water - has actually caused more than one tiff between me and The Lady. Basically, she's constantly fretting about her tap water being delivered through rusted or corroded pipes, whereas I am of the mind that bottled water is a gigantic, fucked up scam.
Jay-Z: will you please come to our house (ideally with Beyonce) and settle this once and for all?