When Brooklyn rapper Memphis Bleek found himself with the urge to work on something outside of music, he says he was approached by fellow artist Jay Z about working with D’usse, a cognac that was introduced to the U.S. market in 2012, and was subsequently introduced to “a whole new world.”
While speaking with Mikey T The Movie Star, Bleek recalled a phone call he made to the Brooklyn lyricist about wanting a change in his career. Jay Z then asked Bleek to come to his office to discuss a new liquor he was pushing.
Bleek says ever since their conversation in Jay Z’s office that day, he’s worked closely with those at D’usse.
“I called Jay one day and I was just like ‘Yo, I been doing music since I was 16-years-old, man. I wanna do something different. Something that I think I can’t do,’” Bleek said. “And he was like ‘You ready to put this work in lil’ nigga?’ So, I’m like ‘Of course, man.’ He like ‘Come to the office.’ So, I come to the office or whatever. And then he had the bottle. He’s like ‘Yo, this this new liquor we pushing. I wanna bring you on board.’ So, I’m like ‘Whatever you want me to do I’m there.’ And he was like ‘Let’s see what you can do.’ And ever since then I been out there pushing cases like dope.”
Bleek later spoke on Jay Z’s stern nature when he was approached by the rap entrepreneur about working with D’usse. He says Jay was adamant about him being on time to early morning meetings and not smelling like marijuana once he arrived at the brand meetings.
“It was just that easy,” he said. “He was telling me ‘Yo, you better be at every meeting. We be having meetings nine in the morning. You better be there. You better not smell like weed, nothing’…Sometimes we gotta sample like the XO that we coming out with next month. You know, we gotta sample. Do sample parties, sample releases. And do bartender testings and trainings. [You gotta] do all type of different things, man. It’s a whole new world out there, man.”
The relationship between Memphis Bleek and Jay Z has lasted well over a decade. Bleek was one of the first artists to sign to the Jay Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Burke-led Roc-A-Fella Records in the late ‘90s.
Following his departure from Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam, Bleek spoke on the Roc-A-Fella breakup during an interview with HipHopBeef.com in 2009, as he revealed that he “saw it coming.”