American rapper and entrepreneur, one of the most influential figures in hip-hop in the 1990s and early 21st century, Jay-Z has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Bacardi, his partner on the cognac brand D’USSÉ. The rapper and Bacardi have been 50-50 co-owners of D’USSÉ since 2011 and Jay-Z has promoted the cognac over the years, frequently name-dropping it in his tracks.
The lawsuit, made public late Thursday, seeks internal files from D’Usse, which is managed by Empire Investments Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bacardi International Ltd. It was filed by SCLiquor LLC, an entity owned and controlled by Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter.
The suit seeks to investigate allegations that Empire has for years “artificially held D’Usse back from achieving its full potential,” only to step up its efforts to run the company into the ground in October 20201, after SCLiquor exercised its right to demand a buyout, per Bloomberg Law.
The structure of the buyout rights “gave Bacardi a perverse incentive to mismanage D’Usse in the interim to artificially decrease its valuation for purposes of cashing out SC at an unfairly low price,” according to the complaint in Delaware’s Chancery Court.
According to documents obtained by TMZ Hip Hop, lawyers for Jay-Z’s company SC Liquor are demanding transparency surrounding D’USSÉ.
The lawsuit “says it needs all books and records, the location of all warehouses storing D’Usse barrels, bottles and accessories, as well as all info regarding Bacardi’s physical inventory and its inventory process,” TMZ reported.
Jay-Z has co-owned D’Ussé since 2011, and famously drank it straight out of one of the Grammy Awards he won for Watch the Throne in 2013. The suit demands that Jay be given access to the production warehouses, D’Ussé barrels, bottles, and all other info regarding Bacardi’s inventory-keeping process. SC Liquor writes that it needs to “monitor the conduct of [Bacardi’s] business to protect SC’s rights” as a partner.
Speaking of Watch the Throne, Kanye West talked about a potential sequel to the blockbuster project during a controversial interview he gave on Drink Champs this week, and shouted out D’Usee in the process.
“This D’Ussé is brought to you by my brother Hov,” Ye said at one point. “Courtesy of The Throne. Part 2 coming soon.”
In September 2018, Kanye West confirmed the album was in the works when he tweeted: “throne2 coming soon.”
Jay-Z has yet to comment on the potential project and most recently contributed an epic verse on DJ Khaled’s song “God Did.”
As for the lawsuit, TMZ has reached out to Jay-Z for comment, but the rapper-turned-mogul has yet to issue a statement on them matter.