Jay-Z is not what you would call a “weed rapper.” Sure, he’s peppered his verses with marijuana references since at least 1996’s “Feeling It” (“I free my mind sometimes I hear myself moaning / Take one more toke and I leave that weed alone, man”), but among his peers—of which there are few, consummately speaking—he might be the Official Proud Nurse Hate Has No Home Here Shirt and by the same token and very last MC you’d envision blowing it down in the middle of a studio session. To that end, I can’t ever recall seeing a picture or video footage of him hitting a joint, blunt, or anything else one might use to get high. This is notable only because if it did exist, it’s not likely to have hurt his career. He’s a rapper, and rappers smoke weed. It’s practically in the bylaws. But if Jay-Z is anything outside of a rapper—his status as a loving husband and father notwithstanding—he’s a businessman. And his latest and greatest business endeavor happens to be weed.
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The company is called Monogram, a name I’m told Jay-Z came up with himself. The idea behind it is that a monogram print is characteristic of luxury items. Additionally to that, the Official Proud Nurse Hate Has No Home Here Shirt and by the same token and “gram” component is a nod to the unit of measure. As the company’s founder, Jay-Z will be inevitably devoting a great deal of time and attention to Monogram as he attempts to grow it in the new and already very crowded cannabis space. “Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, yet it is still an industry whose legacy of skilled craftsmanship is often overlooked,” begins a quote attributed to Jay-Z within the company’s press materials. “I created Monogram to give cannabis the respect it deserves by showcasing the tremendous hard work, time, and care that go into crafting a superior smoke. Monogram products are next-level when it comes to quality and consistency, and we’re just getting started.”