On the same day news broke that Moet Hennessy will acquire a 50 percent stake in the rapper/business mogul's Champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, Tina Knowles-Lawson posted a tribute to him for being a "bad ass brother," paving the way for other Black entrepreneurs as well as championing Black artists, including recently at the Super Bowl through his entertainment partnership with the NFL.
"This is a love letter to my son-in-law Shawn Carter," Knowles-Lawson began her Instagram post.
Knowles-Lawson, also mom to Solange, said she was "inspired to write this" because at the Super Bowl earlier this month "we witnessed the national anthem, 'America the Beautiful' and the halftime entertainment all being super talented black people!!!," referring to Jazmine Sullivan (who performed with Eric Church), H.E.R. and the Weeknd, who all slayed their performances, she said, "making Black excellence shine and us all proud."
"Mama Tina" said she remembered the criticism that hip-hop’s first billionaire faced when his Roc Nation-NFL deal was announced in 2019. (The deal allows Jay-Z to “advise on selecting artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl” as well as work with the league on a social justice component, but it came amid Colin Kaepernick being essentially blackballed by team owners for peacefully protesting racism and NBA star LeBron James calling out what he called the NFL's "slave mentality.")
"I could not help but remember when J took on being in charge of the entertainment at the Super Bowl, and saying that things would never change unless we had someone on the inside that could make decisions. Someone at the top," she wrote. "I read all the horrible things people said calling him a sellout and hating on him big time. But he kept it moving because every person who has affected change has been criticized and dogged by their peers."
Knowles-Lawson praised her son-in-law for not being bullied into backing out of the NFL deal.
"One thing that I’ve noticed about Jay is that he doesn’t let what people say bully him into not doing the things that he knows are right," she wrote. "But after the last Super Bowl I did not read one comment by one person that said that they were pleased that he didn’t listen to the noise and he kept it moving and that he was able to get three talented black people to dominate this years Super Bowl. Why is that?"
"I really try to support every Black business but so many would rather support [rival] Apple," Knowles-Lawson wrote. "One day I claim that we will stop being crabs in a barrel. We will support each other. There is room for everyone."
That brought her to Jay-Z's big deal selling 50 percent of Armand de Brignac. (Financial terms of the deal that was announced Monday weren't disclosed, but Jay-Z rapped in Meek Mill’s 2018 song “What’s Free” that Ace of Spades, the familiar name of the Champagne line, is worth “half a B,” suggesting that a 50 percent stake would be $250 million.)
"You are a bad ass brother and I hope that you continue to pave the way for others like you have in the past," she wrote. "And I have seen such extreme kindness and generosity so many times that people don’t even know anything about! You are a true man who has admitted publicly when you’ve made mistakes in a very brave and classy way! You have in turn influenced the culture of young Black men. You are a bad ass brother. I love you so much!!"
Knowles-Lawson has long had the rap mogul in her life. Her elder daughter started dating him in 2001. The couple married in 2008 and are parents to three children, Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir.
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