Jay-Z blasted a perfume company’s “crappy” work — because it peddled his eponymous fragrance at a discount drugstore without his knowledge, he testified Monday in the ongoing breach-of-contract case.
The rap mogul recalled the moment he learned his cologne, Gold Jay Z, hit the shelves of a Superdrug, a UK-based drugstore.
“It’s crappy, lazy work,” the “99 Problems” rapper testified during his second day on the witness stand in perfume company Parlux’s lawsuit against him.
“Actually I’ve always had problems with the quality of the lazy work that was coming from Parlux,” he told Manhattan Supreme Court jurors.
The “Empire State of Mind” rapper testified that he never gave permission for Parlux to sell his fragrance at the discount shop in alleged violation of his contract with them.
“We are trying to build a brand,” Jay-Z — who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last weekend — testified. “You’re almost cutting the legs off from the brand [by] putting it in discount stores.”
In an email shown to the jury, the rapper also ripped a commercial that Parlux made for the fragrance, which depicted liquid gold being dripped on a woman’s body, as “B rate.”
“Pretty much like all of their ideas — lazy,” he testified of the commercial.
Still, he disputed claims by Parlux lawyer Anthony Viola, who said he “constantly threw sand in the gears” when it came to Gold Jay Z’s success.
Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro asked his client if he wanted the perfume to fail.
“Absolutely not,” he responded. “If I hurt Parlux and I hurt Gold Jay Z — they are in my name.”
“I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face,” Jay-Z said.
“It was a tough relationship but I was still trying to create something amazing.”
The artist, whose real name is Shawn Carter, also explained that while he had many products in his brand, the cologne was the only one that bore his name, saying the moniker is “everything that I have built … my name is everything to me.”
In opening statements last month, Spiro told jurors that the fragrance was supposed to be a “high-end product and brand.”
“He didn’t want a product on the shelves of Walmart in between the hand sanitizers and Tic Tacs,” he said. “He wanted it to be something special and selling his product through those kinds of channels and those kinds of ways, it would diminish Jay-Z’s brand.”
Jay-Z is worth a reported $1.4 billion, according to Forbes
After roughly two days of grilling, Jay-Z’s testimony concluded Monday.
When he walked out, he pointed at the press, chuckled and said “Nice one” after a reporter asked if he preferred his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction over testifying on the witness stand.
Parlux sued the “Big Pimpin’” artist and his company S. Carter Enterprises in 2016 for $18 million, alleging that he failed to promote the cologne as was agreed upon in a contract — including by missing promotional spots on “Good Morning America” and in Women’s Wear Daily in 2013. The company also claims he didn’t show up for the Gold Jay Z launch at Macy’s in November 2013.
The rapper later countersued, claiming he’s still owed $2.7 million under the deal.