"It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud, views the 'hip-hop' culture as 'unwelcome attention.' I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands, including the 40/40 Club, nor in my personal life."Cristal didn't just turn on its loving audience, it spat on it and insulted it so badly that hip-hop's flagbearer basically banished it from the kingdom. When writing about it four years later in his book Decoded, Jay-Z posited that Cristal trapped itself in the belief that its previously obscure luxury brand was elevating the hip-hop community, when perhaps the opposite was true. "With language, rappers have raided the dictionary and written in new entries to every definition -- words with one or two meanings now have 12. The same thing happens with brands -- Cristal meant one thing, but hip-hop gave its definition some new entries. The same goes for other brands: Timberland and Courvoisier, Versace and Maybach. We gave those brands a narrative, which is one of the reasons anyone buys anything: not just to own a product, but to become part of a story." -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.