In Lisa Robinson’s November story, “Jay Z Has the Room,” the rapper turned mogul opens up about his long résumé as a “son, brother, husband, father, entrepreneur, mogul, sports agent, rapper, performer, movie producer, author, nightclub owner, Broadway producer, festival organizer, watch designer, soundtrack and video-game executive producer, and art collector.”
All of these roles are apparent in his music, where H.O.V.A. often references everything from Picassos to Pampers. He’s known for name-dropping brands—those of cars, clothing labels, alcohols, and weaponry, in particular—as a way of marking his authenticity as a self-made businessman. So we took on the gargantuan task of reading through the musician’s lyrics to sort out the top 15 most mentioned brands in his music (with an ever grateful hat tip to RapGenius.com). To make the task realistic, we referenced only albums officially included in his discography, and at times we interpreted lyrics when they very obviously referenced a brand without outright saying it. (For example, when Jay Z mentions “red and green G’s all on my hat,” there’s no other brand that matches that description but Gucci.)
The results are telling. Jay Z’s most mentioned brand is Mercedes Benz, though he also holds a candle for Lexuses, Maybachs, BMWs, Bentleys, Range Rovers, and Porsches (in that order). In terms of designer labels, his change in taste over the years is apparent: His love of Gucci remains restrained but consistent, he was forced to take a hiatus from Versace during its shaky early-aught designs, and his new favorite designer—mentioned for the first time, nine times on his latest album—is Tom Ford. Also, in case you are one of the many people who enjoy Jay Z’s music but are unfamiliar with the 9-mm handgun market, Glock and Kel-Tec are gun brands.