Rap culture has a bizarre infatuation with Hennessy. Tupac loved the cognac, mentioning the product in countless tracks and even dedicating an entire song named after the liquor, which was released posthumously in 2004; Twista makes mention of Henny on “Slow Jamz,” as does ScHoolboy Q on “Sacrilegious.” Not limited to mentions on wax or video placements, the party series Hennypalooza was created as an ode to the drink three years ago. And most recently, rap’s “it girl,” Young M.A, gave Henny a ringing endorsement on her breakthrough single “OOOUUU”:
“Yo, bro, I think I had too much Hennessy, man / This Hennessy gettin' to me / I ain't gonna lie, I'm a little smizz / I'm a little drizz / But we in the club, man, OOOUUU”
Who knows why we’re so captivated by Hennessy? My friends and I drink it, rappers drink it, rap fans drink it; it’s become ubiquitous. So ubiquitous, in fact, that Florida boutique clothing brand Lilac Company has created their own “Headphanie” Hennessy, which the boutique debuted at its “Something Light” show last Friday. The collaboration is a nod to “OOOUUU”’s most memorable line, “You call her Stephanie, I call her Headphanie.”
At first glance, the creation is slightly funny, maybe clever, whimsical even—but after more thought, it’s pretty problematic and thieving.
The video that Lilac released on “Headphanie” features footage from some delighted people who purchased the drink, as well as clips from “Something Light.” Those in attendance at the event look remarkably underage, like a group of high school white boys who were bored and decided to create something in the name of “art.”
One Twitter user even pulled photos from the event and asked, “how you gentrify HENNY?”
In fact, in a series of tweets that have since been deleted, Lilac responded to the aforementioned tweet—and other tweets—confirming that the collab is indeed ‘art.’
“Stop saying we're tryna capitalize off @YoungMAMusic - this was an art idea, and that's all it is. We're in talks with her manager,” the company mentioned, adding, “We tried multiple times to contact her before but she didn't respond until it went viral.”
Hip-hop culture and euphemisms aren’t just for the taking—and the rate at which they culturally appropriated M.A is mind-boggling. She hasn’t yet commented on “Headphanie,” except to retweet this message.
Lilac has declared that it hasn’t made money from the new drink, which is somewhat suspect, considering they say it was available for sale in stores. It remains to be seen what Hennessy's views are on the situation. We just hope M.A gets her fair cut. Also, does Lilac realize exactly what M.A is referring to by saying “Headphanie”?
No? Alright, cool.
By Tara Mahadevan. Follow her on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube