rendition by Shareif Ziyadat

“Coke is still my sponsor
Heh, the Cola, yeah
Hova still gettin it in with soda
Diet, no sir, I ain’t lose no weight
Started from the crates now
I’m sittin on a whole case”

-Jay-Z, Kingdome Come

The night of February 7th bore witness to another historic moment for the ever-expanding Hip Hop genre. In conjunction with Fashion Week, Coca Cola merged forces with the C-E-O of the R-O-C, Mr. Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z to remix and relaunch Cherry Coke. The only thing being modeled this night though was the remodeled can, exclusively designed by the Rocawear design team, along with esteemed artists Charlie Becker, Dave White, Kid America Club and Shareif Ziyadat. Staying true to the original color-scheme of red and black, the new can is a fusion between an urban landscape, reflective of the Hip Hop influence that Jiggaman represents and the artistic flair of these word-renowned artists. Even the cherry has a distinct graffiti look to it.

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rendition by Dave White

But the question remained, was the new look all about “style” with no “substance?” On the contraire. Once we took it to the “Black” Carpet and polled past fans of the Cherry Coke brand, they gave it a unanimous thumbs up once they cracked the can and sipped the “juice.”

rendition by Shareif Ziyadat

In addition to Cherry Coke, the slimmed down version of Cherry Coke Zero was also rolled out, much to the delight of the superthin models who were in the house that night.

As D-Nice manned the wheels of steels upstairs, Street Knowledge held down the Black carpet and mixed it up with celebs such as DJ Clue, Bentley Farnsworth, the incomparable Deborah Cox, Rich Hilfiger and his team, 106 & Park duo Terrence J & Rosci, Nik from America’s Next Top Model, Vanessa & Angela Simmons (Run’s lovely daughters), Nick Cannon, MTV veteran Sway, BK’s own “Super”
Zab Judah and Julito MCCullum from The Wire. Later on in the evening Fab, Diddy and Cuba Gooding Jr. joined the festivities to party hard with Jay-Z and company.

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The venue was appropiately held in the same building that houses the Dia Art Foundation, a non-profit that is a staple in the visual arts community, renown for displaying monumental art exhibits. Add the Cherry Coke launch to that piece of history.


cuba & friends


Rich Hilfiger & Co

Editors note:
What more can be said about the marketing power of Sean “Jay-Z” Carter? Coming off the heels of touring the globe and slinging water to the world for the UN, resurrecting his recording career, burying Cristal, appearing in Hewlett Packard commercials, merging with Budweiser Select (co-brand director), and launching his “Jay-Z” blue-hued Yukon Denali, Jay-Z is being eagerly sought after for his corporate “Midas Touch.” Oh did we fail to mention that in addition to trailblazing the path for rappers to have their own footwear, he also juggles duties as President of Def Jam Records and part owner of the soon to be Brooklyn Nets. From Marcy to Madison Square. From slinging coke to getting it in with Coke. Coca Cola, that is. At this pace its fair to say, the Roc-a-Fella kingdom has truly come…Hooollllaaaaa


Special Thanks to

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“They say “The crochet pants and the sweater was wack”
seen “The Corner”, now they say “That n*gga’s back,” uh…”
Common, They Say


On the night of Tuesday, January 23rd, Chicago’s own Common and company commenced on a small boutigue in Little Italy, La Coppola Storta
La Coppola Storta
debut the release of his highly anticipated signature hat line, Soji. The name Soji, which was borrowed from Common’s next door neighbor means ‘spiritual rebirth,’ signaling the birth of Common’s new venture. Universally recognized as a trendsetter in his own right, the transition from artist to entrepreneur almost seems seamless for the Chi-Town native.

When Street Knowledge inquired as to “Why hats? Why now?”
his response was, combined with his love for hats and everyone inquiring about where to get the hats he’d become famous for wearing coupled with him going bald, he figured this was the right move to make, at the right time(he also has a movie & album dropping). He explained that he chose to collaborate with La Coppola Storta, because their brand is globally recognized to be synonymous with excellence when it comes to upscale hatwear.

As legend has it, Jeremy Piven, Common’s Smokin’ Aces co-star, stopped by the store to buy some hats and suggested to them that they hook up with Common. Apparently not only did they think it was a great idea, but they’d been looking to hook up with Common prior to Jeremy dropping by. As they say, the rest is history. this year).


In attendance was his Smokin’ Aces co-stars Alicia Keys, Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Taraji Henson and good friends Londell McMillan

The star-studded red carpet gala was sponsored by the good people of Moet Chandon, who kept the bubbly flowing while the cameras kept flashing, capturing the ambience of the night, play by play. Unexpectingly, before the night finished Common capped off the festivities by unveiling his true inspiration: his mother. She expressed her delight to see her son reach these heights via his love for the mic. Common has come full circle in his career and continues to prove that through Hip Hop all things are possible. Special thanks to


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BF9 Media

Special thanks
to our contributing reporters from Harlem LIVE Organization, Nkrumah Tinsley, Matthew Sneh, S. Van Bryan and Street Knowledge co-host Goddess


Photos courtesy of Matthew Sneh, S. Van Bryan and Nkrumah Tinsley; check out pics in our Flickr photo album.


In addition to their SOHO/LoLita location (246 Mott St.), La Coppola Storta also maintains retail locations in Palermo, Roma, Firenze, and Bologna, Italy.


Smokin’ Aces is in theaters January 26.


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