“We Really Do Prostitute Ourselves Out To The Liquor Industry,” Says Panelist at Cocktails & Music On Tuesday Evening…

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Panelists L to R: Frank Ski, Isaac M. Hamm III, Bryan-Michael Cox, Je’ Wesley, Kirsten Daniels, Jarvis Mays, and Marquis Lofton

The rain did not stop scores of Atlantans from attending the 11th After Dark Edition of Cocktail Chronicles on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at the BQE Lounge located in the heart of Atlanta’s Fourth Ward community. The topic for the evening was “Cocktails & Music: Do Your Sips Impact Your Rhyme? #GETLIT” where music insiders came to discuss the power and influence of alcohol within the music industry.  The event was hosted by Frank Ski of V-103 and panelists included 9 times Grammy Winner Songwriter and Producer Bryan-Michael Cox, R&B Singer, Jarvis Mays, Jazz 91.9 Radio Personality Marquis Lofton,  and Talent Managers Isaac M. Hamm III and Kirsten Daniels.
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L to R: Je’ Wesley, Tracye Bryant, and Bryan-Michael Cox

Frank Ski, who interviews recording artists constantly, is also a former club owner and knows both spectrums of the music and alcohol arenas, which made him the perfect host for the evening. “Ciroc used to be a well liquor, the bottom of the barrel because it’s cheaply made. Then, Puff worked a deal with Diageo where he became part owner, and he would get a percentage of every bottle sold. So, imagine if a bottle that sold for $6 five years ago now sells for $35 five years later. Sales went to multi-million cases a year, so imagine how much he made off that deal. But, the liquor never changed.” said Ski.

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L to R: Je’ Wesley, Janelle Jones, and Bryan-Michael Cox

Panelists also discussed why do black music artists endorse alcohol and reference alcohol in their lyrics and videos compared to their peers of other races.  Kirsten Daniels said, “It started as a way to emulate a lifestyle that Black people did not initially have where we were seen pouring champagne on each other and being out in the club. It was a lifestyle that we didn’t grow up seeing. It made it easy for labels to say, I can cut you a deal with this liquor company or this beer company.  We became a vehicle for this advertisement because we were trying to emulate a lifestyle that we just weren’t accustomed to seeing. From an artist perspective, it becomes easy to accept that money, and you don’t even realize how much damage you’re doing to the community where people become addicted.  Now we have a responsibility that we don’t really accept anymore.  White people aren’t putting people in the forefront and saying represent this or represent that. They aren’t organically talking about it like that. But, we [Black people] are putting it in your face and saying ‘hey drink this Hennessy or drink this Jack’. Artists are taking a check without realizing what it’s doing to our communities and our families.”

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L to R: CJ Denegal, Jarvis Mays, and Je’ Wesley


The guests were attentive and receptive to the panelists as the conversation was very broad while covering a variety of topics under the mantle of cocktails and music. “I see it all the time that Artists have to ‘get lit’ before they record or go on stage,” said Ski.  “When I ask an artist what they need before a recording session, undoubtedly they ask for Hennessy and Ciroc,” said Bryan-Michael Cox.  Overall the panelists agreed that artists often give their best while under the influence of alcohol.

“There are many people who are alcoholics and don’t know it. There are some things they can do while on alcohol that they cannot do without alcohol. They can do all their stuff better when they are intoxicated.  They sing better; they play pool better; they can bowl better; they can perform better; or they have sex better.  Is this what’s going on in the music industry?” asked the host, Frank Ski.

L to R: Je’ Wesley, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Marissa Mitchell

The purpose of the conversation was to bring awareness to the power and influence of alcohol in the music industry and whether or not Black music artists are being used to ‘pimp’ their Black communities.  “It’s a thin line.  It’s called spirits for a reason.  Art is created under some real craziness.  The lines get blurred, and people are promoting liquor unnecessarily. Chris Brown made a whole song called liquor. I never incorporate or highlight music that’s about the promotion of liquor.  Now the concept of liquor is merging into everyday R&B and urban music.  Every record on the radio is about liquor.”

Guests were encouraged to monitor and censor what their children listen to.  There is a new generation of artists being ushered into the music industry, and they’re becoming less censored.
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L to R; Je’ Wesley and Bryan-Michael Cox

Host, Frank Ski asked the panel, “Why Are Black Artists Being Pimped So Bad?”  “Artists have a short life span. It makes you feel that you have to take what comes your way.  We really do prostitute ourselves out to the liquor industry. You don’t have longevity in this industry anymore,” says Kirsten Daniel.  R&B Singer Jarvis Mays said, “It’s the exposure, plus you get a couple of dollars in your pocket.  If you come from the projects, of course, you’re going to take it.”

The mission of Cocktail Chronicles is to inform and educate consumers on wine, beers, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages. The goal is to provide knowledge that assists consumers in being confident, smart, aware, and responsible in their cocktail and beverage selections through daily online articles, weekly video blogs, monthly live discussions on-premise, and teaching safety and awareness within high schools and college environments.
Notable guests in attendance were: Greg Lee, Editorial Director of NBA.com; Marissa Mitchell, News Reporter – Fox 5 Atlanta; CJ Denegal, Vice President of Atlanta Association of Black Journalists; Chief Magistrate Judge, Casandra Kirk; and Janelle Jones, C.E.O. of Millennials Round Table.
The next topic to be held on August 16, 2016, will be “Cocktails & Educators: Can Teachers Sip & Post? #TIPSYTEACHER” at the BQE Lounge located 262 Edgewood Ave, SE in Atlanta, GA.  This event will be hosted by Fox News of Atlanta’s very own Marissa Mitchell.  If you are interested in being part of this panel, please reach out to Je’ Wesley at jewesley@cocktailchron.com .
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L to R: Tracye Bryant and Michael Jenkins

This event was sponsored by:

Perfect Pitch Media Group – Tenisha Bell, C.E.O.
T.Bryant Media Group – Tracye Bryant, C.E.O.
Graphics In Atlanta – Michael Jenkins, C.E.O.
JanelleInk Events – Janelle Jones, C.E.O.
Vision Statement:
To become the world’s leading source for beverage industry news, both alcohol and non-alcohol.
Values Statement:
Cocktail Chronicles is committed to empowering consumers with their beverage choices, to encourage all beverage manufacturers to be socially responsible to communities, and to welcome diversity within their organizations.
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