Rapper/producer Swizz Beatz has been tapped by Hennessy V.S. to help launch a new, limited line of cognac, called Hennessy Black.
The rapper will perform an original song, "When I Step Into the Club," alongside the JabbaWockeez of "America's Best Dance Crew" during a launch event in New York on May 5. An accompanying video by director Hype Williams will be revealed as well.
"Beatz is a long-time fan of the brand and approached us looking for ways we could work together. Since this product is all about having fun in the club, he suggested collaborating on a track that would be a hot dance song in the clubs," Andy Glaser, senior VP of Hennessy Business, tells Billboard.biz.
Hennessy will launch a dance contest titled "Up/Down" on their YouYube channel, where consumers will be able to create and post their own "Up/Down" dance for a chance to be flown to LA, where Williams will film and cut them into a new version of the video to "When I Step In the Club."
Hennessy Black, the company's first major launch since 1961, will be available in 10 markets throughout the U.S. including Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York City, Ohio, Washington DC and Massachusetts.
The company hopes the new drink – which has a blend of Jasmine, daffodils and orange flowers mixed with citrus, honey and grapes – will take the Hennessy brand beyond the cognac category to the premium mixed spirits. The drink will come to market with a variety of mixed drink recipes, including: Hennessy Black ice (with lemon juice and sugar); Hennessy Black Bull (coffee Liqueur and cola with ice); Hennessy Black Spice (ginger, syrup and lemon juice); and Hennessy Black Royale (champagne, lemon juice and syrup).
"Today is an ideal time to launch a new product — consumers are increasingly seeking new and different ideas that can excite them," says Glaser, adding that the Hennessy Artistry program which blends music, cultures and drinks, has a few more collaborations lined-up for this year to be announced in a few weeks.