What Went Into Jay-Z's Latest Cannabis Campaign Featuring Chika And Curren$y
In April, MONOGRAM, the cannabis line created by Shawn 'JAY-Z' Carter, launched the first installment of a three-part campaign that reimagines the iconic photos of renowned mid-century American photographer Slim Aarons through a contemporary lens.
Shot at the Frank Sinatra House in Palm Springs, MONOGRAM tapped photographer Hype Williams to recreate several of Aarons’ quintessential images including “Keep Your Cool,” “Desert House Party,” “Poolside Glamour,” “Leisure and Fashion” and more – all starring an updated cast of diverse personalities and a new integrated product: cannabis.
The vignettes and talent were styled by High Snobiety fashion director Corey T. Stokes. In them, he honors the timeless looks immortalized by Aarons' original work while seamlessly weaving in modern accents and pops of streetwear.
The campaign features personalities such as:
- “Best New Artist” Grammy nominee Chika
- New York-based trio of culinary experts and activists Ghetto Gastro
- Rapper and songwriter Curren$y
- Designer and stylist Aleali May
- Fashion and beauty model Slick Woods
“On the heels of legalization, seeing creative like this become a natural part of the fabric of New York City only reinforces that cannabis has a right to exist within our customs, arts and social institutions,” shared Carter. “New York's decision to legalize is a victory for the entire industry, and I'm excited to have MONOGRAM play a role in bringing that message to life in my own backyard.”
Williams added, “The perception around cannabis has shifted a lot since the 20th century. If you were to ask me and my peers how we'd define the good life today, weed would definitely be a part of it. Whether we're smoking to inspire creativity or to celebrate an achievement, cannabis has a rightful place in modern day culture.
“HOV has a vision for the industry that he's bringing to life through MONOGRAM. His focus for this campaign was to showcase how beautifully cannabis fits into the good life today, and I am honored to be a part of it.”
The campaign is currently on display in major U.S. markets like New York City and Los Angeles, with new installments set to be introduced later this year that will coincide with the debut of “Slim Aarons: Style,” a new monograph that takes a deep dive into the fashion and style represented throughout Slim Aarons' work.
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