As Hip Hop hits its 50th anniversary this year, Ballantine’s, the world’s second largest Scotch whisky*, welcomes Wu-Tang Clan frontman, RZA, into its clan, through a new partnership that celebrates staying true to who you are and embracing the freedom to forge your own path.
The collaboration, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Wu-Tang Clan’s iconic debut album release, ‘Enter the 36 Chambers’, launches with the announcement of the first of a series of exclusive drops – an iconic limited edition Ballantine’s x RZA Crosley record player – available to purchase at Ballantines.com/RZA from June 30, 2023.
Rooted in a shared love of music, RZA brings Ballantine’s and Crosley together to create shared moments over music, whisky and a celebration of individual taste, whatever genre you’re into.
The distinctive C6 record player designed by RZA, which comes with an accompanying Montero Bluetooth speaker, serves to show that if you stay true to what you love, there’s no wrong way to amp up, wind down and create new experiences.
Over the coming months, Ballantine’s and RZA will inspire people to keep it real and celebrate self-expression through unexpected partnerships and a series of product drops from music to food and fashion. Whether it’s discovering new music, trying out new recipes or getting your hands on a limited-edition capsule collection, each exclusive drop released as part of the collaboration will see RZA explore his passions, showing there truly is no wrong way to express yourself.
Hip hop legend turned kung fu master, filmmaker, chess champion, producer and actor, RZA has long been known for subverting expectations – a lifestyle that reflects the spirit of Ballantine’s founder, George Ballantine, who was breaking codes of whisky as far back as 1827 with his DIY attitude.
A perfect pairing, Ballantine’s and RZA have a shared DNA – one of legacy, history, excellence, love of music and good taste – and a shared belief of doing things your own way.
RZA also appeared on the cover of the Summer 2021 Print Issue of YRB Magazine
When asked about the partnership, RZA, said:
“My 90s slogan was keep it real, and that’s what staying true is all about; live your life with no boundaries, break expectations and embrace what makes you, you.
When I was up in the Highlands with Ballantine’s, I came to realise that making whisky is like making a song, you need the right amount of sweetness and punch to make a good blend.
When the elements come together, it’s a harmony. Not only does this work for good whisky, but it also works for life too; if you celebrate your own journey and keep it real, you can do amazing things.”
Mathieu Deslandes, Ballantine’s Global Marketing Director at Chivas Brothers adds:
“At Ballantine’s we believe that everyone is unique, original and worth celebrating. RZA is well known for doing things his own way, a mindset that reflects the spirit of Ballantine’s, inspired by our pioneering founder George Ballantine.
Combining our passions of music and whisky, we’re excited to announce the first exclusive drop, the limited-edition Ballantine’s x RZA Crosley record player, and can’t wait to show you what else we have in store.”
Keith Starr, President of Crosley Brands, says “Crosley has proudly brought music to people around the world for over 100 years. Helping Ballantine’s and RZA in this unique collaboration is the perfect example of our motto “amplify your style.” We’re happy to play a part in this meeting of icons”.
Ballantine’s is the No.1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the No. 2 Scotch whisky in the world with the range selling over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 170 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for its outstanding quality, thanks to its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 year old, is one of the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by master blender Sandy Hyslop, continuing the brand’s tradition of master blenders that dates back to 1827.
In 1938 Ballantine’s was awarded the crest now seen on every bottle of Ballantine’s, with the inclusion of the Latin phrase “Amicus Humani Generis”, translated as “a friend to all humankind”. This reflects Ballantine’s belief that all individuals are worth celebrating, and its makers are passionate about bringing out the real you to create moments that matter. Our Stay True platform guides everything we do, from retaining the same style of Finest since its launch in 1910 to championing true music and supporting emerging talent and communities. It’s an invitation for people to get to know themselves and have the confidence to stand by it and be true to themselves creating moments that matter. When you stay true to who you are and free yourself of society’s expectations there’s no wrong way to live.