- Rap heavyweight Jadakiss launched a new coffee line this year with his father Bob Phillips and son Jaewon Phillips.
- Named Kiss Café, the business is an extension of the family’s longstanding business ties.
- The three men spoke to Insider about their inspiration behind the venture — and why it’s important to keep it in the family.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider.
Money, power and respect. Now add coffee.
Rapper Jadakiss, whose real name is Jason Phillips, knows about the loyalties of the rap family and the intricacies of the music industry, but the Grammy-nominated artist recently joined forces with his son and father to hype a new grind: Kiss Cafe.
The company is a coffee company that brings together three generations of black men to nurture love, tradition and heritage, the three men told Insider.
It consists of the rap icon, his son Jaewon Phillips and his father, Bob Phillips. The company is an extension of all three men, respectively, who have all developed a passion for coffee throughout their lives.
Wrapped in a sleek matte black exterior Kiss Café’s “Beijo” blend, available online, originates from South and Central America, says 69-year-old Bob, who has been in the coffee business for more than 40 years.
And in the spirit of hip-hop bravado, Bob claims those places have the “best coffee in the world.”
“We want to share the love,” he told Insider. “A lot of love and hard work has gone into developing this blend.”
The coffee comes from South and Central America. The product is for “everyday coffee lovers,” said Jason “Jadakiss” Phillips. Courtesy of Michael Chavez Booth via BI
The 12-ounce product is listed as $14.99, an intentional price to make it more accessible, reflecting his son — known professionally as one-third of legendary rap group The LOX — who champions Bob as “a man of the people.”
“It’s not for the coffee snobs, as my dad likes to say,” said 47-year-old Jadakiss. “It’s for the everyday coffee drinker. We could have put it in Bergdorf Goodman and Saks and Neiman’s, but we wanted it in a price range where the average working person can afford it.”
Jaewon, 26, added: “Everyone needs a cup of joe in the morning. It’s a good fat burner. It’s good value.”
He continued, “It’s for the family. It’s for the love of coffee.”
‘Passing the Torch’
Jaewon, 26, has been working with his grandfather, Bob, since 2018. Michael Chavez Booth via BI
The family’s affection for coffee stems not only from a love of the taste, but also from Bob’s years in the industry.
The patriarch’s experience in the coffee business stretches back four decades, he said, and has been vital to supporting his family since Jadakiss was born.
Bob has also been head of Caturra Corp, an import and trading company specialized in green coffee, since the late 1990s. Kiss Café is the natural continuation of his hard work and is an example of how he “passes the torch” to help his descendants build generation wealth.
“We are talking about generational knowledge here. [Kiss Café] is a way of passing on the knowledge I have and the passion I have for the product,” he said. “I think it’s every parent’s dream to have their kids follow them.”
Despite Jadakiss being the face of the brand, Jaewon takes charge of the company and its future. He is a Clark Atlanta University alum and has been with Bob’s company since 2018. Jaewon’s familiarity with the industry, his flair for branding and his social media expertise helped Kiss Café to shine, his grandfather noted. And when it launched earlier this year, orders started pouring in.
Jason Phillips and his son Jaewon. Courtesy of Michael Chavez Booth via BI
“We got hundreds of them every day for the first week,” Jaewon recalls. “It was a lot, a little bit overwhelming, but once we got it under control and got a system up and running, it was fine.”
With both his father and grandfather solidified in their respective fields, as he grew up, Jaewon said he learned the value of listening and perseverance, which helped him fulfill his role in the company. They taught him to “be prepared” for any opportunity that comes his way.
“He has four other siblings,” Jadakiss said, adding that he taught the importance of “earning your living, investing and saving.”
“There’s no limit to coffee.”
Jason “Jadakiss” Phillips. Courtesy of Michael Chavez Booth via BI
The concept of the new venture stems from the night of the highly anticipated 2020 Verzuz between the Yonkers MC and Brooklyn rapper Fabolous. The battle of battle between the two spawned viral meme-worthy content from the lyricist getting a little tipsy – ultimately taking advantage of the moment by launching ‘#JadaDrunk’ merchandise.
“My granddaughter had come over and she was showing us the comments coming in on Instagram, and people were like, ‘Give Jada some water.’ And that ‘He’s a little wobbly,’ said Bob. “His fans were having fun and the idea got that much stronger the moment I said, ‘Maybe he needs a cup of coffee to straighten him out. Well, here we are.”
— JADAKISS (@Therealkiss) June 30, 2020
Aside from his hip-hop roots and his family’s coffee business, Jadakiss has been an australiabusinessblog.com in other fields – including collaborating with his group member Styles P, whose real name is David Styles, on a healthy juice bar called Juices For Life.
Getting involved in the coffee industry at this point in his life was a good idea because of his family connection, the “Top 5 Dead or Alive” rapper told Insider, and he has a wider marketing reach compared to music.
“There’s no ceiling with coffee. Coffee is loved by the young kids, the elderly, you know what I mean? Everyone. Coffee is consumed by all different people,” Jadakiss said. “I market my music to my core fans, my contemporaries.”
The company is moving “higher than the top five,” he continued. “We’re going number one with the Kiss Café.”
His father agrees. Bob is optimistic that the company will have physical stores as the coffee line expands.
“The long-term goal is to have physical Kiss Cafés. We want to see as many Kiss Cafés there as Dunkin’ Donuts or a Starbucks right now,” he said. “Hopefully that will happen in my lifetime.”