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Is this the result of her rendezvous, with Mr. Diddy or did this ho simply forget to put on her skirt?

Jay-Z Does Coke

Rap star/entrepreneur Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, who often references the time he spent dealing drugs on the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be pushing a different kind of Coke next month.

Coca-Cola has tapped Carter and his multimillion-dollar apparel company Rocawear to remix its Cherry Coke brand.Jay-Z will play a hand in all aspects of the fruit-flavored soda's relaunch, ranging from the look of the new can to the TV commercials and even co-producing and appearing at the brand's Feb. 7 launch at New York's Fashion Week.

Cherry Coke Zero, its diet sibling, will also debut.Scoring a deal with the chart-topping superstar is a coup for marketing-challenged Coke. But it remains to be seen how such a tie-in will be received as Jay-Z's varied business interests have recently been hitting consumers at a fast and furious pace. Some observers are wondering if he is reaching Snoop Dogg-like levels of overexposure.

Jay-Z is already the face and co-brand director of Budweiser Select. As part of his duties at Anheuser-Busch, he will appear in a Super Bowl spot three days before the Cherry Coke relaunch. The rapper also shilled for Hewlett-Packard notebook computers for the better half of last year. This month he unveiled a deal with General Motors and its Yukon Denali SUV."The more brands he fronts, the less the strategic power each of the individual appearances have."

No doubt Jay-Z brings something unique to the table—his business acumen. The rapper had retired in 2003 to run Def Jam, only to return with the Nov. 21 release (and tour) of his CD Kingdom Come. He is also co-founder of the Rock-A-Fella empire and part owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets, where he and girlfriend Beyoncé are front-row eye-catchers at most home games.

Teaming with Coke is merely the latest facet of Jay-Z's "new presence as an executive," said Jameel Spencer, CMO Rocawear, New York. "It's his new opportunity to expand his standing in the business world. Besides just recording, he's making TV commercials and campaigns for brands . . . [And], who is better than Coke? They're the biggest."

A Jay-Z song will serve as the soundtrack, although the artist isn't expected to appear in the executions

."The new can will feature a cityscape design. It marks the third time the brand, which debuted in 1985, has been repackaged during the past five years. But Cherry Coke has been long ignored by Coke, which spent about $100,000 on media during the past six years combined and nothing at all in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Rocawear, which targets men and women 13-21, was a perfect fit for Cherry Coke's rebranding, said Spencer. "The partnership between Rocawear and Coke for the relaunch of Cherry Coke represents how brands are looking for fully integrated partnerships to effectively communicate to a lifestyle.

The partnership is mutually beneficial as Coke has a longstanding place in the fabric of American culture, and Rocawear represents the fashion iteration of the 'new' America."Jay-Z was first linked to the cola giant last fall when an eight-minute video clip from a Radio City Music Hall performance, which included Coke promotional materials, began appearing on file-sharing sites. The clip was a part of the Coke Side of Life's interactive effort.Despite his full slate, "Jay-Z brings a sense of genuine hip-hop authenticity to the brands," said James. "His role is helping brands not get it wrong the way McDonald's did with African Americans rapping about French fries. There's a reassurance that they won't appear like an out-of-touch uncle trying to act cool."Jay-Z does not always bring a Midas touch. Even with his influence late in the year, Bud Select's shipments were down about 8% last year.

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