No matter where you’re from drinking is a widely accepted social indulgence. And when there’s a product that breaches language and cultural barriers, trust that there is an abundance of money to be made. Millions of drinkers worldwide spend billions each year gratifying themselves in the centuries-old tradition of turning up. Another product that destroys barriers and brings people together, is music. Once music and alcohol are combined, a euphoric daze entrances the human soul, and happiness exists on a plane where inhibitions are low and good vibes are at a peak.

The manufacturing and distribution of alcohol are two of the most lucrative businesses in the world. Think about it, bottles of Grey Goose at wholesale price cost no more than $11 a bottle. Liquor stores then turn around and sell each bottle in the case for more than double that. If you happen to be at the club, those same $11 dollar bottles skyrocket to over $250 a bottle - no wonder rappers are so eager to get involved in the liquor game.

Diddy’s Ciroc brand commercialized the partnership between hip-hop and liquor on a level never seen before. True, Jay-Z and Dame Dash bought into Armadale Vodka years before Ciroc was the go-to hip-hop vodka, and Snoop and ‘Pac were trendsetters when they partnered with St. Ides to create their own flavours, but Diddy’s joint venture with Diageo changed the game. He splits the profits right down the centre with the billion-dollar alcohol company, while controlling Ciroc’s advertisement and liquor distribution in America. Since Puff inked the deal in 2007, several other rappers have decided to invest in the liquor business as well. Check out our list of hip-hop emcees blazing their own trail in the alcohol lane.