Entrepreneur and designer Jai Manselle is expanding his growing retail footprint with assistance from one of the biggest names in music.
Rap music star Lil Baby, fresh off the heels of a critically-acclaimed Grammy performance on Sunday, took to social media on Monday to make the surprise announcement. The 2020 Apple Music “Artist of Year” will soon be releasing a Rap Snacks-branded line of flavored lemonade to stores nationwide. The lemony drinks will be called “Rap Snacks Oowee Lemonade” and come in bright, colorful bottles designed personally by Manselle.
Jai Manselle (sometimes called The King of Branding) has guided the product design and visual aesthetics for the Rap Snacks brand for the last half-decade, an investment that has proved fruitful for all parties in recent years. The snack food company, which is sold in stores like Walmart, Kroger, and 7-11, has been experiencing huge growth with Manselle. His vibrant and eye-catching bags now feature hip hop stars like Cardi B, Migos, and The Notorious B.I.G. Lil Baby officially joined the Rap Snacks roster in February when three (3) flavors of chips featuring his likeness were released by the brand.
In 2020, Rap Snacks sold over 30 million bags of chips, cheese puffs, and fries. The brand also sells 3 flavors of ramen noodles under the “Rap Snacks ICON Noodles” brand. Oowee Lemonade will be their first foray into the beverage space. The drinks feature five flavors—fruit punch, strawberry watermelon, mango pineapple, blueberry, and sweet tea. The lemonades will be available nationally at stores that sell Rap Snacks products.
About his new partnership, Lil Baby called the new opportunity “life-changing.” “I know my fans are going to love this line of Oowee Lemonades,” he said. “Rap Snacks are about hip-hop culture, I’m about the culture, and I’m excited that proceeds from every purchase are a ‘give back’ to help our communities. It’s exciting to be a part of something that will lift people from my hometown and nationally through the BossUp Foundation. It’s life-changing—I’ve never been a part of anything like this before.”
On his Instagram, Manselle doubled down on that sentiment by sharing a video showing Lil Baby’s likeness tending a lemonade stand with a caption that included the phrase “we turn lemons to lemonade.” He followed up with a string of Instagram stories featuring musicians Rick Ross, Romeo, and Trina sharing their excitement about the new release.
Rap Snacks, Manselle, and Lil Baby all seemed focused on re-enforcing the importance of social responsibility throughout this announcement. Not only does it come the day after Lil Baby’s Grammy performance of “The Bigger Picture” which featured calls for unity and an end to strained relationships between police and the black community, but, the proceeds of the endeavor will also directly benefit organizations that serve the community.
This community-focused approach to business was also seen in a documentary Jai Manselle produced last month for cable network Showtime. That film, “Ain’t Doing Enough,” follows former NBA star (and friend of police brutality victim George Floyd) on a memorable trip to Memphis just months after Floyd’s murder.