3 leading hip hop stars who love smoking cigars

Cigars are the definition of cool. Here are 5 leading hip hop artists who share our love for cigar culture.

 

  • Sean “Diddy” Combs

There is no denying it, Combs is one of the most successful men in hip hop history, well on his way to becoming the first billionaire of hip hop.   Not only has Combs continued to remain an iconic and legendary presence in the music industry for the last 20 years, he has also left his mark for generations to come with his clothing industry brand; Sean John. Combs has continued to amplify his mark on this world with an extremely intellectual business decision becoming a part of the liquor industry, with his well known brand; Ciroc. Diddy is no stranger to the finer things in life. He has been known for throwing extravagant parties, vacationing in St.Tropez on expensive yachts, chartering private jets and of course smoking some of the finest cigars in the world.

 

  • Rick Ross

Born out of luxurious, sunny, Miami Florida,  Ross has become the popular icon we all know today for his undeniable confidence and ease when rapping. Ross is also unbelievably talented when it comes to telling vivid tales of both the hardcore street life as well as the luxury, lavish life. He is currently one of the top elite rappers in the hip hop industry and has worked with the best of the best including Pharrel, Jay-Z, Nas, and Kanye West, just to name a few. Ross is so in love with the plush life that he named his label Maybach Music Group after the ultra-luxury, vehicle manufactured by Mercedes. Rick Ross also has a deep love for the best cigars money can buy. On his third album “Deeper than rap”, he had a song dedicated to one of his favorite pleasures of all time titled “Cigar Music.” On this track, he raps the following lyrics, “Fascinated with foreign felines, Since I was knee high, This cigar got me buzzin like a Bee hive.”

 

  • T.I.

Hailing from Atlanta, T.I. is often referred to as “the southern version of Jay-Z.” T.I. exploded onto the hip hop scene back when his first album dropped in 2001. T.I quickly gained a large fan following for his forceful rapping delivery and his clever, quick way with words. Over the years, T.I. has transformed into quite the accomplished entertainer. He’s acted in several big name movies (ATL, American Gangster), has his own reality show, owns a clothing line (Akoo) and does career arcs in some of the most critically acclaimed TV series like Boss, House of Lies and more. He can often been seen dressed up in the finest suits and a fresh haircut, and he’s even been featured  on the cover of the premier  cigar-industry publication, Smoke.

All in all, above all else, never forget that “There are two things worth living for, one is a good cigar, the other is a better one.” – Unknown

and

“Cigar smoking knows no politics. It’s about the pursuit of pleasure, taste, and aroma.”- Anonymous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The in’s and out’s of Cigar lounges

Become friendly with the lounge personnel:  Start with the manager. Odds are he (or she) is the most knowledgeable person in the shop. A good relationship with your tobacconist will pay-off in the long run. Whether looking for a new cigar, a lighter, a cutter, or if we are having problems with our cigars or our humidor, our tobacconist is one of our best allies.

Don’t bring cigars from home: One of the most often debated questions with regard to cigar store lounge etiquette is whether or not to “BYO” cigars from our home humidor into the lounge. Most cigar store managers tend to clench their teeth a little at this, especially if it becomes a habit. If you’re a regular customer, odds are you most likely purchased the cigars in the store anyway. Moreover, regular customers tend to get a little more latitude here. If you’re going to bring your own cigars to a store lounge, at least bring brands that are sold in the store. Nothing makes a cigar store manager more irritable than seeing someone bring in an alien cigar purchased from a competitor. Even worse, is when a customer openly brags about how great that alien cigar is.

Make sure to welcome the newcomer: If we are regulars at our favorite lounge, be kind to the new brothers-of-the-leaf. Smile. Ask them their name, and what they’re smoking. In short, make them feel comfortable.

Do not show-boat: Drawing attention to one’s self by boasting about their pricey cigars  in their personal collection or their custom-built humidor, is a real buzz kill. Even worse, don’t belittle someone else’s cigar. If they love smoking machine-made cigars, or flavored cigars, or $19.95/ bundle cigars, so be it. Never presume to  know everything about cigars, because that just isn’t the reality.

Do not interrupt others while they are speaking: If other cigar smokers are having a conversation, don’t jump-in and start speaking. Sometimes people just want to talk among themselves. It isn’t personal. If you have something to add, at least wait until they’re finished talking. Odds are at that point they’ll be more than happy to hear what you have to say.

Do not act like an expert: Every cigar smoker, regardless of their experience, has their own way of preparing their cigars. If, in your opinion you see someone cutting or lighting their cigars improperly, bite your tongue and let them continue. However, if you absolutely have to offer advice, try to take them aside, and as politely as possible say something like, “I noticed how you clipped your cigar before. You know, you’d get a better draw if you did this…” In that case, even if they don’t want your advice, they can’t fault you for trying to help them out.

Do not beg: First of all, remember to bring your own lighter and cutter. Most cigar smokers have no problem letting you borrow their lighter and/or cutter. But once you make a habit of saying, “Can I borrow your lighter?” they tend to do a slow burn. Most cigar lounges have community lighters and cutters on- hand for such purposes. Most importantly, never wet the tip of your cigar before using the lounge’s community cutter, and especially when using another person’s cutter. YUCK.

Many cigar store lounges also provide coffee, snacks and other refreshments for their patrons. Coming in just so you can get a “free lunch” is beyond the pale. Some of the regulars will often bring in their own libations, which they are generally willing to share. It wouldn’t hurt to spring for a little payback every now and then. Want to really make an impression? Go the extra mile and pay it forward with cigars. Moreover, some cigar clubs and lounges have a “club rule” where when someone wins a box of cigars, they share the booty with the others in the lounge.

 

If we stick to these guidelines, we will be the most respectable smokers around.

I’ll Have What She’s Having: A Guide to Cigars for Women

 

I’ll Have What She’s Having - A Guide to Cigars for Women

Ladies, if you have ever strolled past a cigar shop and thought, “I would love to smoke a cigar but I don’t know the first thing about it,” then this article is for you. A lot of beginners, both women and men, are intimidated by the heir of sophistication associated with most cigar lounges. The choices can be overwhelming and include different brands, flavors, sizes and more. It is no wonder that curious women pass by cigar bars and lounges, mistakenly thinking it is not a place for them.

Cigars are a great way to celebrate everything from a new engagement to a new promotion. Smoking a cigar has been seen as a traditionally male-dominated activity, but in recent years it has expanded to include more women joining the fun. For the woman interested in taking their first puff, we have some tips that will transition you from a cigar beginner to a cigar aficionado.

Tip 1: Ask Questions

Make the manager of the cigar lounge earn his or her money for the day. You will be surprised at how much they know about cigars. Answering a few questions about your favorite wines, whether or not you have ever smoked before, and candle scents you prefer will help them determine the perfect cigar for you. In most cases, your local cigar manager will suggest something mild like a Buccarat or Don Diego for a beginner.

Tip 2: Bring a Friend

Like everything else in life, learning about cigars is more fun with a buddy. Whether you bring a novice like yourself or an experienced cigar smoker, bringing someone along for your first cigar experience is a great way to make a new memory and feel less intimidated by the cigar lounge.

Tip 3: Be Bold

Being bold does not mean pretending you know everything there is to know about cigars. Being bold means to approach the situation with confidence. You will not be the first woman to step into the world of cigars. You might think, “I wonder how many women have actually come into a place like this before,” and the answer is: Lots! So, be bold, experiment with different cigar types and flavors, and enjoy the experience.

Tip 4: Be You

Virginia Slim cigarettes had one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever because they knew their market and catered to it. If you are old enough to remember the slender cigarettes being advertised by women with a professional and glamorous edge to them, then you know what we mean. Some cigar makers have begun to recognize the market for women as a potentially big one and that is great for you. If you want to try a honey or mocha flavored cigar, go for it! You do not have to “run with the big boys” and get the most robust cigar in the lounge to prove yourself. Start where you are comfortable and with flavors that appeal to you.

It can be a scary thing to walk into a cigar lounge for the first time. However, following our simple tips can help make your first time smoking a cigar a great one! Cheers!

 

 

Ain’t No Party Like a Cigar Party

Ain’t No Party Like a Cigar Party

Summer backyard barbecues are about to give way to crisp, fall cookouts. But, fear not! You can always keep the spirit of summer going by throwing your own stogie party. A cigar party is a great way to introduce your novice friends to the hobby, and expose your cigar enthusiast buddies to some of your favorite stogies and swap cigar knowledge like a pro. You will need a few items to make your event a success and, of course, the Cigar Ink team has you covered.

Food

First, what party is complete without food? A cigar party is no exception. The type of food you serve will depend on the goal of your party. Are you looking to have a variety of cigars to try? Then you will want to keep your food choices light. The perfect spread is an array of cheese, crackers and bread, fruit and veggies. If you are looking to do a more substantial menu, keep it light on the spices. Serve the lightest, least flavor-rich foods first and save the heavier, more flavorful foods for later in the evening. We advise this because you want the flavors of the cigars to shine, not the food. Tailor your menu accordingly.

 

Food

 

Drinks

Cigars and drinks go together like cereal and milk…or something like that. Just as with the food, the type of drinks you serve will depend on the type of cigars you will have. For lighter, milder flavored stogies, you can pair with a sweeter white wine like Riesling or vodka and seltzer water mix. For bold flavored cigars, you can go for the traditional pairing of bourbon or full-bodied cognac.

 

Drinks

Technology

Let’s all not forget about that time when Claudia made it impossible for any of us to sleep; until we locate her ‘already busted’ Samsung or iPhone (who knows). You know that thing only had like 7 contacts in it from Lafayette, LA. She’ll definitely be back in that iPhone Repair 4 Less store she’s goes to all the time. Nothing like kicking back, lighting up your personally engraved cigar aye!

Everything Else

You wouldn’t throw a wine party and forget to include wine glasses, right? Similarly, you should not forget all the accessories needed for your stogie party. Ashtrays, cigar cutters, and good, working lighters are all essential to your party. If you are a true cigar aficionado outfitted with your own personal humidor, make sure your cigars are ready (unwrapped and free to breathe) about half an hour before it’s go-time. Once your guests arrive, feel free to light up, drink up and eat up. Remember to keep the food light and have a variety of drinks to pair with each type of cigar you guest chooses.

 

 Everything Else

You might think that summer is the best time for a cigar party, but there is never a wrong time to enjoy a cigar. You can feel confident in kicking the fall season into high gear with a perfectly planned cigar party. Once you have the first one under your belt, you will want to keep throwing stogie parties throughout the year. For the best choice of custom cigars online, be sure to keep Cigar Ink at the top of your list.