Dragon Energy: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall of The Sports Drink That Almost Was

TRUMP: Kanye called me. He said he was looking for backers in a new sports drink. An energy drink. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant. He wasn’t quite sure what he meant. But, he needed investment. And, I said, tell me about it. Believe me, I do my homework on a product, ok? I only attach the Trump name to the BEST stuff. Just really terrific stuff. And, he says to me, I remember quite clearly, I have a tremendous memory: “picture it, I want to make, like, the top of the line sports drink. The Gatorade of Sports Drinks.” Intrigued, of course, believe me, I said, “tell me more.”


TRUMP: And, I thought, ok, believe me, that, DRAGON ENERGY, I couldn’t tell you what it is, but, it has it. And, a lot of it. Astonishingly high amounts of it, really.


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The Oral History of the Rise and Fall of the Greatest Sports Energy Drink That Almost Was


KANYE: I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time. I was woke to the idea of us having dragons inside of us providing energy for a long time. The question was not so much, do I make this idea and sell it to the masses, it was more, will the dragons inside me be ok when I do this?

JAIME FOXX: Kanye came to me with this idea that he had. And, of course I listened. He said to me right away, “Foxx, you have that Dragon Energy.” And, I thought, “what is this motherfucker talking about?”

KANYE: There were some folks close to me skeptical at first. Big money people, they didn’t want to get in. So, I needed to go to the guy with the most Dragon Energy I could find.

TRUMP: (smiles wide)

FOXX: Hang on, no. But, the idea wasn’t the sports drink at that time!

DAVE CHAPPELLE: This dude comes to me, says he’s gonna make headphones.

SCOOTER BRAUN: Honestly, I’m glad the guy fired me on Twitter. Dragon Energy was supposed to be so many different companies at first. He just loved the name. Headphones. A chain of Medical Marijuana franchises. He wanted to do a new Netflix. He wanted to make a urinal, in which, instead of those little cakes or whatever they put in the urinal, they just have a mini bonfire in the urinal. And, your urine, your “dragon energy”, you use that to put out the fire. But, no it was not a sports drink at first.

CHAPPELLE: Maybe Trump was the perfect business partner after all.

BRAUN: So, no, I’m not upset the guy fired me on Twitter.

KANYE: I said, we got to start production right away. I told my people, get this out there in two weeks. They said to me, “two weeks” and I said to them, “two days!” And, so the first prototype of Dragon Energy was hot, but, it wasn’t fire.

DRAKE: ‘Ye brought me the first Dragon Energy. It was a scooter that almost killed Justin Beiber. He wanted me to get on that thing. No way.

KANYE: Biebs, he fell off that scooter. Maybe they should have spent more than two days on the damn production. I told them two weeks!

BRAUN: By this point, no one really trusted Kanye outside of the apparel game, and really, that was just because ADIDAS is really good at selling terrible looking sneakers to idiots. Credit to them, I guess. But, either way, Kanye needed to get back to work.

KANYE: I called Donald. He had just become President. So, I didn’t get through. I talked a bit with Bubble Kush.

JARED KUSHNER: (statement released on behalf of Jared Kushner who declined to speak) I met with Mr. West and thought that we could back-channel communications on his product line, Dragon Energy, between he and Mr. Trump. At the time, we were looking for some business associates that were not so…

KANYE: Yo, they wanted some business associates that were a lot less Boris and Natasha from Rocky & Bulwinkle!

KUSHNER: (statement) And, so, I arranged for some meetings with Mr. West and Mr. Trump. I am not aware of who attended these meetings, nor, am I aware of what we discussed at those meetings. Excuse me, I do not mean “we”, I mean, “was” I was not at those meetings.

TRUMP: He’s so cloak and dagger that guy, look, Kanye needed a guy. His business it was going to be OK. What, a scooter business? Headphones? Those were the things he wanted to make. But, you don’t come to Donald Trump and say, “I have a little scooter you can ride around.” You take that to lil Marco down in Florida, ok? Believe me, he could ride around a little scooter all day.

KANYE: I knew immediately that Donald was going to be my guy.

TRUMP: We knew this would be huge. HUGE. In twenty years, Dragon Energy would replace Coca-Cola, ok? I wouldn’t invest in a company if I did not believe that.

Eric TRUMP: That was what my father said, that we should replace Coca-Cola. And, so, we started to get to work on plann—-BARRON! That is myyy train set. You have your own trainsets, please don’t…no, don’t untie the woman on the tracks. I placed her there for a reason. The train is going to come down the tracks and…fine, move her, save the day. You think Father will love you even more for doing that? —- I’m sorry. I got distracted, where were we?

PART II: The Drink

Stormy DANIELS: I was one of the first to drink Dragon Energy.

Sarah Huckabee SANDERS: I can not confirm or deny that Stormy Daniels was one of the first to try Dragon Energy Drink.

TRUMP: Yeah, Stormy had the drink, ok? So what!

KANYE: It was in select hands for some testing. It came together very quickly. I mean, when Trump backs a product, rocket ship, watch out.

DANIELS: It tasted like Red Bull dumped into a Cool Blue Gatorade.

KANYE: We dumped Red Bull into a Cool Blue Gatorade!

TRUMP: It was delicious, believe me. Youse have not actually had a beverage until you try the original Dragon Energy.

KANYE: People wanted me to get back into making music. Get back into the studio. You’re not a drink-man! You’re Hip-Hop!

TRUMP JR: Hip-Hop was always so crass to my father. We started talking about Kanye getting into the studio with some guys to really make some sounds.

KANYE: Yo, so I recorded a country album.

NELLY: Been there, done that.

KANYE: Yo, but, this was not like some soft, band aid over the eye country hip hop remix, this was like…and, remember, I am all about love, and I say this with love…but, this was all about doing a country album that makes you want to get in your rusty old pickup truck, drive down a dirt road spittin’ tobacco out your mouth lookin’ for the first…

TRUMP Jr: A real American album, you know what I mean?

KANYE: So, that might drop.

TRUMP: But, after Kanye got into the studio and did that album, for America, we knew we had to mix up the beverage, ok. We had a winner of a beverage before…but, sometimes you need to win more. “It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big.” That’s a line I made up, ok, so we were going to win big.

KANYE: We poured some red Gatorade in there also!

DANIELS: It was still terrible.

SANDERS: Look, I just will not confirm or deny whether Stormy Daniels tasted the second Dragon Energy drink, or whether she thought it tasted terrible. It’s shameful of you to even ask that question when we have troops out there that are dying.

TRUMP: It was a tough drink, ok. No one really makes a tough Sports Drink. It’s really all of these light, politically correct, soft, weak, Sports Drinks. Those lightweight Sports Drinks are failing. Powerade. Ever heard of them anymore? No, ok. Our drink was amazing. A total rockstar of a beverage.

Eric TRUMP: It was delicious. I drank six of them before I left the room. I just thought that, this was the type of drink that I could drink six of them. And, Barron had just drank all of my juice boxes that morning before he went to school. And, I thought, well, silly little Barron isn’t going to drink my Dragon Energy. Because I drank them all!

PART III: Haters Paradise

JAY-Z: You know, I did this song with Kanye. Diamonds. And, in it, I rap, “Bleek could be one hit away his whole career/As long as I’m alive he’s a millionaire.” And, I think about that now, when you ask me about some terrible investment that Kanye has done. And, I think about friendship. And, there’s a reason why, when Kanye goes broke from these terrible ideas and throwing away his Yeezy Shoe Fortune on these terrible ideas, that he’s going to pray that the Keeping Up with the Kardashian money is still coming in. Because I won’t be there for him. Point is, some people know how to keep their mouths shut and not embarrass me for making their career.

KANYE: We had struggles right away.

TRUMP JR: People were saying the drink made them vomit. Alright? But, that wasn’t really the issue. You can get by a little bit of upset stomach when the beverage allows you to seize the entirety of the day, you know what I mean? We can sell sickness, but, we can’t sell the barrage of hate that came our way.

KANYE: Haters gonna hate.

TRUMP: We got sued! Some lightweight sad, nobody loser decided that Dragon Energy was going to confuse the market with one of their sayings.

Charlie SHEEN: I sued them.

KANYE: Dragons…are….real. Are tigers?! I ain’t never seen a Tiger on a Game of Thrones episode.

SHEEN: I just thought, look, very clearly, they were trying to capitalize on what I had done a few years ago with TIGER BLOOD. Especially when you look at how they attempted to promote the term through the media breakdown of a celebrity.

TRUMP: Look, we had this really terrific drink. Classy. Ok? And, we were not going to get knocked down by some out of control, zero credibility loser. I will win that lawsuit, believe me.

KANYE: I did not want to fight Charlie in a lawsuit.

TRUMP: Kanye, I love him, look, he is not a fighter. He is a lover. I am a lover too, ok, a tremendous lover, why would you question whether I am a lover? I am the BEST lover, but, in a more selfish way. So, Kanye, he doesn’t want to fight. So, I brought in a guy I love. John Rich. Great guy. Won my show. No easy task. And, I told him, John, you know I can fight this, I can win this lawsuit…

Michael COHEN: One of the few we actually could win.

TRUMP: But, you know, John, I’m the President. So, please, can you just talk to Kanye. Talk to Charlie. Let’s get this thing worked out.

John Rich: I came in. I tried to talk to Kanye and Charlie. But, once they start talking, you have to leave the room or else you’re going to want to look for a shotgun to stick down your throat. So, I left. They never noticed.

KANYE: We decided to bring Charlie in as an investor.

SHEEN: I have not invested in energy products since the 1980s.

KANYE: And, we were ready to call it a day and move on. Charlie has great ideas. But, then the next thing happened.

TRUMP: You can not win in this country without someone trying to tell you, “slow down. Here is another piece of bureaucratic red tape.”

KANYE: Gatorade and Red Bull sued us.

COHEN: That was not a lawsuit we could win.

KANYE: I just told them I loved them and that I wish they would let me put out this beverage that samples their products.

COHEN: They told us no.

KANYE: And, that was the end of Dragon Energy as a Sports Drink. We never sold any product. But, it could have been something special.

TRUMP: When I look back at our run with Dragon Energy, I think, wow. What an unbelievable product. What an unbelievable time. Just tremendous success with that Drink. They told me that in China, Dragon Energy is the first beverage they give to any baby that is born. Number one Sports Drink in America, ok. People tell me we don’t make things in America. Well, we made this. And, we made a LOT of it. Sold out in every store 24/7 it is an amazing, amazing drink. Kanye, he is smart. I like my brain, but, I like his brain too, and when we came together, we really knocked it out of the park.


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