It’s a familiar situation: You wake up too late in the day, head pounding, resentfully eyeing the empty cans of Pabst beer sitting on the table, wishing you had never heard of the beer maker, because all it does is betray you. Well, Snoop Dogg is stepping up on behalf of the common people, and doing something many of us likely wish we could do: he’s suing Pabst. The Associated Press reports the rapper filed suit against Pabst Brewing Co. on Monday, but surprisingly it was not for making a beer that causes instant hangovers. No, the cause of this lawsuit was Mr. Dogg’s allegation that Pabst owes him money from the company’s sale last year.
The beer maker was sold to an investment firm in 2014, thereby proving definitively that all stereotypes aligning the beer with some abstract notion of youth “hipster” culture are indeed as dead as we’ve long wished them to be. Snoop Dogg is asking for 10 percent of the sale price paid for its Colt 45 malt beer line in the transfer. The reason? In 2011, the rapper signed a three-year agreement to endorse Blast by Colt 45, a “fruit-flavored beer” that is no doubt the choice of underage kids everywhere when their local selling-to-minors store is out of Boone’s Strawberry Hill. The contract supposedly guarantees the artist formerly known as Snoop Lion a portion of the sale price if Pabst sold off Colt 45 before January 2016.
The deal also said that Snoop Dogg would “consult with Colt 45’s marketing team at least once a year on how he could integrate Blast by Colt 45 into his concerts, interviews and social media posts.” Unfortunately, it did not go on to imply that he would recommend they start making a better product. He was paid $250,000 for the deal, along with an additional $20,000 for “every 10th mention of the beer on social media, TV or during a concert,” which is the origin of W.E.B. DuBois’ use of the phrase “the talented tenth.” (DuBois was a huge fan of promoting Blast by Colt 45 on social media.)
For its part, Pabst is claiming the sale didn’t trigger the clause granting Snoop Dogg a portion of the proceeds. Then again, Pabst is still just trying to climb out from under the perception that it was bought by the Russians, so it has its hands full. Just not full of a good-tasting beverage.