A new fruit-flavored alcoholic drink from Colt 45 is drawing the ire of youth advocates, who claim the drink, "Blast by Colt 45," is targeted at minors. But recent comments from the brewing company, as told to the New York Times, indicate its plans to stand behind the beverage as well as its chief sponsor: Snoop Dogg.
Snoop appears in a wide variety of promotional materials for Blast, including posters and billboards, acting as a sort of successor to Colt 45's last iconic spokesman, Billy Dee Williams. The smooth-talking emcee has even gone so far as to shout out his alcoholic patron on his latest album, Doggumentary.
But critics of Blast aren't happy with the partnership, saying that invoking Snoop's image is just another way to get kids to go after the alcoholic drink.
“What is happening here is an obvious attempt to foist this stuff on young African-American men,” said Tom Burrell, author of a book on images of African-Americans in the media.
Blast comes in a variety of fruity flavors—including raspberry lemonade, watermelon and grape—and has drawn damning comparisons to Four Loko, another the harshly criticized "alcopop." Four Loko, the caffeine-packed drink that also gained popularity in hip hop videos, was recently order by the FDA to stop the use of caffeine as a part of its formula.
Colt 45, for its part, says Blast is clearly marketed for adults and remains proud of its association with Snoop.
“That’s just him being a true partner and saying I’m not just an endorser,” said Daren Metropoulos, co-owner of Blast's parent, Pabst Brewing Company. “Whether he’s putting it in his songs or having his posse drinking it, it’s part of his lifestyle.”
Snoop himself has yet to comment on the controversy.
As previously reported, Brooklyn MC Talib Kweli ended his sponsorship with Colt 45 over Blast.