It appears that Mountain Dew soft drink is joining the list of corporate names that have pulled back sponsorship deals with acclaimed Hip-Hop artists. Most of us know how sour the recent Reebok and Rick Ross deal went. Now PepsiCo (parent company of Mountain Dew) has decided to retract its current "Felicia The Goat" campaign with Tyler The Creator of rap group Odd Future. Sources link the move to some online backlash that declare the spots as "extremely racist and misogynist." Sounds almost like a joke to us considering that Tyler and the Odd Future crew have made their claim to fame in very unorthodox and seemingly "offensive" ways. In other words, wasn't Mountain Dew aware of the particular "brand of comedy" that the group is known for before sitting down and signing that contract? Guess not.
One of Hip-Hop’s most recognizable
names came under fire recently for his lyrics on a song that he was featured
on. Miami rapper Rick Ross was criticized for his reference to date rape on
Rocko’s "U.O.E.N.O." Rick Ross attempted to apologize more than once for the lyric
("I’d die over these reeboks you ain’t even know it/ Put Molly all in her
champagne, she ain't even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she
ain't even know it.”) but it was seen as disingenuous because they failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the
issue. Rape is no joke (or art) when nearly 1 in 5 U.S. women surveyed in the National Intimate Partner
and Sexual Violence Survey said they had been sexually assaulted.
Protests and petitions against
Rick Ross included women’s rights group, UltraViolet, who asked Reebok to end
their relationship with the rapper. After several weeks of protest and pressure Reebok finally issued a statement that culminated in saying “At this time, it
is in everyone's best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr.
Hip-Hop artists have long enjoyed the
freedom to express themselves but they can find that freedom restricted when they become paid
endorsers of multinational corporations. After dealing with the embarrassment
of losing his deal Ross issued another apology: “And most recently,
my choice of words was not only offensive, it does not reflect my true heart.
And for this, I apologize. To every woman that has felt the sting of abuse, I
apologize. I recognize that as an artist I have a voice and with that, the
power of influence.” Hopefully a few lessons were learned from all of this. One, that rape culture will not be tolerated, two, that Hip-Hop artists should really check their moral values before embodying an offensive stage "persona" and three, everyone read fine print before they sign up to be pitchmen--so that they know what they're risking!
In case criminals or folks looking to stay off the law's radar needed any more proof that the authorities are indeed using
social media to track offenders, DNA Info
New York recently reported a case involving an unidentified
assailant who was eventually tracked with the using photos stored on social media. The technological implications of the case reveal
that authorities now have an extended Facebook (or any other social media
network with pictures)-assisted photo bank ready and available for their
search needs. Though we're not sure where constitutional rights and or Internet
privacy stand here, the fact of the matter is that Facial
Recognition Units are very real and becoming much more common in law enforcement. Would be criminals
The folks over at BuzzFeed Food have a pretty in-depth article about a 45-year-old Cannabis baker from Los Angeles, California. The former non-profit worker turned to baking as soon as her daughter became old enough to allow her some time to focus on the craft. The article highlights the interesting ins and outs of the burgeoning-yet-still clandestine industry. With plenty of pictures to show, but tons of red tape to cross, it's interesting to note what the mommy baker mentions her motivations are and how detailed the process gets. Check out the full article here.
According to Canadian actor-turned-rapper, Drake's , Instagram account, commercial chains like Walmart and Macy's may have some royalties to turn over. Mr. Toronto claims ownership to the now-infamous phrase Y.O.L.O. (you only live once). And now the word is plastered all over merchandise like hats and shirts. This is going to be an interesting one...
Ex-con Jeff Smith spent one year in federal prison. What he discovered while there was not what he had expected. On the inside he experienced the ingenuity and resourcefulness of fellow inmates that pretty much reflected the tenacity of modern-day CEO's and businessmen. The following is his remarkable TED Talk about how society should learn to tap into the resource of sharp inmates rather than stigmatize and outcast their return.
Fans of free Internet radio sites are being asked by leaders like Pandora's Tim Westergren to support a new bipartisan bill. The Internet Radio Fairness Act, as it's been dubbed, hopes to help change some unfair practices. According to Pandora (and others) the music industry is charging them hefty royalty fees that amount to 50% of their revenues while online radio sites like Sirius XM only pay 10%. Listeners and supporters can learn more about the act and how to help it pass by visiting Pandora's FAQ page here.
While technology giants Apple and Samsung really battle it out in the courtroom, The Conan O' Brien Show has taken the liberty of spoofing the electronic rivalry. The result is a hilarious skit featuring a fictional Samsung VP that swears his company is not biting any "Apple". Funny stuff!
An app that can save your arse by notifying your cavalry (lawyer included) that you're being arrested? That's what software developers at Quadrant 2 decided to create when they realized how many every-day citizens were being arrested at the Occupy Wall Street rallies all over the United States. The I'm Getting Arrested app allows users to broadcast a custom SMS message to people that they designate in the event of an untimely arrest. Power to the [smartphone] people!
Connoisseurs and average users of medical marijuana rejoice as one of the most design-forward and comprehensive resources of strands and dispensaries, Leafly, is available online and as an iOS app. The genius behind both site and app is the level of detail and safe-for-work option integration. There's an A-Z library of hundreds of strands organized and cleverly abbreviated into Periodic Table-like squares, complete with their classification and effects. Great execution. We don't care how "illegal" it is!
The República Update is a lifestyle destination that delivers quality and relevant information to its community of readers. We cover events, pop culture, branding, trends, technology, the arts and social issues from a multicultural perspective.