A Toronto Coffee Shop Offers A Tupac Latte With A Distasteful Reference To His Past

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Companies and brands who choose to co-opt pop culture often walk that fine line between cheeky and crass in their attempts to be cool. A Canadian coffee shop is operating dangerously close to latter of the two, thanks to a Tupac-themed offering on their menu that makes light of the late rapper’s violent past.

Run and Gun Coffee is a Toronto-based shop that claims it “serves up quality drinks, film, and good vibes” including the “finest espresso based coffees and Teas that Toronto has to offer.” Apparently, one of those offerings happens to be named after Tupac, the Death Row rapper who was gunned down in September of 1996. But, the shop didn’t just co-opt Pac’s name for the drink without adding a tasteless touch referencing the 1994 shooting incident at Quad City Studios in New York City, as described by blogTO:

“Not written on the board is the “Tupac,” which plays thematically with the chalk drawings of rappers that direct you into the coffee shop from a sandwich board outside. Appropriately, it has five shots, and is dotted with five milk “bullet holes.” Perfect for when even you’re not sure whether you yourself are alive or dead.”

Jokes about Tupac’s being shot are nothing new as his death has provided fodder for comedians ever since the legendary music and pop culture icon was killed nearly two decades ago. Oftentimes, his death is mentioned in unison with the Notorious B.I.G.’s, who was gunned down in 1997, in reference to the infamous east coast-west coast rivalry that erupted in rap during the time period. But most jokes point out the irony related to police or other agencies being able to track down the suspect in a crime, but never being able to find the killers of Tupac and B.I.G. It’s more of an indictment of law enforcement than an actual joke directed to make light of their deaths.

If Run and Gun is using “five shots” for the Tupac latte, they may want to consider how the reference comes across as offensive, even if that isn’t the intent, to the man’s legacy and for surviving family members, loved ones and fans. There are plenty of ways to pay homage to fallen stars, but to make light of almost being killed definitely shouldn’t be a chosen way to do it. Let’s hope the Canadian shop gets the message and rethinks how they serve up this rap-related latte.

(Via blogTO)