17 December 2007

Are Jim Brown And Larry Johnson Pushing “Thug Life?”

Jim Brown and Larry Johnson are many things. Famous athletes, mainly. They’re also entrepreneurs though, as part of O.G. Nation, which sells beverages and snacks. And according to a New York City Councilman, their involvement in it really means they’re helping to market the inner-city to kids.

So yeah, they’re selling stuff with curious names. “Thug Chips” and “Atomic Dogg” drinks conjure up a number of images, none of them being “yummy.”

Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-Queens), who has been crusading against the marketing of gang paraphernalia on city streets, today will call on investors to pull out and buyers to stay away.

"They are people trying to exploit our youth," Comrie said. "It's even more insidious because these are people that work directly with gangs . . . enticing people into thug life and gang life. It makes no sense to me," the lawmaker told The Post.

He said Johnson and Brown's products will end up hurting "generations of people."

"Why would you harm an entire culture just to help a few people" make money? Comrie asked.
Perhaps he’s got a point, but perhaps his protests are nothing more than another politician’s shrill exclamations. The products are trying to have an edge, as do numerous other ones. And if you take a look at their website, it sure doesn’t seem like a ghetto company.

And you wouldn’t expect O.G. to lay back and take this, would you? They of course shot back with a retort.
"The logic behind these accusations is spurious and the premises are completely unfounded. To suggest that there is a connection between a soft drink can and gang violence is simply willful and deliberate ignorance of the deeper socio-economic divisions that are the root of the problem. OG Nation was formed specifically to contribute to greater equality of opportunity in the commercial arena, and the Company has chosen to market its products to an underserved and marginalized demographic. This article only illustrates some of the perfidious ways that these kinds of disingenuous remarks serve to mask ignorant and bigoted rhetoric, and the Company's commitment to its larger social program is only reinforced as a consequence."
So Jim Brown and Larry Johnson are pushing soda and snack chips in a bad way? Only if you're talking about calorie intake. Gangs and “thug life” don't seem to be a part of it.

22 comments:

dp said...

Wow, the O.G. press release makes my head hurt. It's certainly not very gangster. Make the big words stop.

No, but seriously, didn't this happen a while back with Nelly's Pimp Juice? It's just the same lame marketing idea. If the Concilman wouldn't have said anything about it, it wouldn't have gotten nearly as much publicity. Maybe he's in on it.

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