Home Arts & Culture Hip-Hop Cookie Shop Draws Backlash For Menu Items & Marketing

Hip-Hop Cookie Shop Draws Backlash For Menu Items & Marketing

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Hip-hop culture is incredibly special, influential, powerful… and in the United States’ cultural marketplace susceptible to commercial exploitation, highly profitable. Moreover, controversies can pop up every once in a while concerning companies or brands either appreciating rap culture for the better or misusing its impact and pop culture ubiquity in insensitive ways. As such, many folks are split on which of these two categories Cookie Plug, a California-based multi-state bakery shop, falls into. The reason why is due to their Indianapolis franchise’s hip-hop-themed nomenclature for their items and the marketing behind them. But it’s not all that bad, at least with the information we have from a XXL report.

Furthermore, some menu items are very much innocuous, such as a “So So Icy” ice cream sandwich and packaging that boasts the message “Thank you for supporting your neighborhood doughp dealer.” However, other items such as the “Purple Drank” purple lemonade, referring to lean, rub customers the wrong way, including Indianapolis resident Feeray Phillips. “When the franchise is not aware of what the terminology they’re dealing with and, to be honest, tropes as gimmicks to sell people lemonade and children lemonade, that’s a problem,” they told the local news outlet WISHTV.

Still, the team behind Cookie Plug doesn’t really have any problem with how they’ve handled, promoted, or branded their products. Co-owner Doreen Walters recently pushed back against this negativity, seemingly suggesting that there isn’t a lot of overtly negative connotations with something like “Purple Drank.” “Those comments are hurtful so I’m not even watching it,” she expressed. “I grew up at this time and I’ve never done drugs. ‘Purple Drank’ is just that, ‘purple drank.’ It’s lemonade.”

Meanwhile, with these isolated examples in mind, it’s hard to call whether or not this cookie chop is engaging in cultural appropriation or if they’re just showing love. After all, there’s not a lot of accessible information at press time about the origins of Cookie Plug, the specific Indianapolis location’s ownership, and other important factors that could answer that question. If you’re in the city, keep an eye out and make that judgement for yourself. But supporting a business and supporting hip-hop, as much as they are two amazing initiatives, are hard to truly mix together.

About The Author

Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output.

Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond.

Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C.

His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.

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