Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Four Loko Delivered Just What Its Marketing Department Promised

Back in July, in assessing the sudden prominence of awful beverage Four Loko in rap, we decided that "rap songs about consumer goods will never be the same again." But there were bigger things on the horizon for Four Loko. In New York, the Latin Kings forced their rape victim to chug 10 cans of Four Loko before torturing him. Out west, a bunch of Central Washington University students "over-dosed" on the drink. New Jersey's Ramapo College has banned it from their campus. To put it mildly, and to stress the least important part of these stories, Four Loko has had a rough month for PR.

Fortunately, though, there's still plenty of rap songs that are exclusively dedicated to the product. Unfortunately, in one case, from August—Fese's "Four Loko"—just 40 seconds of song and video combine to remind you of all this negative press.

It's almost too perfect. The video opens up with a bunch of young people passed out with Four Loko cans on their heads, which, according to CNN, is more or less how Roslyn, WA police found the CWU students, who were described as being almost dead.

And when the hook drops, well. "I go Loko on their ass" is not a great choice. Let's just say that the hook takes on new meaning, in light of recent events in the Bronx that involve sodomy.

If Four Loko is paying for these rap songs, which it's easy to believe, given that Fese et al are dropping the names of various flavors, they might want to introduce some new guidelines.

Or—better still—maybe it's an experiment in viral subvertising, and Four Loko is making these horrible things happen. That would mean that Fese's video is a calling card of sorts, like how Jay-Z tipped off monetary policy wingnuts to his secret agenda through occult imagery in his music videos.

Or maybe not. There's really no way to prove it either way.

Willy Staley writes about federal urban policy for Next American City, and about Bay Area rap music (kind of) on Nation of Thizzlam.

33 Comments / Post A Comment

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

If "going Loko on their ass" becomes this autumn's "bros icing bros," we're all in big trouble.

Really don't know what I'm going to do with my weekends if they decide to ban this stuff.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Perhaps a ban would lead to a Cisco resurgence?

Four Loko really isn't as good as Crunk Juce [sic] anyway. Haven't tried the 12% Joose yet.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

I had Joose once – it tastes of chewable vitamin C and makes it incredibly difficult to fall asleep, although I may have missed the correct venn-diagram overlap between caffeine and alcohol.

Yeah, you really do need a "nightcap" or three. Which… Well, here we are.

Miles Klee (#3,657)

Direly need to stockpile some cans of cranberry lemonade before the ban comes down.

Yeah I have a favorite flavor and it is cranberry lemonade.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I know a place that still has SPARKS. Yeah buddy.

@MK: When you say "favorite," I hope you mean "most tolerable." But then, everybody knows the most tolerable flavor is watermelon.

@AY: Vintage Sparks? With caffeine? Because they still make it, sans caffeine. But nobody really stocks it because what's the point?

Art Yucko (#1,321)

yes. The caffinated Sparks. way back in the back of a walk-in cooler… sitting there forgotten. I almost bought a sixer, but then I thought about the judgmental smirks I would receive.

mickeyitaliano (#2,202)

"Gabe" aka "Gogol" is now floating in the Ganges…

For people too lazy to mix vodka and Red Bull, or not sophisticated enough to make Irish Coffee?

saythatscool (#101)

You ever have a Sammy Davis Jr? Vodka shaken with iced coffee. I drank ten of them once in a bar and took my shirt off because I thought I was having a heart attack. I was 22.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

So you turned 22 last night, stc?

saythatscool (#101)

Last night was a Cisco siesta. I woke up in one of those giant bucket signs outside the local KFC with 2 piece and a Grape Fanta.

Dave Bry (#422)

The music videos are a really weird and creepy phenomenon. Here's another new addition to the canon:

As are the "commercials" so many people have taken to making:

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

I really enjoy the official caveats. "Butchu gotta be 21, if you wanna sip it up."

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Nothing is as creepy as Sizzurp/Grimace/etc. virals, though. I remember seeing kids on MySpace who more or less dedicated their entire profile pages to sizzurp consumption, and photographs of themselves gettin' their drank on. (-smh-)

deepomega (#1,720)

"Overdose" = "alcohol poisoning," right? Because I hate to break it to you, America: you can get alcohol poisoning from any alcohol at all.

hman (#53)

Is a chest tattoo a requirement?

zidaane (#373)

New York owns plunger sodomy.

saythatscool (#101)

You are the king, sir.

Smitros (#5,315)

To update a piece of lazy screenwriting, "Don't mess with me, Esse. Don't you know I drink Four Loko?"

Your weekend really isn't shit until you've chugged a Four Loko in the alley behind a school playground.

keisertroll (#1,117)

You whippersnappers and your Four Loko. Back in my day all we had was Funky Cold Medina AND WE LIKED IT.

That reminds me that there's some variation on the brass monkey called a "sidewalk slammer." Instead of OJ, it uses (used?) Sparks.

Lenora Nunez (#8,260)

The problem is bigger than just Four Loko. Alcospeed is threatening our youth. An energy drink epidemic is sweeping the country. I urge you all to Think Before You Drink. Please sign my petition. Tell the FDA to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors! Be aware, look for the signs, remain vigilant, save a life!

Yes Ma'am, I definitely think before I drink. I think "I would really like an alcoholic beverage!" Sometimes I think "I would really like an alcoholic beverage that contains caffeine, ginseng, guarana, and taurine!" Sometimes I think those things repeatedly.

And I don't have a drinking problem: get drunk, fall down, get up, no problem!

Smitros (#5,315)

I like to have a Four Loko,
Maybe two at most.
Three, I'm under the table.
Four, I'm suffering from tachycardia shallow breath dehydration disorientation and vomiting.

Ribs (#2,690)

Well, all this bad press made me purchase one of these last night. Didn't even realize my local convenience even carried them! "Bad press is better" etc

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