Published Jul 12, 2017Kingston rapper Brendan Richmond (a.k.a. B. Rich) went viral back in 2013 with his song and accompanying video "Out for a Rip," playing up rural Canadian stereotypes to rake in over 12 million views. Now, the Ontario rapper is demanding Coca-Cola to stop using the catchphrase on its bottles.
As Richmond tells CBC, he found a bottle of the soft drink in a Toronto grocery store in May that had "Out for a Rip" printed on its label.
"It's kind of neat to see a thing that I created and here it is on this iconic product," Richmond said. "But then, on the other side of it, it's a total bummer. Because that's my thing and nobody asked me if it was okay to go ahead and use that."
In demanding that the soft drink giant cease using the phrase, Richmond has created a new song titled "Out for a Sip," which is accompanied by its own ridiculous video. The clip finds Richmond in character out on the lake fishing with his buddies, driving a boat to his lawyer's upon finding the phrase on a bottle.
As a settlement, Richmond asks for tickets to Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays games, tickets to see family in Saskatoon, and a truck full of Coke.
Toronto-based intellectual property lawyer Rob Kittredge, who appears in the video as lawyer John Buddy, filed the trademark for "Out for a Rip" back in 2014. It was officially registered in April 2016 and applies to musical work, performances and merchandise.
"He's not asserting ownership of the phrase overall, but he's the reason there's a connection in people's heads between the phrase 'out for a rip' and music," Kittredge said. "Coke is doing a promotion right now that relates directly to online music."
He continued: "It just kind of sets a not-very-good precedent that an independent artist could have his things applied to other products when it's not really how it should go. You would think a company like Coke could find it in its budget to negotiate a licence with a musician that clearly has rights to a phrase that they're planning on using."
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told the CBC that the company is aware of the video and is reviewing Richmond's request. Find both "Out for a Sip" and "Out for a Rip" in the players below.