Canada's 150th birthday celebrations have inspired deep inspection of what the country's true identity really is. Are we actually a booming multicultural paradise or are we just pretty landscapes with scattered towns? The answer may lie somewhere in between, but another solution was provided many years ago, back in 2013. To hear Kingston, Ontario comedian/musician Brian Richmond a.k.a. B. Rich a.k.a Friggin' Buddy tell it, the one thing that unites rural Canadians is a drive up to the lake (we have too many lakes) with a pickup truck, some buds, and some beers.
"Out for a Rip," by Richmond's group Shark Tank, tapped into a deep part of the Canadian psyche, racking up 12 million views. That may not seem like too much but remember that Canada's population is still only about 35 million. This was a big deal for us. Since the viral fame, Richmond and co. have done many other videos that both lampoon and celebrate the undying character of the Canuck hoser. As it turns out, that iconography is very profitable if Coca-Cola has anything to say about it.
According to a CBC report, Coke bottles have recently turned up bearing the iconic "out for a rip" catchphrase. Richmond has allegedly had this phrase trademarked since 2014, and since Coke did not ask him for permission, it represents a breach of copyright. Instead of filing a regular cease and desist letter, Richmond has adopted the Friggin' Buddy persona again for what may be rap's first formally legal diss track.
Yes, there is an actual C&D letter at the end and yes that is the group's actual lawyer. Canadians are petty and extra when we are riled.
Though it's been two days since the song was dropped/the complaint was filed, Coke still hasn't responded (the original CBC report says that they were "reviewing" the video). They will likely not do so with a track, but if Canadian trademark disputes are resolved with rap in the future, it would be the most this country has paid attention to and appreciated the genre since... ever. Canadians have never liked rap (except for Drake) and even playing up national stereotypes won't help. In any case, you can read the full story here.
Phil is a dispassionate Canadian on Twitter.