Above, you can see Snoop Dogg celebrating his 40th birthday with a Colt 45 cake. Sadly, that was four years ago, and today, his relationship with the Pabst-owned brand is in a much more precarious position. Bloomberg reports that Snoop filed a suit in Los Angeles state court on Monday, June 8, against the recently sold U.S. brewer, claiming he is entitled to a percentage of the company’s net value based on a promotional contract.
Back in 2011, Snoop — aka Calvin Broadus Jr. — became a brand ambassador for one of the Pabst Brewing Co.’s new products, a fruit-flavored malt liquor called Blast by Colt 45. This contract included a stipulation known as a “phantom-equity clause” that guaranteed him 10 percent of the net sale price of the Colt 45 brand. Last year, the company was sold by C. Dean Metropoulos to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC, a conglomerate that includes private-equity group TSG Consumer Partners LLC and entrepreneur Eugene Kashper. Metropoulous bought the company for $250 million in 2010, and reportedly, sold it for $700 million.
Of course, Colt 45 malt liquor featured prominently in Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s video for “Nuthin’ But A G’ Thang” (check 3:10 if you’re unfamiliar), and his involvement as an ambassador was an attempt to restore the brand’s cachet.
According to the new owners of Pabst Brewing Company, though, Snoop and his lawyers have not contacted them directly:
Pabst Brewing Company has been under new ownership and new management since November 2014. We have not been contacted by Snoop Dogg or his representatives about this issue. We are investigating the matter and would be happy to talk to Snoop or his representatives to try to get to the bottom of this.