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    For a little over a day last year, the beef between ’90s East Coast hip-hop and West Coast hip-hop seemed squashed. It was like one of those age-old stories of two lovers from warring families having a baby, bringing both sides peace. Except this time the baby was a beer can. And it wouldn’t last.

    Mile Wide Beer Co. (636 Barret Ave.) only sold its Big/Pac IPA, a mixture of West Coast and Northeast recipes, for about 36 hours, according to Matt Landon, one of the brewery’s owners. The label featured a face that was half Tupac, half Biggie Smalls. Bling floated through a green-yellow background: a cash-sign pendant, Biggie’s crown, one of Tupac’s bandanas. Keep in mind, Tupac and Biggie were high-profile rivals; both died in separate drive-by shootings in the ’90s. Landon says some found the image offensive, though he doesn’t provide too many details. Mile Wide decided to change the labels. It wasn’t a legal issue, Landon says. It was a matter of respect.

    None of the Big/Pac beers went to distribution, and Landon estimates the brewery only sold four or five cases from the taproom before the label change. Now you can drink Mile Wide’s Bi-Coastal IPA, which is the same beer with a new look, and think about the reconciled, hoppy hip-hop heaven it once was.

    This originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine under the headline "Hops So Hip." To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Dylon Jones's picture

    About Dylon Jones

    Staff writer Dylon Jones first contributed to the magazine in 2014 and joined the staff in 2015. He's written profiles, features, essays, criticism and reportage about a wide variety of topics and won awards for feature writing and profile writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is particularly interested in narrative journalism, the arts and LGBTQ experience. Jones is an award-winning poet with work published or forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Collagist and Redivider.

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