Remember those days you were in your old neighborhood playing in the streets during the summer. Knowing you couldn’t keep running in and out of the house, children running the block had to make due with the change they found throughout the day. In the hoods across America, people hit the bodega to see what they could leave with even if they only had two quarters clanking in their pockets. The local corner store was a one stop shop for everything–ice pops, bags of chips that cost twenty five cents, and nickel candy. Adults had their favorite corner store treat. Most involved alcohol, but it was their thing. Here we take a look at the ten most loved beverages to come out of the hood.
10. Tropical Fantasy
Coming straight out of the BK, Tropical Fantasy won our taste buds over with its cheap price. Being that the bottling company was small, there was very little advertising for the soft drink. Though the hood drink was tasty, fervent rumors would lead to its demise. Gossip of the drink having secret ingredients that would cause men to become sterile spread like wild fire. That misinformation caused people to refer to it as “Tropical Fanticide.” Once talk of the KKK being behind the company only distributing in the inner city, violence happened to stores who sold the refreshment. In other words, our Tropical Fantasy turned into a Tropical Nightmare.
9. Olde English
Olde English malt liquor had been around for decades before gaining headway in urban communities in the eighties and nineties. By that time, there were a variety of sizes. Most of the hood reached for the forty ounce bottle cloaked in a brown paper bag. The height of its fame came in John Singleton’s hood classic, Poetic Justice. When the gang stops for something to quench their thirst, Regina King gets a little indignant about a white liquor store not having the malt beverage. Her actions caused Janet Jackson to scold her, “Girl, you know they don’t sell that outside of the black neighborhoods!” Truer words have yet to be spoken.
It’s one of the cheapest drinks on the market if you’re trying to get drunk. It’s probably one of the worst when it comes to health. From personal experience, the darker the color of your bottle of ‘Sco, the bigger the hole it left in your liver. Thank heavens I’m not reduced to tolerating that mess anymore. You might not have felt well the day after, but the the party sure felt good when Cisco was in your system. Or was that just me? Don’t front. You know the exact feeling I’m talking bout.
7. Colt 45
Billy Dee Williams was the coolest brother around, back in the day. So when he said to drink Colt 45, you drank Colt 45. His long standing relationship with the company during the Regan Era caused a lot of backlash for the actor. His response to the criticism? “I drink, you drink. Hell, if marijuana was legal, I’d appear in a commercial for that too.” So Black America was left with a choice, just say no or do what Billy Dee said. Needless to say, Colt 45 made a lot of money in its heyday. By the way, that extra kick it advertised having was not a game.
6. St. Ides
During the golden years of Hip Hop, St. Ides was the malt liquor of choice. Mainly because rappers of that time were placed in the ads. Method Man & Redman guzzled the drink. As did Cypress Hill and other rap acts. Chuck D famously sued the manufacturing company for using his voice without permission for one of their commercials. He had taken a stand against the slinging of malt liquor to the black community. Although many rappers appreciated its taste, the biggest name check came from Common in his evisceration of Ice Cube on “The Bitch In Yoo.” He clowned O’Shea Jackson for being hypocritical with the line, “Hypocrite, I’m filling out your death certificate/Slanging bean pies and St. Ides in the same sentence.” Damn, Common, why you had to do him like that?
5. C&C Soda
For years, residents of the inner city have speculated what the two C’s stood for. No matter what you thought the reason was, that fact still remains they are “cold” and “cheap”. Costing a measly fifty cents, C&C soda was in more hoods than crack cocaine and weed combined. Junkies couldn’t always afford to get a fix of dope, but there was hope in finding loose change to sip on one of these chilled carbonated concoctions.
Good ole Easy Jesus. That’s what most people in New Jersey called it. Back when you had to use a fake I.D. to get liquored up, this was the libation of choice. Cheaper than other brandys, E&J was the blame for a great deal of reckless behavior. The term “coyote ugly” came from a woman who had drank too much E&J one night and slept with a man she found to be disgusting. She felt she’d rather gnaw her arm off than risk waking the guy up. That’s coyote ugly and that’s why most people over the age of 21 don’t drink it anymore.
3. 4 Loko
When you’re a company and your product gets banned, you know two things; 1)Energy drinks and alcohol don’t mix and 2)put in the wrong hands, it can be deadly. From the accounts I’ve heard, after drinking a 4 Loko, people have urinated on themselves in public without shame. They’ve also passed out in the most random places, like a snow bank in the middle of a police parking lot. If that’s what 4 Loko is all about, I’m good.
Henny has been the street pharmacist’s poison since its inception in the seventies. You can thank the younger hip hop heads for the resurgence of interest in Hennessy. When 2pac was alive he wrote a song called, “Hennessy.” He said the drink represented the thug lifestyle. If you aren’t a thug, you aren’t missing much with this cognac. You heard of the adage, “Less is more.” They had to have had Henny in mind.
1. Quarter Waters
When talking about drinks in the hood, how could quarter waters not get a mention?! More sugary than the Kool-Aid your auntie with Diabetes makes it and cheaper than anything else in the bodegas, quarter waters became an instant favorite. Distributed in various colors, your tongue would change to the color of whatever flavor you sampled. The only problem with the hood favorite was the sharp plastic. You had to drink those things in two swallows as not to risk slicing your lips. Why does something so good have to be so dangerous?