TikToker discusses the cultural appropriation of a Portland, Oregon bar.
Photo courtesy of @opbamiri/TikTok
A Black TikToker has called out a bar in Portland, Oregon, for using the same font as the rap group N.W.A.’s logo.
Amiri Bradley, who goes by @opbamiri on the platform, posted a couple of videos discussing his opinions about N.W.I.P.A., the bar in question within his neighborhood, and his take on the name and advertisements used by the company.
Bradley said that the bar uses the same exact font as the California-based rap group N.W.A. ([ N-word]z Wit Attitudes), and because it happens to be white-owned and caters to mostly white patrons, he believed that using the name and font as the face of the bar is an appropriation of Black culture across the board even down to the periods in between the words.
According to a review reply from the bar, N.W.I.P.A. means Northwest India Pale Ale.
At first, Bradley believed that the bar was Black-owned, but when he found out that it wasn’t, he went directly to the staff and fellow customers about the likeness of the logo and font to the rap group, asking them if they had a problem with it.
“In a city known worldwide for their George Floyd protests and in the neighborhood known to have Black Lives Matter signs in every single window, I was like, this is weird, I’m not going for it,” he says in a video posted on Monday.
He then mentioned that he asked the “performative progressive folks” about how they felt about the appropriation of the name and claims he was laughed at and called “racist.”
Bradley also said that he really wasn’t trying to be aggressive, but he was speaking frankly. Eventually, he alleges that several of the older white men laughed in his face, mockingly saying, “So, Black people own fonts now?”
“N.W.A. is an all-black rap group that came to fame because of the struggles that they had against racism in their community; their West Coast communities,” he said.
“So when I have a white man say, ‘Hey man, it’s just a joke,’ that’s not funny to me,” he said. “It could only be funny to you with all of your privilege. The likeness of N.W.A. was only used because of how much popularity this Black group of people gained. That is the definition of appropriation,” the TikToker said.
In a second video, the TikToker described a conversation with a white man in the bar who wore his hair in dreadlocks.
“Here we go again dealing with the systemic racism in so-called progressive Portland,” he said in the beginning.
He said that the man was from North Carolina was wearing ‘fashion dreads’ and explained to him that white people had locks way before Black people did.
Naturally, Bradley noted that this was historically inaccurate and said that he only commented on the men’s dreads after being racist.
The white man allegedly told him that he had been experiencing racism before the Black TikTok user was even born because he had Black friends.
It’s still unknown if the man was an employee or a customer at the bar.
“The fact that you would wear dreads and say that Neanderthals had them before Black people and that your defense to racism is that you have Black friends tells me that your racist father raised you exactly how he intended,” the TikToker said.
Towards the end of the video, the TikToker tells viewers to write a review of the business.
When writing this post, the bar had 4.4 stars on Google reviews and 241 comments.
Some reviews were good, discussing the range of beer selection and their experiences with customer service.
One-star reviews of Portland, Oregon bar, N.W.I.P.A.Photo courtesy of Google Reviews
But others in the comments were flabbergasted: “This is abhorrent. They need to change the name and lose the font step. I’m so tired of woke whites,” someone wrote.
“Portland to just getting worse and worse. I’m sorry you experienced this,” another added.
Another person talked about how this really could be a lawsuit for bar, saying, “N.W.A. and the font used is not under copyright because it lacks “originality,” but it is trademarked. I smell a lawsuit.”
Speaking to indy100, Bradley did mention that the employees within the bar did try to calm the situation down and that the patrons in the bar seemed to have an instinct to protect “themselves against all threats.”
“While I had no intent on creating such a heating argument, the fear of being a racist actually drove these men to act/speak in a racist manner when I was only accusing them of ignorance,” he said.
Additionally, the owner of the bar did get in contact with Bradley to apologize and reassured him that the font would be changed to clarify “Northwest IPA.”
The trademark for N.W.A. is pending cancellation. However, late N.W.A. member Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Woods-Wright, owner of Comptown Records/Ruthless Records which owns the trademark, previously sued the rapper’s son, Eric Darnell Wright, and goes by Lil’ Eazy E for trademark infringement.