Photo Credit: Courtesy of Creative Mike The Rapper
Creative Mike The Rapper Launches The Newest Black-Owned Coffee Brand
From the time he can remember, coffee played a big role for musical artist Creative Mike The Rapper. That’s why it’s no surprise that he launched his own line of coffee called Dope Coffee Brand.
Some of his most memorable childhood memories are waking up to the smell of Maxwell or Folders coffee brands.
Coffee in his household was a staple and when he left for college to study both history and his roots, he realized his connection to coffee was much deeper than he imagined.
“I’m a history major, and before jumping into the coffee business, I spent most of my time studying African American and African history,” he told Travel Noire. “I was trying to connect to my story, why am I who I am and how did I get here. Once I really started getting into my identity as a West African, I started looking at the continent, and I realized how many resources were in Africa, including coffee.”
Through his research, he felt his connection to coffee made sense because it was a commodity his ancestors once enjoyed.
“What I love about coffee is that it connects me with my heritage, and coffee also has a way of building community,” he added. “When you think of a cup of coffee, you tend to think about people who want to sit down and share it. I’ve found that I can have conversations with people from any walk of life and engage in conversations that maybe I wouldn’t have had before.”
When he left to serve in Afghanistan in the Marine Corps, he took that sense of community with him.
“Afghanistan was an interesting experience. It was one of the first times in my life, as a Black man, that I felt very respected,” said Creative Mike. “I started sharing some of my experiences over there with a couple of my buddies who were Black Marines. We would come together as often as we could and sharing cups of coffee. That stuck with me”
But when he came back, he felt that Black people were disconnected from coffee.
“Somehow, it became a white people drink, not by our fault, but unfortunately, the stigma stood around so long that when Shaq had the opportunity to invest in Starbucks, he said, ‘no’ and stated, ‘Because Black people don’t drink coffee,'” he added.
Creative Mike wants to change the narrative for Black people as coffee drinkers.
With Dope Coffee Brand, Creative Mike wants to elevate Black culture. He’s currently on a mission to take 1000 photos of Black people drinking coffee because he says they don’t exist in mainstream media or social networking platforms.
But even bigger than that, he wants to make sure that Black people are represented in this more than $240 billion industry.
Dope Coffee Brand is currently based in Atlanta, where Creative Mike is setting his eyes on opening a large coffee roastery.