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CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

BREAKING  NEWS

Jo’burg Restaurant Denies Service to Leading Rap-Artist Because He ‘Smelled of Cannabis and Had Tattoos’.

Jo’burg Restaurant Denies Service to Leading Rap-Artist Because He ‘Smelled of Cannabis and Had Tattoos’.

Mikes Kitchen in Parktown has become embroiled in a row with Rapper Emptee after throwing him out of the restaurant for “smelling like weed”; the musician says his lawyers will ask for an apology and that the whole incident reeked of racism.

Benjamin M Adams

24 April 2024 at 08:00:00

This report from High Times, published on 28 March 2024.


Should restaurant patrons who smell like weed be denied service at a restaurant?


That’s the question South Africans should be asking after one of the country’s top rappers was denied service along with two friends.


South African rapper Emtee was recently denied service, along with along with artists Uncle Vinny and Yungseruno, from a branch of Mike’s Kitchen in Johannesburg, last month after the restaurant complained that they smelled like weed. (Personal cannabis use at home is decriminalized and medical use is legal in South Africa.)


The incident has prompted a national social media debate about the odour of cannabis in public spaces, and many people think the rappers were profiled as well.


Emtee, who has millions of followers on Instagram, along with rappers Uncle Vinny and Yungseruno, said they were refused entry from Mike’s Kitchen in Parktown because they were “smelling of weed and had too many tattoos.” The restaurant chain is known for South African heritage-based dishes.


TimesLIVE, South Africa’s second-biggest news website, reports that Emtee’s lawyers demanded an apology from Mike’s Heritage House in the upscale Parktown neighborhood of Johannesburg or he will take legal action against the restaurant.


“We decided to go have lunch at Mikes Kitchen, Parktown,” Emtee said. “We were dropped off. We walked in and as we were being ushered to our table, a white man comes and tells us to leave because we ‘smell of weed and we had too many tattoos’. Mind you, our transport has left. This ho ass nigga kicked out the yard,” Emtee said.


While apartheid ended decades ago, a severe case of race inequality remains rampant in Johannesburg, with nearly 40% of Black South Africans unemployed, a much higher ratio than their white counterparts. South African leaders, however, are currently taking measures to promote equity. On April 12, 2023, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020, which enacts “equity targets” to promote equity in the business sector.


Emtee sounded fed up after being denied entry from the restaurant, suggesting racism was at play as well.

“Fuck Mikes Kitchen in Parktown!” Emtee said. “You are about to get served. The fuck!? Fuck y’all food! At this, you are all fucking with me and my guys for nothing. Talking about ‘I’m gonna call the police’, call them! Scary ass bitch. 


Say never go to Mikes Kitchen Parktown. The son of biches is racist! Yeah I said! You all gone have to kill me. Mikes kitchen in Park Town is going down!”


Emtee’s legal representatives have demanded that Mike’s Kitchen issue a public apology to the star or they will proceed with legal action.


Mike’s Kitchen publicist Melinda Shore told TimesLIVE, “We are handling this privately. It’s not a matter they want to handle in the media. It’s being handled and taken seriously.”


Emtee responded by posting a video on Instagram of himself buying a bottle of cologne, probably referring to the Mike’s Kitchen incident.


“They say I’m this, they say I’m that,” Emtee posted on Instagram. “They forgot to tell you I smell best. When you see, embrace me.”


“My life isn’t easy but I woke up feeling blessed,” Emtee sings on his latest single. “Smokin’ on that zaza, tryna balance out the stress…”


In the U.S. the E-Bar restaurant in Dallas, Texas also discriminates against and denies service to patrons if they smell like weed.


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