Superstar rapper, Nicki Minaj has joined the list of Trinidad and Tobago nationals who are calling on US actor, Michael B Jordan to change the name of his recently launched, ‘J’ouvert Rum.’
In a social media post this afternoon, the Trinidad born rapper said, “I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean people would find offensive- but now that you are aware, change the name and continue to flourish and prosper.”
The post has since garnered the support of thousands of Caribbean people, most posting their appreciation for her voice on the matter. It’s been two days since the backlash began, on the heels of the launch of the rum on Saturday in the US. Delving into the historical significance of the word ‘J’ouvert’, Minaj quotes Trinidadian artist, Xaria Rae Roxburgh who’s explanation has since been highlighted by internationally acclaimed gossip and news blog, The Shaderoom.
Michael B Jordan has yet to make any statement on the matter. In Trinidad and Tobago, the country’s Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee Scoon has expressed concern over the matter and made it clear that it would be further investigated. A petition, started in the US by Caribbean blogger and podcaster, Jay Blessed of Jay Blessed Media, has since been signed by over 10,000 persons, calling for the trademark process in the US, to be stopped. On her social media platform, JayBlessed founder, Jaime Alleyne Morris wrote, “Well, we started with awareness, a petition was created to prove that our community is rightfully outraged, then we will file a Letter of Protest to the USPTO Commissioner with these signatures attached.“
With Nicki Minaj’s voice now added to the matter that is seen by many as cultural appropriation, all eyes are now on the Black Panther actor and his team to see what happens next. A rum bar called ‘Las Lap’ in Lower Manhattan already a part of his business ventures, the thirty-four year old Hollywood star’s ambitious move to add J’ouvert’ to his Caribbean-inspired restaurant menu that includes jerk chicken spring rolls, really isn’t too surprising when you think about it!