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"Change the name": Nicki Minaj gives Michael B. Jordan history lesson over J'Ouvert rum as cultural appropriation saga rages on

Nicki Minaj recently gave Michael B. Jordan a history lesson (Image via Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
Nicki Minaj recently gave Michael B. Jordan a history lesson (Image via Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
SENIOR ANALYST

When it comes to branding, it's always a good idea to have some research work done before committing to the name. Something Michael B. Jordan found out a little too late.

Following his claim to fame on the big screen, the "Black Panther" star sought to expand his empire by starting his line of products. In this case, some good, old-fashioned Caribbean-style rum.

The business itself is not an issue, as numerous companies worldwide export Caribbean-style rum. However, it would seem that the name has caused quite a stir on social media.

Michael B. Jordan was accused of cultural appropriation, eventually developing into a full-blown backlash. Nicki Minaj jumped on the bandwagon as well, but rather than call out the actor, the famous singer decided to share a history lesson on her Instagram account.

Also read: Michael B. Jordan accused of 'cultural appropriation' over the launch of J'ouvert rum


Michael B. Jordan gets schooled on Instagram by Nicki Minaj

Rather than call out and bash Michael B. Jordan on social media, Nicki Minaj posted a detailed tweet, explaining the origin of the word "J'Ouvert" and how its usage as a name for a rum brand is not well suited.

According to a tweet by a well-versed netizen (seen below), the word J'Ouvert has much significance in the Caribbean region, and it's not just a word or an expression, given its deep-rooted history with slavery.

While J'Ouvert in modern times is associated with a large street party held on many Caribbean islands, the history behind the event is much darker.

During colonial rule, slaves were forced to harvest sugarcane from the fields while they were on fire. This event was reenacted, wherein male slaves were mocked by their masters. Following emancipation and the end of colonial rule, the slaves began mocking the people who mocked them.

This entire historical event is what started the festival seen today, and that is why netizens are demanding that Michael B. Jordan change the name of the brand.

While, to many people, the name carries little or no meaning, to descendants of people living in the Caribbean regions, the word is more than just a fancy french term. It is a symbol of historical importance, cultural identity, and freedom.


In addition to the post, Nicki Minaj, in the caption, mentioned that Michael B. Jordan didn't do this intentionally, as people may have been suggesting. However, she hopes that he will change the name.

The rapper wrote:

"I'm sure MBJ didn't intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive β€” but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper."

Now, despite the trademark being for "J'Ouvert Rum" and not for the word itself, given the "culturally appropriation" and historical importance, it's left to be seen if Michael B. Jordan changes the name as many netizens are suggesting.

Also read: Kendall Jenner trolled online for launching new "818 Tequila" brand


Edited by Ravi Iyer
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