Trinbagonian rapper Nicki Minaj has joined the conversation surrounding the name of actor Michael B Jordan’s rum, J’Ouvert. Minaj yesterday used a screenshot of one of the many Trinidadians who attempted to clarify why the usage of the name was offensive on social media and asked Jordan to change it.
In her caption, Minaj wrote, “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 proper.”
Over 200,000 people liked the post, with many agreeing with the No Frauds rapper.
One person commented, “The queen has spoken.”
Another wrote, “This is why I love you.”
The comment section was also filled with the Trinidad and Tobago flag emoji and many people thanked her for standing up for what is right.
According to social media posts, Jordan launched J’Ouvert Rum over the weekend and has applied to trademark the name. A petition, titled “Stop Michael B Jordan’s trademark of J’OUVERT for his rum,” was started on Change.org and over 10,000 people have already signed it.
Since the news of Jordan’s new endeavour became public, several local and regional nationals have referred to it as cultural appropriation.
“Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.”
Xaria Roxburgh, the person behind the post that Minaj screenshotted and commented on, wrote just that.
“It’s not just about the name, it’s what it represents pertaining to enslavement and freedom,” she wrote in all caps at the end of her post about J’Ouvert’s history.
Roxburgh, who works at Guardian Media, said she researched the topic before posting and she didn’t think Minaj would see her post but was happy it was received well.
Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star and Trinidadian national Karlie Redd also spoke out about the issue.
Michael B Jordan is yet to respond to the backlash.