The iconic rapper took to Instagram to explain that J’Ouvert, the original name of the liquor, is also the name of a meaningful parade that takes place during Carnival in the Caribbean.
Nicki, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, stated that the name of the event has historical connection to 19th Century slavery, and the emancipation of slaves, taken from French phrase jour ouvert meaning “opening of the day.”
Fans and followers of the actor accused the brand of appropriating the original name, while the singer intended to make Michael aware of what was going on.
She also shared that she didn’t think the actor was intentionally offending anyone, but urged him to change the name and “continue to flourish and prosper,” now that he knew the meaning behind the name.
Following Nicki’s statement Michael took to Instagram Stories to apologize to everyone he offended, declaring that he would be changing the name of his rum brand.
you cannot own a tradition. you cannot trademark a tradition. capitalism pretends that these things can be private property and attempts to manage and financialize tradition. and it will always always always be vulgar to do so.— #PettyPendergrass (@ashoncrawley) June 21, 2021
The 34-year-old Hollywood star declared that on behalf of himself and his parents, “our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on.”
Adding that he had been listening, learning and engaging in “countless community conversations,” and wanted to sincerely apologize and “look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”