When the St. Louis rapper Nelly announced he was coming out with an energy drink, Najee Ali was ecstatic.
“It’s important to support young African-American entrepreneurs,” said Ali, national director of the activist group Project Islamic Hope.
But when Ali and other activists learned that Nelly’s drink is named “Pimp Juice,” after the rapper’s song, “Our mouths just dropped.”
Now, Ali and a score of other activists are trying to chase the drink off store shelves in Chicago and St. Louis before it launches nationally in November. The product sets hip-hop entrepreneurship, now flourishing, down a dangerous path, Ali said.
“What’s next?” he said. “Whore Kool-Aid?”