Nelly's Pimp Juice is not in stores yet, and some leaders of black organizations want to keep it that way.
Project Islamic Hope, the National Alliance for Positive Action, and the National Black Anti-Defamation League want to keep the rapper's energy drink off store shelves in Los Angeles. Leaders of the three organizations staged a press conference in South Central Los Angeles Tuesday (September 9) to make their feelings about the energy drink and the word that inspired its name known (see "Taste Nelly's Pimp Juice — No Backstage Pass Necessary").
"We're calling for a national boycott of Nelly's Pimp Juice," said Najee Ali, Executive Director of Project Islamic Hope. "We feel betrayed by Nelly. He's someone who's trying to make money by using and marketing an energy drink that's supposed to be healthy. But there's nothing healthy about using the name pimp. It's a vile name that's really demeaning and insulting to women."
The groups are first starting their anti-pimp campaign in their own community by contacting the Korean Grocers Association, an organization to which most delis and convenience stores in the South Central area belong, and asking them not to carry the drink.
"We want to make sure that we chase Nelly's Pimp Juice out of our community," Ali said. "We're not going to allow it. We know Pimp Juice won't be sold in Beverly Hills. I doubt very seriously whether the white community will embrace and promote a brand called Pimp Juice in their stores."
Despite the local focus, their cause has already garnered national interest. Wire services have picked up the story. The Reverend Al Sharpton has been contacted.
Although not part of the press conference, Minister Paul Scott, founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham, North Carolina, was one of the first to speak out against the drink, with special emphasis aimed at the suggestion made in the product's press release, that Nelly's Pimp Juice "mixes perfectly with numerous vodkas."
"The black community is in danger right now," he said in a statement. "As black men we should be building a nation of strong black leaders, not a nation of superenergized, drunk pimps."
Nelly's spokesperson did not return calls by press time.