American hip-hop mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs unknowingly drove an even bigger wedge between local rappers Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and Cassper Nyovest (real name Refiloe Phoolo) when he posted a few promotional tweets for Ciroc’s new watermelon flavour.
Where did it all begin?
While the beef between the two seems to have been going on since time immemorial, firewater was brought into the mix in early 2018 when AKA announced his deal with Cruz vodka – nearly six months after Cassper Nyovest was unveiled as the new local face for Ciroc vodka.
Naturally, Nyovest accused AKA of copying him, but it should be noted that their deals are slightly different.
AKA set his deal up in such a way that he would earn a portion of the profits for every bottle sold, in addition to serving as a face for Cruz and filming TV commercials that air in heavy rotation. Nyovest, on the other hand, serves as an ambassador for Ciroc, hosts and attends events affiliated to the brand and occasionally shouts them out in a song.
He has no say in the creative direction the brand takes.
Which is probably why he was so comfortable in taking a jab at AKA in the form of his phrase and hashtag, #HareBatleMagapuMo (we do not want watermelons here).
Where does Diddy fit in?
Back in 2007, Diddy signed a 50/50 multi-year deal to market the Ciroc vodka brand – a deal that is rumoured to have made him more than $100 million.
According to Black Entrepreneur Profile, under the terms of the deal, Sean Combs and Sean Combs Enterprises will take the lead on all brand management decisions for Ciroc, while sharing in the future profits of the growth of the brand.
As someone with the power to take the lead on all brand management decisions, Diddy decided that watermelon is what the people want and that it is what they will get, which then made things awkward for Nyovest and his #HareBatleMagapuMo.
Nyovest is not happy about this at all and has made no point to hide it.
Nyovest then shared a press release which he claimed was from Diageo South Africa. In the press release, the beverage company that is responsible for all things Ciroc in South Africa is allegedly claiming that they have no intentions of bringing the Summer Watermelon flavour to South Africa.
When called for comment, publicists speaking on behalf of the brand confirmed that this is in fact true.
It would have been awkward if they had plans of bringing the flavour here as Nyovest’s supporters are so adamant that they would stand by him that they all tweeted about how they would not support the flavour.