Nicki Minaj Apologizes for Using Malcolm X Image
By Cavan Sieczkowski
Nicki Minaj has apologized for using an image of Malcolm X for the cover art of her controversial new single, “Lookin A** N****.”
Minaj released the music video for her new track along with a photo of the cover art shared on her Instagram page, USA Today reported.
The cover art featured the song’s title on an iconic photo of the civil rights leader holding an M1 Carbine semi-automatic weapon and looking out a window, the outlet noted. (The image originally appeared in Ebony magazine in 1964, a time during which Malcolm X was receiving death threats.)
As the Wall Street Journal points out, critics had already blasted the song’s lyrics. The rapper’s use of the image in unison with the track caused even more of a stir.
Minaj posted an apology to Instagram, along with a screengrab from her music video. In the message, she wrote:
What seems to be the issue now? Do you have a problem with me referring to the people Malcolm X was ready to pull his gun out on as Lookin Ass N****z? Well, I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single. I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass N****z and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!! It is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy. I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued.
The image of Malcolm X has since been removed from Minaj’s Instagram account and her website.