Nicki Minaj Apologizes For Malcolm X Cover Art

Did Nicki Minaj cross the line using Malcolm X’s image for the cover of her new single, Lookin Ass N*gga?


Many people thought so after the rapper debuted the single Wednesday with civil-rights leader holding an M1 carbine and looking out his window. The original version of the photograph was first published in the September issue of 1964 in Ebony magazine, Malcolm X was assassinated five months later.

Minaj posted the photo Wednesday on her Instagram page, and received  criticism for how the image was used to undermined his legacy.  The cover was  for her new single “Lookin Ass N*gga. As if her song title did not express explicit content already.

After she was  criticized on social media for what many people thought  was a sign of disrespect to the revered icon, she offered an apology Thursday on Instagram to the estate of Malcolm X .

Minaj asked, “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 A** N”gg*z? Well, I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single”

She continued, “I am in the video shooting at Lookin A** Ni**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.”

A  petition was posted online that encouraged the rapper to change the cover artwork had received over  1,500 signatures.

Following her apology, the picture was deleted from her Instagram account. “Lookin Ass N*gga” is still expected to appear on her upcoming album.

Seems like historical black figures have surfaced before in lyrics of various rap artists. Remember when Lil Wayne was boycotted for using Emmitt Till in his rap lyrics.  PepsiCo dropped the rapper for using such controversial lyrics.

Was Lil Wayne wrong for his controversial lyrics of Emmitt Till?

What did you think of  Nicki Manji and her reasoning behind choosing the photo of Malcolm X as her cover for her newly released track?