This week, Nicki Minaj released an ‘unofficial’ artwork of slain leader Malcolm X peeing through a window with a M1 shot gun for her new single, “Looking A$$ N***a” via Instagram.
The photo prompted tons of backlash from the hip hop and black community, and quickly released a statement saying, “…Well, I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single.”
The 31-year-old controversial ‘Young Money’ first lady went on to say, ” I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass Niggaz 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.”
Two days after the controversy, Nicki Minaj’s statement/apology fell on deaf ears because the damage had already been done says the slain leader’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, who is ready to take legal action against the rapstress.
“Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy, is completely disrespectful, and in no way is endorsed by my family,” Shabazz told the NY Daily News on Friday.
“It is our family’s hope that the true legacy and context of Malcolm X’s life continues to be shared with people from all walks of life in a positive manner that helps promote the goals and ideals for which Malcolm X so passionately advocated,” said Shabazz, author of the memoir “Growing Up X” and a motivational speaker.
Since she has taken down the art off social media and her fan site, it’s too late for the rapstress who has now angered local leaders across Harlem.
“I’m angry because that’s not what he stood for,” said Jacob Morris, head of the Harlem Historical Society.
“For his image to be misused this way, it’s despicable,” Morris said.
“Put up some money instead of some phony words,” said Morris, adding that Minaj should donate to a cause that the civil rights leader would have supported. “It’s disgraceful to attach the n-word to him — flat out.”
Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide – which is the business representative for the Malcolm X family and estate – released the following statement and called Minaj’s use of the photo “dehumanizing.”
“This is a family photo that was taken out of context in a totally inaccurate and tasteless way,” said his statement on behalf of the family.
L. Londell McMillan, the attorney for the Malcolm X estate and the black leader’s daughters – and estate administrators – Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, said in a statement Friday that those using the famous photo of Malcolm X need to remove it immediately.
“Failure to do so within the next 24 hours shall result in legal action,” said McMillian, who is also the lawyer for Malcolm X’s daughters, Attallah, Qubilah and Gamilah Shabazz. “The initial act and subsequent acts of distribution were improper and ill-advised. Any disparagement, infringement or disrespect of Malcolm X, and his name, image, likeness and proprietary rights will not be tolerated.”
“I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. … I have nothing but respect (and) adoration for u,” Minaj said on her Instagram page following the criticism.
Singer Trey Songz also released a response to Nicki Minaj’s controversial “Lookin A$$ N*igga” single called “Look At Ya’ll”.
Trigga tapped into his nasty rapper persona by rapping, “Look at ya’ll worn out, wh*red out, slored out, p***y walls tore out, all ya’ll b*tches.”
Listen to the single below:
Nicki Minaj chats with Hot97’s Angie Martinez about the Malcolm X controversy, her Valentine’s Day plans and her friendship with Drake.
Listen to the full interview below: