Nicki Minaj's use of an iconic image of Malcolm X for the cover of her new single "Lookin' Ass Nigga" drew fire (no pun intended) for its co-option of the Malcolm's likeness, even sparking a Change.org petition.
Nicki took to Instagram today to respond, and cleared up a central confusion of the image, suggesting that the title referenced the people outside his window, not the slain Civil Rights leader himself:
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 Niggaz? 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 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. The word "nigga" causes so much debate in our community while the "nigga" behavior gets praised and worship. Let's not. Apologies again to his family. I have nothing but respect an adoration for u. The photo was removed hours ago. Thank you