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The Grammy-winning rapper took to Twitter on Wednesday to address the controversy surrounding Mill’s newly released album, Expensive Pain. The bulk of the backlash is aimed at the project’s head-turning cover art, which features an illustration of Mill surrounded by three naked Black women in provocative poses. One is seen holding on to a stripper pole, while another is bent over while grabbing her ankles.
“It’s art. Absolutely,” Killer Mike wrote in response to the criticism. “We as a society see naked humans in art in museums. We should also be cultured enough as adults & parents to have a convo about nudity & art with our children. I say this as a parent, rapper & a High Museum of ART Board member. Love & Respect Doc.”
The Expensive Pain cover, created by Black artist Nina Chanel Abney, has caused quite a stir both on social media and on the streets. As pointed out by TMZ, the illustration was plastered on a bus that has been spotted driving around Los Angeles. The promotional stunt has sparked outrage among a number of people, who say the imagery is inappropriate for public consumption. One man expressed his objections in an expletive-filled video that was filmed next to the bus in question. The man, who is purportedly white, described the art as “bullshit,” and called on Black women to take a stand against the work.
“Is this what you want, Black women? Look at this shit on a side of the bus ...” he screamed. “Is this how you want to be respected in life? This is how you wanna look? This is how you wanna be portrayed? … This is on the side of a bus, where little girls can pull up and see this shit.”
Meek has yet to respond to the viral video, or any of the other criticisms that have flooded social media. You can read some of the mixed reactions below.