Nicki Minaj is drawing plenty of controversy for a photo promoting her latest video “Lookin A** N****z”. In in image released yesterday on her Instagram account, the singer showed Malcolm X holding a rifle. The photo drew plenty of controversy from fans who felt she had misappropriated the image of the Black Pride leader. Minaj addressed her Instagram followers last night and apologized for any offense caused by the Malcolm X photo, but stood by her artistic decision.
She explained that while filming the video, she saw the photo of Malcolm X holding a rifle and “ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!” She also made it clear that it was not the official artwork for the song. “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 Looking A** N****z,” wrote Minaj on Instagram. “I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single.”
Minaj also apologized to the Malcolm X estate “if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued” and said she had no intention “to undermine his efforts and legacy.” However, she eventually removed the photo hours later while also weighing in on her use of the N-word. “The word n***a causes so much debate in our community, while the n***a behavior gets praised and worship,” she wrote on Instagram. “Let’s not.”
The singer also explained in a radio interview yesterday that her intention behind the song was to be empowering to women. “It was almost parallel in my opinion because he has this big gun ready to shoot at a looking a** bleep,” she said. “I looked at it as this is one of the most memorable people in our history, in black history, who voiced his opinion no matter what. I definitely understand how my intent was overlooked and I definitely didn’t want to offend his legacy.”
Regardless, Minaj is still moving forward with her plans to promote the new video. The song will also appear on her new album and a compilation album by her record label Young Money.