Nicki Minaj received more than a little bit of backlash for her use of Malcolm X’s picture as the cover art for his newest track ‘Lookin Ass N***a’. While she has issued a formal apology and gone as far to say that the art work was not “official” people are still understandably upset. Among those enraged were the family members of Malcolm X who have spoken out against the use of the image. X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz made an official statement to the Associated Press saying that:
Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy… Situations like the recent portrayal of our father on the album cover for Ms. Minaj’s new single only highlight the fact that we as a society need to take more responsibility for what we’re teaching our children…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” and that the image was “in no way endorsed by [his] family”.
Additionally, a representative of the X estate said that the use of the photo was “dehumanizing” and that “This is a family photo that was taken out of context in a totally inaccurate and tasteless way.” For anyone still using the image the attorney for the estate has the following message, “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.”