Last week musician Nicki Minaj came under fire for the use of an image of iconic civil rights leader Malcolm X to promote her new single. Minaj has since apologized for the act, but some members of X’s estate still aren’t pleased.
In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press on Friday, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said Minaj’s use of the picture “in no way is endorsed by our family.” “Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy,” Shabazz’s statement said.
Minaj apologized Thursday. She pulled the artwork after she was criticized on social media platforms for using the photo for the cover of her new male-bashing song, “Lookin (Expletive) (Expletive).” The title uses the N-word.
Minaj said the single cover was “never the official artwork.” Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide – which handles the licensing and merchandizing issues for the Malcolm X estate – 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.
Minaj posted the image Wednesday onto her Instagram account and website. It was an advertisement for her single, “Lookin’ Ass N***a,” where Minaj raps about her exhaustion with being the object of many males’ affection.
The 31-year-old rapper-singer said later Thursday in an interview with radio station Hot 97 that she wrote the song to empower women because there are too many songs that attack females.
Malcolm X was assassinated 49 years ago this month at the age of 39.
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