Yesterday musician Nicki Minaj found herself in the middle of controversy over her choice of photo to promote her single.

The artwork for Minaj’s song, “Lookin’ Ass Ni**a” is a reproduction of the iconic photograph of Malcolm X, rifle in hand, looking out of the window of his Queens home, with the song’s title on the left side of the image.

A fire storm erupted after the cover went viral, and Minaj took to Instagram to apologize for her choice. 

From Instagram:

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 Nig**z 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 “ni**a” causes so much debate in our community while the “ni**a” 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.

Read more at Instagram

The photo of X first appeared in Ebony magazine in 1964, approximately one year before his assassination. Due to his revolutionary stance against white oppression, Malcolm X like many civil rights leaders lived in constant fear for his life and that of his family.

A petition on change.org was also created to urge Minaj to remove the photo from her work.

Thoughts on Minaj’s apology?

Does she have a point about the use of the n-word? Is it a separate debate unrelated to the topic at hand?

Sound off below!