Nicki Minaj has apologized after she was criticized for using a picture of Malcolm X holding a gun as the art for her song, Lookin’ Ass N*gga.
The former American Idol judge posted the photo Wednesday on her official website and Instagram page, quickly facing criticism for how she used the image.
After she was roundly criticized on social media circles and beyond for what many saw as disrespect to a revered icon, she offered an apology Thursday on Instagram to the estate of Malcolm X — who was assassinated 49 years ago this month at age 39. She also said that the song’s artwork “is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy.”
“That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single,” she wrote. “I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. … I have nothing but respect (and) adoration for u.” Still, she sounded exasperated that people were even upset over the issue.
“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 N*ggas?” the 31-year-old asked in her post. “I am in the video shooting (the song) and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!!”
Check the photo out below.