Nicki Minaj dropped the loaded, fiery new track “Lookin’ Ass Nigga” yesterday afternoon (Feb. 12), and along with it came the artwork which co-opted the famous photo of Malcolm X standing with a machine gun looking out a window. The track was bold enough; the art, for some, took things a step too far. Following backlash from what seemed to be large swaths of the Internet, Nicki took to her Instagram page to respond.
“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 Niggaz 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 “nigga” causes so much debate in our community while the “nigga” 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”
Nicki’s video is above, and the original artwork for the track-that’s-not-a-single-and-couldn’t-get-played-on-terrestrial-radio-anyway-because-of-its-language is below.