Nicki Minaj has sparked a lot of controversy over her new single “Lookin Ass Nigga”! Many are outraged over the use of Malcolm X’s image on the artwork for the single and the repeated use of nigga in the song, which has become a hot topic across social media. Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz has slammed Minaj for the disrespectful use of her father’s image. Political activist Kevin Powell and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente have spearheaded petitions on Change.org over the controversial single. Reportedly, Clemente requested that Minaj remove the image of Malcolm X or face a boycott from consumers.
Ultimately, Minaj issued an apology via Instagram. Minaj stated “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.” Unfortunately, many say the damage is already done! What remains unclear at this time is how soon Minaj will be able to bounce back from the controversy.