Nicki Minaj‘s new song, ‘Lookin’ Ass N***a’, is pretty awful in a lot of ways, not least of which is her decision to use a photo of Malcom X as part of the artwork when the lyrics are all about how she’s (metaphorically, natch) “raping” people, and how she’ll never get with a man who doesn’t have a dick and all this other bullshit.
Of course, people weren’t too happy about that, so now she’s defended her decision (and removed the photo) on 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 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”
I do agree with her in re: the word in comparison to the culture (within the black community – white people are not involved in that conversation regardless of how much they might try to be), but this whole thing is a mess. The song, the Malcom X imagery, all of it. Oh, and the image may have been removed from Instagram, but it hasn’t been taken down from her official site.