Nicki Minaj used an image of Malcolm X holding a gun as the cover art for her new single “Lookin A** Ni**a,” and the family of the iconic civil rights leader is not happy about it.
In a statement to the Associated Press on Friday, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz said the rapper’s use of the photo was “in no way is endorsed by our family.”
“Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy,” she explained. “Situations like the recent portrayal of our father on the album cover for Ms. Minaj’s new single only highlight the fact that we as a society need to take more responsibility for what we’re teaching our children.”
“It is our family’s hope that the true legacy and context of Malcolm X’s life continues to be shared with people from all walks of life in a positive manner that helps promote the goals and ideals for which Malcolm X so passionately advocated,” she added.
Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide (who handles licensing and merchandizing for the Malcolm X estate), agreed with Ilyasah. “This is a family photo that was taken out of context in a totally inaccurate and tasteless way,” said his statement on behalf of the family.
Nicki publicly apologized for using the image twice on Thursday — first on her Instagram account and again during a radio interview the Hot 97. “I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued,” she wrote. “I have nothing but respect (and) adoration for u.” She removed the artwork and “never the official artwork.”
Later that evening, she told Angie Martinez: “It was almost parallel in my opinion because he has this big gun ready to shoot at a lookin’ (expletive) bleep, and that’s how I looked at it…I looked at it as this is one of the most memorable people in our history, in black history, who voiced his opinion no matter what, and I understand how my intent was overlooked and I definitely didn’t want to offend his family or his legacy.”
L. Londell McMillan, the attorney for the Malcolm X estate, threatened legal action if the photos weren’t removed immediately.
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INSTADAILY: Nicki Minaj Shoots Myx Moscato Commercial & We're Drooling...
1. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
Nicki Minaj gets prettier every time we see her! The newly natural Barb shot a commercial for Myx Moscato (Mona Scott-Young's alcoholic drink) and showed off her curves in a salmon pink bikini. In case you didn't know, Nicki is the spokesmodel/woman for the flavored beverage. We are loving this new (old) Nicki! Check out pics from the shoot...
2. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
"Ain't yelling cut when it's shooting time"
3. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
As tasty as a watermelon!
4. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
Why is she so freakin' hot?
5. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
6. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
7. Nicki Minaj On The Set Of Myx Moscato Commercial
Cool shirt and dimple!
8. Nicki Minaj Posts More Selfies & We Can't Get Enough!
Nicki Minaj is known for switching up her look, and this new natural look she's been rocking is no different. Check out Nicki showing off her lovely features all over her IG. Werk, Nicki!
9. Nicki Poses Pretty
We see that middle part, girl. Werk!
10. Nicki Dressed In All Black
Nicki definitely looks amazing in this Alexander McQueen outfit.
11. Nicki Gazes On
Nicki's manicure is also serving fierceness. Yes, hunty!
12. A Closeup Of Nicki's Contour
We're definitely in love with this polished natural look she's been rocking for a little bit now.
13. Nicki Looks Under
The superstar's lashes are fluttering!
14. Nicki's Lovely Closeup
The superstar gives a nice smile to IG.
15. Nicki Gives Face
We're truly in love with this simple makeup look that she completed with an Alexander McQueen gown.
16. Nicki Presenting With Her "The Other Woman" Castmates
Nicki had presenting duties at the MTV Movie Awards with her castmates.
17. Nicki and Her Glam Team
Nicki wouldn't have her look without her glam squad.
18. Nicki And Her Castmates
Nicki makes time for her castmates, which include Cameron Diaz, from "The Other Woman."
19. Nicki Gives Face With Cameron Diaz
Nicki and Cameron makes it FIERCE for IG!
20. Nicki Serves In McQueen
The star gives a sexy sleek pose in her gown.
21. Nicki Serves It All
Doesn't she look fab, though? Seriously.
22. Nicki Waves To The Camera
The star plays it up with a castmate.
23. Nicki Serves Innocent Fierceness
We're digging Nicki's cat eye.
24. Nicki Dons All Black
Nicki kept it hot in L.A.
25. Nicki Adopts Another Nickname
Could this be another one of Nicki's alter egos?
26. Nicki Keeps It Cute
Nicki remembers to serve on her ride over to the award show.
27. Nicki Gives A Sophisticated Pose
Nicki prepares to head out to the MTV Movie Awards.
28. Nicki's Closeup
Nicki proves that all you need is a winged liner and simple blush.
29. Nicki Has A Fresh Face
Is she coming down with a fever?
30. Nicki Makes It Lovely
Nicki is staring back at us.
31. Nicki Poses For The Camera
Can we get those animal printed pants?
32. Nicki Does A Double Take
We're here for this more natural Nicki.
33. Nicki Meets Miyah
Check out Miyah's pink wig!
34. Hey Miyah!
35. Nicki & Miyah
The girls were all smiles as the hung out with each other.
36. Nicki Minaj
Nick showed John Wall's jersey some love after he launched the campaign to get Miyah to Nicki.
37. Happy Birthday Micaihah
Nicki threw her brother a super lavish (but manly) Sweet 16! Check him out on his throne.
38. Micaiah's Family
Nicki's brother Micaihah's family came out in full force.
39. Jelani, Micaihah & Nicki Minaj
Who knew Nicki had so many brothers... "They can take it all. Just leave me with these two. Jelani, my big brother.... Love of my life. LOVE of my life. He's not flashy so him "casually" showing off a Rolex made me crack up. Nothing else matters if u don't have the ppl who hold your heart right by your side," she wrote.
40. Nicki Minaj
We love Nicki's natural look!
41. Nicki, SB & Crew
Nicki's rumored husband SB was in attendance.
42. Nicki's Mother & Micaihah
43. Micaihah & Friends
Micaihah's day one crew!
44. Nicki Minaj & SB
Nicki is serving glam with her winged eyeliner.
45. Nicki Minaj & Co.
Nicki Minaj celebrated her 10-year anniversary with (rumored fiance) Safaree "SB" Samuels in Cabo, Mexico! "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. #Year10," she wrote on Instagram! We have to admit how much we've been feeling Nicki since she has been embracing her natural beauty by leaving the wigs and makeup in a box under her bed. Check out these pics from her vacay...
46. Nicki Minaj & Safaree
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. #Year10"
47. Nicki Minaj
Her bathing suit body is on point!
48. Nicki Minaj
Even Nicki falls while taking pics. "I was falling n @grizzleemusic just kept on shooting. Lol," she wrote.
49. Nicki Minaj
There we go.
50. Nicki Minaj
And not a single care was given...
51. Nicki Minaj
52. Nicki Minaj
Life is a beach...
53. Nicki Minaj
Look back at it...
"So in love with Mexico. The place & the people. Good Morning."
55. Nicki Minaj
I see you looking...
56. Nicki Minaj & Friends
Would you believe that "A bird swooped down, took Grizz's chicken and fork, ate his chicken, flung the fork at us, then looked at Grizz and said "fuck u nigga"! I cried @grizzleemusic"
57. Nicki Minaj
The girls are out!
58. Nicki Minaj
Let me sign ya boobs!
59. Nicki Minaj
60. Nicki Minaj
61. Nicki Minaj
62. Nicki Minaj
Nothing like a good winged eye liner.
63. Nicki Minaj
Back & white beauty.
64. Nicki Minaj
"Airport flow. Bakadabach"
65. Nicki Minaj
We don't know much information about the new song and video Nicki Minaj is prepping, but we have two perky inclinations that it will be sexy! Nicki posted images from the secret shoot on her Instagram account showing off her natural hair, enhanced curves and new pasties. “Behind the scenes. Shot by @grizzleemusic,” she wrote. We wonder if the flicks are from the mixtape she's been hinting at...
66. Nicki Minaj
Pose for the Gawds!
67. Nicki Minaj
How's that natural hair holding up int he desert?
68. Nicki Minaj
Whip the ponytail, hunty!
69. Nicki Minaj
Are those Versace heels?
70. Nicki Minaj
71. Nicki Minaj
Serving high bun realness.
72. Nicki Minaj
Her skin is flawless!
73. Nicki Minaj
Curves for days
74. Nicki Minaj
75. Nicki Minaj
Playing with her ponytail
76. Nicki Minaj
Her jawline is everything!
77. Micaihah's Cake
We're guessing Micaihah likes basketball...