Nicki Minaj’s new single “Lookin’ Ass N—a” quenched the thirst of some rap fans who’ve been pining for more bars from the YMCMB star, but the track’s accompanying cover art is attracting attention for all the wrong reasons.
Nicki dropped the video for “Lookin Ass N—a” on Wednesday, and no one’s mad at that barely there lace outfit she’s sporting, but her decision to use Malcom X on the cover art is another story.
The artwork features an image of the civil-rights activist holding a rifle and peeking out the window of his Queens, New York, home. The photo of Malcom X reportedly appeared in the 1964 issues of Ebony and Life magazines just a year before he was assassinated. Nicki shared the cover on her own Instagram account this week, but it has since been deleted, making it unclear if it was official artwork, or simply a spotlight on fan art.
If it is real, however, and Nicki was hoping to pay her respects somehow, that was lost on those who took to Twitter to express their disappointment and outrage that Malcom X’s image was placed next to such a provocative song title.
I'm trying sooo hard to make this connection with this Nicki Minaj song, video and cover art but I'm coming up short , any explanations ?
— Megz Kelli (@gimmiekissmegz) February 13, 2014
“Wayne used Emmett Till’s murder for a dumb line. Nicki Minaj uses Malcolm X’s image as cover art for a ’Lookin Ass N—a’ song. Buffoonery,” @ClauGasol wrote, while, @destinylamyaa added, “This generation doesn’t care about black history, that’s why they’re cool with Nicki Minaj art cover. All they wanna be is cool smh.”
“I seriously thought that Nicki Minaj cover art of Malcolm X was a joke…something y’all Twitter people did,” @Miami_Chica chimed in.
Looks like @km_mixedlove appreciated it though. “I think Nicki Minaj’s cover art is clever & funny,” she wrote. “Lol you guys are all talking about it. She did something right.”
I think Nicki Minaj's cover art is clever & funny. Lol you guys are all talking about it. She did something right.
— stella. (@km_mixedlove) February 13, 2014
Nicki Minaj hasn’t commented on the uproar as yet, but some fans are extra upset about the timing of the release. “WOW. I heard the song w/o seeing the cover art. Nicki Minaj used Malcolm X for THAT song DURING #BlackHistoryMonth? C’mon love….,” @yusufyuie wrote.
Why did Nicki Minaj use Malcolm X for her cover art? Who gave that the green light? Smh
— Alonzo Williams Jr (@Soopamanluva13) February 13, 2014
“Lookin Ass N—a” is set to appear on the upcoming YMCMB compilation.