The cover -- revealed during Zayn’s appearance on The Tonight Show -- is a photo of him as a baby with tattoos. Many people noted it was strikingly similar to Lil Wayne’s 2008 album Tha Carter III.
Now, Zayn has responded to the criticism, taking to Twitter on Thursday evening to insist he’s “not tryna be no rapper,” and explaining that his ideas have been with him for a long time.
In further defense, Zayn retweeted a fan who wrote, “Lil Wayne didn’t trademark using baby pictures as cover art fam. Zayn just following legends that’s it.” The message was accompanied by images of Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, Nas’ Illmatic, and The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die -- all albums that feature their respective artists as babies.