Zayn Malik is starting to build a reputation for himself as a solo artist, and so far, it's not going too well. Since he quit One Direction to venture out on his own, it seems that he has made a series of unpopular, yet life-altering, decisions. He shocked fans by calling off his engagement to Perrie Edwards, to whom he had been engaged to since 2013, and now he has upset fans once again with Malik's Mind of Mine album cover art. Mainly because the cover art, which he released on his Instagram on Thursday, bears a familiar resemblance to Lil Wayne's 2008 album Tha Carter III.
The cover art is of Malik as a child, and it's drawn backlash because Lil Wayne's album featured a similar photo of himself as a child. This has led a lot of fans to believe Malik copied the idea. In response to the harsh criticism he has received, Malik said on his Twitter, "I'm not tryna be no rapper." Which is pretty hilarious considering absolutely no one is worried about him trying to become a rapper. In fact, he's the only one who thought that's what all the criticism was over.
When it comes to art, everyone can have their own inspirations and ideas, even if it appears to resemble that of another artist. Malik's album cover shares the same baby photo concept, the same black background, and even the white album text (though Lil Wayne's album covered had his name in red, while Malik's name is white on his cover). The similarities between the two covers can't be denied, but it's clear that Malik's intention was not to copy Lil Wayne's style in all aspects of his career. Instead, the baby photo could just be Malik symbolizing a rebirth of sorts, since this is his first solo work. Also, he is far from the first artist to use a baby photo for his album cover art, and he won't be the last.
Malik went on to say that maybe people should learn to appreciate art for what it is and not be so quick to lay judgment.
This may be the best example of all publicity is good publicity. Love or hate Malik, this album is going to be one of the most highly anticipated of 2016. There has already been a lot of speculation about the content of his album, and if he'll release any songs about his time in 1D. Whether he does or doesn't, one thing about his album is clear: he's not tryna be no rapper.