Nicki Minaj's Cover Art Was an Awful Idea, But Her Apology Was Worse
One week ago, Nicki Minaj was being praised for showing off her lovely natural locks on Instagram, but another photo she chose to post to that same social media account has earned her a much-deserved round of public backlash. The supposed cover art for Nicki Minaj's new single "Lookin' A-- N----," features a photo of the late civil rights leader Malcolm X holding a rifle and pensively peering through a window in his Queens home. Of all people to include on the cover of a song with a title and lyrics that prominently feature the N-word, it is truly baffling that Minaj approved of this in the first place.
Athough she swiftly removed the image and later explained her stance in another Instagram post, claiming that neither the single or its cover were official, her "apology" only came off as super defensive and insensitive. She asked, "What seems to be the issue now?" and then stated that posting the photo was not to "undermine his legacy." Too bad that's exactly what it does. After all, it's no secret that Malcolm X strongly advocated against using this word.
Perhaps Minaj should've taken note from her colleague and boss, Young Money rapper Lil' Wayne, whose stock recently took a major hit when he caused a similar uproar by using Emmett Till's name in a derogatory song lyric.
As frustrating as it is, it seems like this word is around to stay. Proponents of using the word claim free speech and that the meaning of the word has changed and that it no longer carries the racial weight that it used to. Of course, those who have campaigned to end the use of the word, specifically in hip hop music, feel the exact opposite.
Hopefully in the future, Minaj and other artists will consider the negative impact of the way they choose to express themselves, and focus on showing their fans that they can not only entertain, but remain socially aware as well.
Image: Getty Images