Image

5:51 PM / Wednesday July 6, 2022

23 Feb 2014

Malcolm X family upset with Nicki Minaj for photo

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 23, 2014 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The post included the image of Malcolm X captioned with Minaj’s song title.

 

associated press

Malcolm X’s family and estate said Nicki Minaj’s use of a famous photo of the black nationalist with a rifle in his hands and juxtaposing it with a racial slur for her new song’s artwork was disrespectful and offensive.

In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press on Friday, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said Minaj’s use of the picture “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,” Shabazz’s statement said.

Minaj has since apologized. She pulled the artwork after she was criticized on social media platforms for using the photo for the cover of her new male-bashing song, “Lookin (Expletive) (Expletive).” The title uses the N-word.

Minaj said the single cover was “never the official artwork.”

Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide — which handles the licensing and merchandizing issues for the Malcolm X estate — called Minaj’s use of the photo “dehumanizing.”

Image

“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.

L. Londell McMillan, the attorney for the Malcolm X estate and the black leader’s daughters — and estate administrators — Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, said in a statement that those using the famous photo of Malcolm X need to remove it immediately.

“Failure to do so within the next 24 hours shall result in legal action,” said McMillian, who is also the lawyer for Malcolm X’s daughters, Attallah, Qubilah and Gamilah Shabazz. “The initial act and subsequent acts of distribution were improper and ill-advised. Any disparagement, infringement or disrespect of Malcolm X, and his name, image, likeness and proprietary rights will not be tolerated.”

Minaj’s representatives didn’t return emails seeking comment.

Minaj posted the artwork last Wednesday on her Instagram page and website. The photo shows Malcolm X holding a rifle as he was trying to protect his family from death threats; his home had been firebombed.

“I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. … I have nothing but respect (and) adoration for u,” Minaj said on her Instagram page following the criticism.

The 31-year-old rapper-singer said in an interview with radio station Hot 97 that she wrote the song to empower women because there are too many songs that attack females.

“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,” she said. “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.”

In the song’s music video, Minaj is shooting guns.

Ilyasah Shabazz said Minaj’s use of her father’s photo is part of a larger problem in today’s culture.

“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,” her statement said. “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.”

Malcolm X was assassinated 49 years ago this month at age 39.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Education

Congress approves free student meal extension through summer

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: First graders, from left, Kendal Kates and Ryan Kenney are excited...

Commentary

SUNrise: cj speaks…  You Are Okay — a poem

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Do not allow others to misguide you to do something that you know...

Go With The-Flo

Simone Gordon of The Black Fairy Godmother Foundation shared her story on “The Kelly Clarkson Show”

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABIOVE PHOTO: Simone Gordon (Photo: theblackfairygodmother.org) By Flo Anthony After a year of...

Color Of Money

How to improve cash flow for small businesses

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT The last few years have been rocky times for the 32.5 million...

Style

Your weekend, your time: Five great tips for shaking the Sunday blues

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Do you sometimes find yourself feeling less than optimistic as your weekend...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Vegan Chocolate Cake with Fruit Compote

July 6, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’? Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff