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Nicki Minaj on using N-word with Malcolm X image: 'I apologize'

February 14, 2014|By Randy Lewis
  • Nicki Minaj, shown performing in 2012 in Atlanta, has apologized for juxtaposing an image of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X with a song title using the N-word.
Nicki Minaj, shown performing in 2012 in Atlanta, has apologized for juxtaposing… (Chris McKay / WireImage/Getty…)

It’s turning into mea culpa week, first with Drake apologizing for his tweet complaining about being replaced on the cover of Rolling Stone by Philip Seymour Hoffman following the actor’s death, and now Nicki Minaj humbling herself for using an image of Malcolm X in conjunction with her new song that invokes the N-word.

“I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued,” she said on Instagram in reference to her coupling of the song's title, "Lookin Ass N—," with a 1964 Ebony magazine photo showing the black activist leader looking out a window while clutching an M-1 rifle.

“Do you have a problem with me referring to the people Malcolm X was ready to pull his gun out on as Lookin Ass N—?” she wrote after a slew of people posted comments, some supportive, some highly critical.

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“Well, I apologize,” Minaj continued. “That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single. I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass N— and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!! It is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy.”

Some who saw the image, however, felt otherwise. 

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“No matter which way you look at it, it's wrong and it's ignorant,” a reader with the handle Cyd_Charrise posted. “It's time that black people wake up and look at themselves in the mirror and see that hatred still exists because of the color of our skin. When we display this … behavior, what do we expect when our sons and brothers are getting murdered in these streets? No one is making any conscious effort to change anything in these communities, instead they pollute it with this filth.” 

Minaj concluded her message, which is accompanied by a new image of herself holding a machine gun, saying: “The word 'n—' causes so much debate in our community while the 'n—' behavior gets praised and worship. Let's not. Apologies again to his family. I have nothing but respect an adoration for u. The photo was removed hours ago. Thank you.”

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Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2 

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