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It wasn’t enough that party promoters thought using Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s likeness wearing gold chains to advertise a party was cool or that Russell Simmons thought making fun of Harriet Tubman was funny or  that Li’l Wayne thought that comparing rough sex to Emmit Till’s death was okay. Now rapstress Nicki Minaj has gone and released a new single “Looking Ass N#$*a,” already controversial for its show of guns in the video, and used Malcolm X’s picture for the cover. You can see and hear the NSFW single here. (Warning: EXPLICIT LYRICS).

Not only is this ignorant and sad, this particular image speaks volumes about Malcolm’s legacy and the duress he was under for speaking his truth about race relations in this country. It’s the famous pic where he’s looking out the window, machine gun in hand, prepared to defend himself and his family against the many people who had threatened their lives.

Did we mention that it’s still Black History Month?

Should we blame Nikki for this or blame ourselves for creating an atmosphere where not only are we OK with the visual imaging that has helped her become a platinum-selling superstar (despite lacking any real talent except for marketing and imitating various voices) with an allegedly surgically enhanced butt and a blonde wig? We’ve been OK with one of our daughters working out some obvious self-esteem issues while turning a profit by encouraging other insecure young girls to want the same plastic parts instead of celebrating their own unique beauty. Are we now OK with the shameless use of one of our icons’ images for commercial purposes when his famous autobiography, penned by Alex Haley, is not just a classic, but one that a lot of young Black males reference as changing their thinking about themselves and their potential?

Because if we are OK with our young artists disrespecting our history and neither feel that we can correct or re-educate them, then it’s us, as parents, aunties, uncles, teachers and grands that have collectively failed. If it’s not up to us to remember and testify, then who will? If we don’t share and protect our history, then who will we have that can continue to fight for the equality and justice that is our right? If we are not sharing this knowledge, we are sending young people out into the world unarmed with the information and knowledge that they need.

Without it, how can they stand strong when they meet with institutional racism and the persistent mindset that African-Americans are second-class citizens who can be shot in cold blood because their very presence offends or frightens others? We need to snatch up our young people and let them know that others came before them who lived and died to get us where we are today and that they were more than Black and white images, they were living breathing people who sacrificed family, friends, and often their lives for the greater good.

They were not just holidays and names to quote in a hip-hop song. They were patriots who wanted justice for our people and the chance to let freedom ring in a country that paid lip service to that ideal but denied it to too many of its citizens. If we haven’t taught Nicki anything, then we haven’t done nothing, as another great Black man said.

It’s Black History Month. Teach somebody something, buy someone a book, or mentor a young person. Do it not just this month, but all year. Because if you support this mess, by saying it doesn’t matter or that you bear no responsibility in it, then, well, you’re just part of the problem.

Note: Minaj has responded to complaints via her Instagram and taken the offending image down from hersocial media sites. 

15 thoughts on “WTH? Nicki Minaj Uses Malcolm X Image for New Single

  1. Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the challenges.

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  2. GregAbdul on said:

    You are being hypocritical. Zaheer Ali can call Malcolm gay and he can say Betty is a loose woman who committed adultery and no one other than Malcolm’s daughters stands up and calls mr. ivy league wrong. No one demands he back down. But I guess because Minaj is a woman with a bad rep, Malcolm in this case is a way for stuck up black people to go after a woman who shows her body for a living.I am not a Minaj fan but wrong is wrong. All she did was use Malcolm’s image without first getting permission and paying the family. She is not making a career out of smearing Malcolm the way Zaheer Ali is. Ali throws poop and spit on Malcolm and Betty’s rep after they are in the grave and you ain’t even feeling it. But Nikki Minaj using Malcolm’s picture sets you off? This is our problem. We say we want justice, but we have been denied so long we don’t even know justice. We only know high and low people and that high people can do anything to anyone (master) and low people get their chops busted for anything that looks the least bit like any kind of crime.

  3. How do we suppose we educate our culture? How do you suppose we build our culture? We need to from ignorance to intelligence, we need to move from black people to a Nation, we need to move from rich to wealthy, we need to move from a movement to a mass movement.

  4. RyanJWatts on said:

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $70 hourly on the internet . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her check was $13903 just working on the internet for a few hours. more info here

  5. now..what she can do is use her POWER, WEALTH and INFLUENCE to give a Sincere apology to the daughters of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz(Malcolm) on a public forum like Viacom’s BET’s 106 & Park(since BET’s Teen Summit no longer exist) and assist RE-EDUCATING our Children on to who Malcolm was. Especially in a PEVERTED society that’s becoming offended that NEGROIDS want to Observe their heritage or a recent story about a Teacher who vehemently OPPOSED our Negroid Children from writing a report of Malcolm because he was an ADVOCATE of SELF-DEFENSE(By any means necessary). SO WHAT SAY YOU NIKKI MINAJ DURING THIS BLACK HISTORY MONTH(SEE HOW THE ‘FORCES’ WORK).

  6. americanize. on said:

    Do u really want to be n show bizness the instance high the constance come an go bizness got u hangin out in places u got no bizness people sell their soul. Not all but most rappers don,t have a clue about their history.

  7. My dayzz….I can’t believe that is the picture she decided to use as her album….I think this is the lowest ‘publicity stunt’ that she could go for…. She might as well just stand up for those who degrade black history

  8. Montero Storm on said:

    Can anyone name me a race, ethnic group or culture that allows it’s young people to degrade their history or the people they hold in high esteem? Example: Arabic people/cultural would NEVER allow their young to disrepect their culture or famous people who their past. They would actually kill them. WE REALLY NEED TO WAKE UP……but hell it won’t be in my life time.

  9. P. Jones on said:

    She is a prime example among others of why we cannot let our history be forgotten. We need to keep our ancestry, the good, the bad and the ugly at the forefront as a reminder of what we have endured .

  10. pamela jones on said:

    Its a shame that people have to point these things out to them to take this mess down but we know its all about the dollar . shame on you niki minaj alot of your fans are young people ! shoa a better example !

  11. Nicki Minaj behavior is just another example of how far we have fallen as a people. So many state and have stated that we need to let the past go and we have made so many strides but its just not true. We disrespected our ancestors by not telling our children what they suffered for us and now everyone boldly disrespects our hero’s its truly disturbing.

    • The problem isn’t that we didn’t tell our children about the struggles. The problem is that our children know that in today’s society, they are judged more by monetary wealth instead of the content of their character. That’s why the POTUS had an ex drug dealing gangster accompany him on stage during his election. Because he donated enough money to pay for the privilege. They know. They just don’t care.

    • @Aaron I agree, Nicki manaj or whoever she is, is not a very educated young woman, What A lot of our young stars need to do is Return to school. nicki wants to make money she wants to have swag and she wants to be talked about, and in the media,, see the Media, stands for Med-evil demons In Action. THIS IS what the media wants our young people to see, they want to see other black people put our History on BLAST in a Negative way,,, its all about the mighty dollar with most of our young people. One thing about you will never see a Jewish Child ever disrespecting there culture or there history, because they are taught about the HOLOCAUST when they are two years old.. see the difference. we do not do that. we allow things like this to take place. and the media loves to see us act a fool about our history and they love it, when we are dis-respecting each other… so pay attention to the media. how they work. its all media HYPE… GOD bless you have a blessed day..

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