Nicki Minaj decided to use Malcolm X to promote her new single.
Spin explains how:
Nicki Minaj has come under fire not for her new video — in which she fires a pair AK-47s akimbo — but for the art used to promote that song, "Lookin Ass Nigga." Found on her site (still, as of 6:15 p.m. EST) and on her Instagram (no longer), the grainy image repurposes a famous photo of Malcolm X holding a large gun while he peers out a window, seemingly concerned for his safety. Considering her use of weaponry, and that titular oft-weaponized word, people are pissed.Pissed enough for two petitions to be raised - and, okay, "creating a petition" is probably the very least activity that can still be called activism, but it stung Minaj into a response.
Spin sees this an apology:
What seems to be the issue now? Do you have a problem with me referring to the people Malcolm X was ready to pull his gun out on as Lookin Ass Niggaz? Well, I apologize. 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 Niggaz 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. I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. The word "nigga" causes so much debate in our community while the "nigga" 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.This is a whole new level in the apology that isn't an apology, because not only does Minaj do a "if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued" non-apology, but then she follows it up with an "apologies again to his family" - which doesn't really require an "again" and, from the whole tone of the response, right from the opening, bored "what seems to be the issue now", shows no understanding of the cause of offence or any real contrition at having got it so badly wrong.
Still: it doesn't matter if you do something crudely insulting, providing it's not done on an official single. So that's alright then.