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Malcolm X’s Family Threaten Lawsuits Over Offensive Nicki Minaj Photo

Malcolm X’s family has expressed their outrage towards Nicki Minaj and threatened lawsuits related to a photo she used as artwork for her new video “Lookin Ass Ni**az.” Since Minaj posted an Instagram apology last week, his estate has promised legal action against anyone who continues to distribute the photo. But largely due to the controversy, her video for the song has racked up over 1.2 million views since being posted to Vevo three days ago.

One of Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, confirmed in a statement that Minaj’s use of the photo is “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.” Mark Rosler, CEO of CMG Worldwide — which handles the licensing and merchandizing issues for the Malcolm X estate — called Minaj’s use of the photo “dehumanizing,” while an attorney for the state said that failure to remove the photo by anyone using it “shall result in legal action.”

Minaj tried to downplay the controversy and said the the photo was not intended to be the official artwork for her new video. “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 Looking Ass Ni**az,” wrote Minaj on Instagram. “I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single.”

But despite the backlash, Minaj will still feature the song on new album and a compilation release from her record label, Young Money.

(Photo: Young Money Records/YouTube)

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  • hardtimz

    I’m new to your site found you via twitter…I like so far. I hope that they do sue because I thought that his family or estate owned all rights to his imagery.