Skepta Apologizes, Takes Down ‘Gas Me Up’ Artwork After Backlash

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Skepta - Credit: Lorne Thomson/Getty Images
Skepta - Credit: Lorne Thomson/Getty Images

U.K. rapper and producer Skepta took down an image for his upcoming single “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” after allegations that the artwork was in reference to the Holocaust.

On Monday, Skepta posted the artwork, made by artist Gabriel Moses, to his Instagram. The image featured a group of men with shaved heads and the words “Gas Me Up” tattooed across one of their heads. Some fans alleged that the artwork alluded to Jewish people during World War II in Nazi concentrations camps, while some drew comparisons to the track’s title and the gas chambers used to kill prisoners during the war.

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The image was removed from Skepta’s social media later that day, with the grime artist taking to X (formerly Twitter) to apologize. “I’ve been waiting to drop Gas Me Up (Diligent) since teasing it April last year, worked hard getting the artwork right for my album rollout which is about my parents coming to the UK in the 80’s, Skinhead, Football culture and it has been taken offensively by many,” he wrote. “I can promise you that was definitely not our plan so I have removed it and I vow to be more mindful going forward.”

In November, Skepta shared that he would host his inaugural Big Smoke Festival at Crystal Palace Park in London on July 6. The artist followed up the news on Jan. 1 with the announcement that he would be releasing his first album in five years, Knife and Fork, and that his track “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” would drop on Jan. 26.

“It’s been years since I dropped my last album and I want to thank you for all the love during my hiatus,” he said in an Instagram post alongside a carousel of video clips and photos. “I’ve seen the messages, tweets and Tik Toks, I’m truly grateful that my music is still resonating with the world, even in my absence.”

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