Nicki Minaj Revisits Malcolm X Controversy on 'Chi-Raq'

Billy Johnson, Jr.
Yahoo MusicApril 8, 2014

Did Nicki Minaj just revive the controversy surrounding her song "Lookin' Ass N-gga" that featured the fan-created artwork with late political activist Malcolm X?

On a new song released Tuesday, Nicki references Malcolm's daughter during a boastful verse about her associations with kingpins and drug lords and refusal to back down in a fight.


"Malcolm X's daughter came at me," she rhymes after spewing lyrics "these n-ggas I roll with don't let a single thing get by"; as well as making reference to the absence of gun laws in Chicago, and her love for "broke bitches that talk s--t."

In February, Nicki sparked a backlash when she posted on her Instagram page the image of Malcolm X as the cover of her single. The usage of Malcolm's photo was called disrespectful.

Nicki took down the photo and apologized the following day. "I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued … I have nothing but respect (and) adoration for us," she wrote on her Instagram page.

Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm's daughter, clarified that her family did not endorse the use of her father's image.

"Ms. Minaj's artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X's legacy," she said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Ilyasah added that more education about Malcolm was needed. "Situations like the recent portrayal of our father on the [single] cover for Ms. Minaj's new single only highlight the fact that we as a society need to take more responsibility for what we're teaching our children," she said. "It is our family's hope that the true legacy and context of Malcolm X's life continues to be shared with people from all walks of life in a positive manner that helps promote the goals and ideals for which Malcolm X so passionately advocated."

"Chi-Raq" features Chicago rapper Lil Herb. According to a spokesperson for Nicki, the song is not a single from her forthcoming album, "The Pink Print."

Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965.

Follow Billy Johnson Jr. Facebook, Twitter.