Nicki Minaj Uses Picture of Malcolm X for Album Art
Taari Coleman | Staff Writer
Two weeks ago, rapper Nicki Minaj released controversial artwork for her new single, “Looking Ass N*gga.” The artwork featured an iconic photograph of Malcolm X, circa 1964, holding a large assault rifle, peering through window curtains. The public sphere erupted with criticism toward Minaj’s expression of art, prompting Minaj to release an apology to the Malcolm X estate, via Instagram. She began her apology saying in part, “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 N*ggaz? Well, I apologize.”
To answer Minaj’s question: yes. A lot of individuals have a problem with her referral of the people Malcolm X despised as “Lookin Ass N*ggaz.” This is largely because it creates an implication that the people who threatened Malcolm X’s life and family and the people jealous of her success are one and the same. Unless the group who Minaj referred to as “Lookin Ass N*ggaz” is the same closed-minded group that once was on the wrong side of the Civil Rights Movement, calling them such and likening her so-called struggle to that of Malcolm X is misappropriation.
Minaj concluded her apology saying, “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 N*ggaz” and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!!”
In the music video for the “non-official” single, Minaj fires two AK-47 assault rifles simultaneously, with her arms at her sides and her elbows on her hips. There is not one piece of recorded evidence indicating that Malcolm X ever arbitrarily fired a semi automatic weapon for the sole purpose of entertainment. Malcolm X owned and wielded his gun because of the fear and concern he felt on a daily basis for the safety of his loved ones and the ideals of freedom which he was prepared to die for.
Unless the individuals Minaj is pretending to shoot in her video are openly oppressing and causing her genuine insecurity, calling what she is doing and what X did the “same thing” is misappropriation.
Though she didn’t say this, Minaj’s apology was a PR stunt meant to pacify those wounded by her cuthless album art. It also screams “I’m doing this because I have to, but I am not really sure why.”
Minaj is one of a few celebrities to abuse culture lately. “Drunk in Love,” a song on singer Beyonce’s, self-named album, contains the lyrics “eat the cake/Anna Mae” a reference to an abusive relationship between Motown Legends, Ike and Tina Turner. The backlash to the lyric has been minimal though.
It is interesting that the many within the Black community were so up in arms over Miley Cyrus’ alleged use of Black people as props, but allow other celebrities passes to not only use Black icons as props, but exploit domestic violence.
It appears that, much like “the n-word,” abusing Black culture and history is something that’s only okay when we do it.
Throughout the month of February, the Nubian Message staff set out on a mission to wake up as many people on N.C. State’s campus as possible. We were inspired to#WakeUpNCSU after reflecting on all the stories we have reported on this school year and the injustice we have seen in the news. We wanted to rally students by saying #DontSleep on the experiences we have lived that shouldn’t, nor do they have to be, the norm. Now, though February is coming to a close, the Nubian staff wants to encourage you all to #StayWoke to the issues plaguing our community, throughout the year. Here is a list of a few things that will help you fight off sleep.
1. Spike Lee Joints –
You may only know him from his shenanigans at New York Knicks games but in the 80’s Lee was the go-to director for Black films that really told our experience. There is no way you can fall asleep when watching classics like School Daze and Malcolm X.
2. Read a book! R-E-A-D-A-B-O-OH-KAY-
There is so much literature out there to help you stay woke and really learn about your roots. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, set in West Africa, is THE classic story everyone should have in their library. If you want something more modern, try reading The Color Purple, you know you’ve seen the movie!
3. Wake your friends-
It’s easy to sink back into the comfort of the bed when everyone around you is dozing. When you learn or hear about something new, have a discussion with your friends- see how they feel about it.
4. Find a news source other than Twitter!
Although a great way to keep in touch in less than 140 characters, a lot of news gets buried under pop culture nonsense on Twitter. Things are happening everywhere that affect our community and way of life.
5. Learn the history of the Black Pack-
Take a trip to the Afrikan American Cultural Center and visit Mama Thorpe, the closest thing we have to a Grio, or story teller. Also, learn about the Afrikan American Student Advisory Council.
The Pressure To Find A Spouse By Graduation
Aaron Thomas | Staff Writer
Go to class. Make good grades. Walk across the stage. Attending college can be seen as a stage of life that represents being one step closer to entering the “real world.” As students pursue prospective careers, it is common for them to have relationships on the side.
In some cases, these relationships turn into engagements.
With a university like N.C. State that has a large population, one would think finding a potential spouse is easy. Some people in past generations hold the notion that women generally attend college for their “MRS” degree- that is, attending a university with the purpose of finding a man with high earning potential.
Today, women are focusing on their own education and pursuing a career. That isn’t to say they aren’t looking forward to that “fairy tale moment.”
Kiarah Anderson, a senior majoring in psychology, is now engaged to her boyfriend of seven years after he proposed to her on Feb. 12. The engagement came as a surprise to her.
“I wasn’t [expecting a proposal],” Anderson said. “Because we had been together so long I just thought we would keep dating until we had our careers situated.”
Graduation is around the corner and senior year is a common time to get engaged. Students are preparing for the workforce and hopefully have matured mentally during their four (or more) years of undergrad.
While some couples look forward to engagement during senior year, there are others who choose to wait by taking the relationship one step at a time. Kimberly Rucker, a senior in psychology, has been dating her boyfriend for over a year and wants to wait for a proposal.
“I wouldn’t say right now in this very moment do I want him to propose because I wouldn’t be ready,” Rucker shares. “I think we should grow up, get used to the real world and figure out things along the way.
Taking time to make sure a significant other is “the one” is a smart idea. It will be awhile before Adrian McNeill decides to propose to his girlfriend of three years, who is a non-N.C. State student.
“[The distance] definitely makes it tough,” the sophomore said.
Anderson, Rucker, and McNeill all agree that the college atmosphere is a great opportunity for finding a potential spouse.
“Even though college is tough and takes a lot of focus, it is also a socializing institution that offers many opportunities to party, have fun, meet new people and establish relationships,” Anderson comments.
Finding a potential spouse outside of college may be more difficult with a different setting in the workforce. Having multiple social outlets on campus is a benefit according to McNeill.
“If I weren’t in any clubs or smaller social communities it would be difficult for me,” he states.”
The workforce may not have the same social opportunities as a college setting, however Rucker believes the demands may make it easier to date.
“At least you don’t have homework; now there are more chances to be social, go out, hangout,” she shares. “Sometimes if you do have a job, you have financial stability or more in the mindset of wanting to settle down and be serious. It’s be to find someone at that point.”
Finding a potential spouse in college does carry a lot of pressure, especially for those who come from families where their relatives met their significant others in college. There are some students who feel as if they are not ready to date or would rather focus on their studies before searching for a partner.
There is plenty of time to find the “right one.” Whether it’s during college or after, it will happen in due time. Until then, focus on those studies.
Talk to Ban Racial Slurs on the Field
Devonte Keith | Staff Writer
The National Football League and NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell are currently in discussion on whether a penalty should be placed on players who use the “n-word” as well as homophobic slurs du
ring games. Rather than using the common unsportsmanlike conduct flag, referees would instead enforce a 15-yard penalty a
ny time a player utters a slur. Continued use of the word could also result in ejection as well as fines.
Most would wonder how exactly the NFL would go about enforcing these rules, especially during a fast-paced game where a lot of calls go can unnoticed. One way is on the NFL Network show “Sound FX”, where viewers get an inside look of how players interact verbally on the field as well as on the sidelines. Shows such as these give fans an inside look at their favorite athletes and personalities during the games. Though it may seem like a positive thing, sometimes the fans see how vulgar their favorite players can be during the game as some of the words used are usually censored.
The discussion is getting a lot of support and on the surface it seems as though the NFL has intentions of progressing on-field as well as off the field relationships between the athlete. As a way to make sure cases such as the Richie Incognito bullying scandal that deals with interpersonal relationships between football players don’t happen, this ban seems like the best way to start.
Even though this ban is probably for the best, there is speculation about how much of an effect it would have on the league as well as the individual players
All too many times, fans, coaches, and players alike all gripe, “The ref completely missed that call!” With this new ban, it seems as though the NFL is trivializing the weight this racial slur has had over the course of history. If this ban were enforced, would it make sense to compare something as simple as a missed holding call to a missed racial slur call?
It is also in question as to whether something like that should be drawn attention to during a football game. Even in high school during football games, I heard a lot of other discriminatory, offensive, and vulgar language on the field that no one in the stands could even hear. If that is the case on football fields everywhere, where would the line of penalties be drawn as far as the rules?
Despite the questions raised as far as enforcement of the possible rule, this is a positive change for the NFL. It shows that the NFL has been motivated to create a safe and positive environment for its “employees” since being established over ninety years ago. Players and fans alike are having their voices heard in personal matters and proper changes are being made. The National Football League shows promise in becoming a positive trailblazer in ending discrimination in sports.
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