Record Label Executive: Nicki, since your value has dropped significantly over the last year, we’re going to pull back on marketing dollars and use more cost effective ways to promote your new project. Your publicist has a great idea.

Publicist: Nicki, what do you think about using a picture of Malcolm X for the cover art of the new single? Malcolm is looking out the window in the picture so he’s kind of…well you know….the title of your song, a lookin’ ass N word.  No offense Nicki!

Nicki: None taken darling. But you know it probably won’t go over well with all my haters.

Executive:  No worries Nicki. We’ve dealt with this kind of stuff before.

Publicist: A little backlash is worth the free publicity and the million + YouTube views you’ll get.  We’ll see how the public responds and when it gets a little too much, we’ll delete the Malcolm X picture from your website and Instagram and have you issue a public apology.

Nicki: OK, not bad.

Publicist: You can just say that you didn’t mean to offend anyone and that you really respect Malcolm X as a great leader.  It’s black history month too so it’s perfect!

Nicki: So when do we start?

Executive: The graphics department is working on it as we speak. They just loved the concept! They even thought of using that picture of Martin Luther King where he’s looking out from the hotel balcony, moments before he was killed.

Publicist: Genius idea! That would’ve worked as well.  What made them go with the Malcolm picture instead?

Executive:  They tossed a coin about it. And they thought the gun looked cooler.

Publicist: I guarantee you, Nicki.  This is gonna be great publicity!

Nicki:  Ok….I trust you babe.

Publicist:  And maybe for the next single, we’ll just go back to traditional publicity and leak a sex tape.  That always works.

Warning: This is satire


Sebastien Elkouby is a Hip Hop Culture historian, freelance writer, creative consultant, and award-winning educator. Check out his educational program, Global Awareness Through Hip Hop Culture and blog, For more info about his creative consulting services, contact him at [email protected].