Sukihana and Killer Mike comes to Meek Mill’s defense as he receives backlash for his Expensive Pain album cover.
The album has been doing quite well, amassing over 100 million streams and placing at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100 charts with the likes of Taylor Swift and Drake. However, it is a completely different matter for the cover art.
The cover features a pop art graphic of a black man with a gold chain and a myriad of nude black women in provocative positions. The risqué cover is also plastered across his tour bus, which was the fuel that started this uproar. As Meek Mill kicks off his tour, more fans saw the tour bus and started to express their disdain at the images on Twitter.
Many women tweeted out the sexist outlook of a nude black woman on his tour bus. It is seen as inappropriate and disrespectful towards black women, especially for a black man in his position. One critic tweeted, “This is rapper Meek Mill’s album cover. When are Black people going to call out Black people for the injustices against Black people? The number one threat to Black women is Black men. The most disrespectful people towards Black women are Black Men. WHERE ARE THE FEMINISTS?”
Fellow rapper Sukihina had a different outlook on the incident, and she shared her views on it on Wednesday, October 13. She stated in a now-deleted post, “There is no outrage for statues in Italy and Rome that depict naked white people.” Further on in her video, she stands by her words, saying, “A Black woman’s body is beautiful. We can show it if we want.” She closed out her video by advising others to stop jumping on black men for nonsense.
There are many depictions of nude women in Greek and Roman culture. However, in the Western side of the world, nude depictions of women are seen as inappropriate. The context of Meek Mill’s album cover may also be the cause of the commotion.
Whereas depictions of nude women in other cultures surround the effervescence and divine feminine energy of the female that is represented whether, in paintings or statues, the depictions of the black females on his album represent a gory side of rap that most females look down on. It represents a prime theme in rap culture, which some may individuals deem as objectification and over-sexualization of women’s beauty.
It can also point towards an even darker turn in history where black women were sexually objectified and used for sex and art in European countries. Sarah Baartman is a prime example of the dark sexualization of black women in art.
Albeit, is there enough exploration of positive representations of black women, and could this be a start in examples of that?
According to Meek Mill, Nina Chanel, a Black New York-based artist, designed the artwork. Her work embodies the exploration of racial matters, pop culture, political and social tensions, and homophobia. Chanel is an expert in her craft and has mentioned that her work is “easy to swallow, hard to digest.”
Killer Mike also defended Meek Mill saying its just art.
“It’s art,” the veteran rapper said. “Absolutely. We as a society see naked humans in art in museums. We should also be cultured enough as adults & parents to have a convo about nudity & art with our children. I say this as a parent, rapper & a High Museum of ART Board member. Love & Respect Doc.”
It's art. Absolutely. We as a society see naked humans in art in museums. We should also be cultured enough as adults & parents to have a convo about nudity & art with our children. I say this as a parent, rapper & a High Museum of ART Board member. Love & Respect Doc. https://t.co/HOmYAC1q6g
— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) October 13, 2021
Meek Mill has since responded to the backlash, particularly coming from the white male in the video.
“These people don’t worry about our community when we dying and going to jail and then trapped inside of poverty, so don’t speak on this when you think you feel some type of way when you see some s— you don’t like. Speak up when you see a little girl get killed in our neighborhood like we do,” Meek Mill said in an interview with Morman.
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) September 15, 2021
Not sure if anybody has seen these old school minstrel show images, but I hope that #MeekMill and #Lizzo will take a look. #Blackwomen have always been seen as ignorant sex objects. pic.twitter.com/ngh16s71tT
— Dr Boyce Watkins (@drboycewatkins1) October 14, 2021