Update: Zayn Malik Defends His Album Art

Update: Zayn Malik defended his album art on Twitter, claiming that he took no inspiration from previous artists. The signer wrote, "I'm not tryna be no rapper, my album is me a child .. My ideas have been with me a long time... Use your brain, appreciate art don't discriminate what you don't understand." This story was originally published February 18 at 2:45 p.m.

Zayn Malik is really ready to leave his One Direction days behind him. So eager in fact, that he is aligning himself with a few very famous artists from a totally different genre — rap. And he's doing it with his new controversial album art. Malik released the cover of his new album, Mind of Mine, on Instagram earlier this week. Immediately, his millions of followers started oohing and ahhing over the adorable baby Malik. Adding some edge to his baby-faced self, Malik had the image photoshopped to include sleeves of tattoos.


A photo posted by Zayn Malik (@zayn) on

But others were quick to point out that they had seen a very similar, if not nearly identical, album cover before, on Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV .
Does this mean we should start calling him Lil Zayn? But one Twitter user, southsidezain, pointed out that Malik's photo isn't really copying or stealing anything unique. It is instead using an idea that has been recycled, time and time again.
Above is a collage of album covers featuring Malik alongside Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Drake. Malik has also been posting teasers on his Snapchat of a "Pillowtalk" remix featuring a rapped verse. The rapper in the clip sounds distinctly like Lil Wayne. Enough so that LilWayneHQ.com is saying that the two are definitely collaborating together. So, would Lil Wayne collaborate with a former boy band member who stole his album cover idea? Probably not. Which means we're going to assume it's all good between the two. Listen to the brief clip from the remix below.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the child on the cover of Notorious B.I.G.'s album Ready to Die is Biggie Smalls himself. It is not.

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