British rapper Skepta has decided to change the artwork for his new single Gas Me Up (Diligent) after facing criticism for its resemblance to the Holocaust.
The original artwork, which was posted on Skepta’s Instagram account on Monday, showed several men with shaved heads standing in a row, while one of them had “Gas Me Up” tattooed on the back of his head.
The image sparked outrage among some fans and social media users, who accused Skepta of being insensitive and disrespectful to the victims of the Nazi genocide.
Skepta, whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga, responded to the backlash by deleting the post and announcing that he would use a different artwork for his single, which is set to be released on Friday.
He also explained the meaning behind the controversial image, saying that it was a metaphor for his struggle in the music industry.
He wrote: “I’ve been waiting to drop ‘Gas Me Up (Diligent)’ since teasing it April last year, worked hard getting the artwork right for my album rollout which is about my parents coming to the UK in the 80’s, Skinhead, Football culture.“It has been taken offensively by many and I can promise you that was definitely not our plan so I have removed it and I vow to be more mindful going forward.”
Skepta is one of the most influential and successful artists in the UK grime scene, having won several awards and collaborated with stars such as Drake, ASAP Rocky, and Wizkid. His new single “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” is expected to be part of his upcoming album.