Former One Direction-er Zayn Malik has rebranded himself as simply “Zayn,” but the singer is not off to a good start as a solo artist so far, as some are accusing him of stealing Lil Wayne’s unique concept for his new album artwork. Before performing his new single “It’s You” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week, Zayn debuted the album cover for his new album Mind of Mine, and in it, a toddler version of the singer is shown sporting a sweater with rolled up sleeves and Zayn Malik’s tattoos on his arms and hands.
According to several users on Twitter, Zayn’s new album artwork is “hella cute, but Lil Wayne did do that exact same thing yikes.” Take a look at Lil Wayne’s album artwork for his Tha Carter III (2008) and Tha Carter IV (2011) albums, and you’ll see that (yikes!) the Twitter-verse appears to be correct. On the covers of both albums, a younger Lil Wayne is portrayed sporting the rapper’s infamous face, neck and hand tattoos, including the cross between his eyebrows, the tear drops below his eyes, and the stars on the left side of his face, near his hairline.
So Zayn took a little inspiration from Lil Wayne when designing his new album cover. Is that such a big deal? Our guess is, it is when you’re trying to launch your own solo career after abandoning your bandmates mid-world-tour. What makes this whole situation even stranger though, is that Zayn actually went public with his harsh thoughts on copycats back in September, tweeting, “It’s embarrassing when you have no originality…people lack this frequently…why copy?” Fans are now asking the same question of Zayn, who has so far remained silent in the face of criticism that he copied Lil Wayne’s album artwork.
We should note that it’s possible Lil Wayne knew about Zayn’s album artwork, as the rapper is said to be featured on a “Pillowtalk” remix, but the jury’s still out on that one. In the meantime, Mind of Mine is set to be released on March 25, exactly one year to the day the pop star quit One Direction. Stay tuned to get the inside scoop on Zayn’s solo career and his upcoming tattoos!