Skepta pulls song artwork over criticism it evokes images of the Holocaust

Following the backlash, Skepta shared a statement on Instagram. Credit: PA

Skepta has apologised to fans and pulled the artwork for his upcoming single over accusations it makes light of the Holocaust.

The rapper, 41, shared the artwork for "Gas Me Up", created by artist Gabriel Moses, on Monday.

But social media users were quick to point out that the image, depicting men with shaved heads gathered together in matching uniforms, resembles the treatment of Jewish people by the Nazis during World War Two.

One of the men has "Gas Me Up" tattooed on the back of his head, which fans suggested also draws comparisons, alongside the song title, referencing the gas chambers used to kill prisoners at concentration camps.

Following the backlash, Skepta, whose real name is Joseph Olaitan Adenuga Jr., shared a statement on Instagram saying he will be "more mindful going forward".

Underneath an image of a mood board showing multiple pictures of men with shaved, tattooed heads, 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 and 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.

"I can honestly see how my single artwork without context can be deemed offensive, especially in a time like this but again that was not my intention.

"But after some thought I don’t feel like I could continue being the artist you all know and love if my art is policed, I have to quit if I can’t express my art as I see it.

"So to help with context here are some pictures from our mood board for the 1980’s UK story for my album ‘Knife & Fork’. Gas Me Up (DILIGENT) will be out January 26th as planned."

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