Zayn Malik (the former One Direction singer is in the process of rebranding himself as simply "Zayn" so let's forget that last name for now) has released the artwork for his first solo album, Mind of Mine, featuring a baby photo of the pop star fronting the same ornamental tattoos he has today. The 23-year-old debuted the album cover on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallonlast night, February 17, before performing his new single "It's You."
The internet is a bit disappointed in Zayn's cover choice—and it's not because he tattooed a toddler (the ink looks great). Social media users claim he copied Lil' Wayne's artwork for Tha Carter III (2008) and Tha Carter IV (2011). It's a valid argument, but also ironic because last September Zayn tweeted his thoughts about originality and lack thereof:
It's embarrassing when you have no originality … people lack this frequently ..why copy ?
— zayn (@zaynmalik) September 12, 2015
"> There is a chance Lil' Wayne knew about the Mind of Mine artwork ahead of time, as he is said to be featured on a "Pillowtalk" remix. The Zayn/Wayne debate isn't the first a young star has been accused of copying another artist. One Direction was the new N'Sync; Lady Gaga was the new Madonna; Ariana Grande the new Mariah; Nicki Minaj the new Lil' Kim. This trend isn't restricted to the music industry. Television and film are guilty of "unoriginality" too. We're seeing reboots of Full House, Gilmore Girls, and Friends, while movies such as Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters and Star Wars release a remake or sequel every few years. In his departure from One Direction, Zayn now battles the Justin Biebers of pop for the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100. His first single, "Pillowtalk," went No. 1 in 60 countries within 24 hours of it being released for sale online. On YouTube, the video has garnered more than 100 million views. Mind of Mine is set to hit stores on March 25, exactly one year since he quit 1D. Watch his Fallon performance—his first solo appearance in six years, since his X-Factor audition—below. A gallery of him follows the tweets.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) February 18, 2016
I like zayn's album cover but it's totes not original lil wayne already did it
— el almighty (@liamwithwolves) February 18, 2016
zayn's cover is basically lil Wayne's album cover
— jh. (@livelovebread) February 18, 2016
zayn's album cover is hella cute but lil wayne did do that exact same thing yikes
— ️ lex (@adidalwt) February 18, 2016