September 20, 2023 update: Lil’ Kim today responded to photographer Keith Major’s claims that she had final say over retouching of her widely-derided Ebony cover. Placing the blame squarly on Ebony‘s graphics department, Kim wrote on Instagram Stories, “Who is this?! Cuz that’s not the photo I approved or any other content they’ve put out. I always told Ebony it looked lke a painting but they didn’t wanna listen. They said they loved it. It’s the sabotage for me. The funning s–t abot this, is that this is THEIR retoucher.
Kim also reposted an Instagram Story by her social media manager who said the exposure on the photograh was too low to salvage and that Ebony’s retoucher edited the image. The social media manager also claimed Major was fired after the shoot.
The 49-year old rap icon also reposted a slightly different cover image, which her manager, Big Smoove, said she and her team approved. Addressing the controversy, he wrote, “Me & @lilkimthequeenbee Stayed up for hours wit the team and Chose This 1 .. We have The Receipts Fool!”
Read the original story below.
Ebony did their part for the 50th anniversary of hiphop with five digital covers celebrating some of the music form’s greatest icons. The tribute included Lil’ Kim, who was shot by photographer Keith Major, who has been the photo director for Ebony since June 2021.
While Kim is beloved as an artist, the cover image caused an uproar on social media where commenters complaining about the degree to which the photo was retouched to the point of cartoonishness.
Ebony posted the image on Instagram in a post that was filled with complaints about the image. In response to a commenter who asked who shot the image, Foster said, “Man, she wanted to be in control of the retouching so this is what we got.”
Major, who shot the cover, then took to Instagram Stories to note that he’s no longer working for the publication.