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Wale has always included ample doses of political consciousness and righteousness in his music. The MMG rapper makes that connection all the more blatant by dressing like the late Malcolm X on the cover of Urban Ink magazine. 

Urban Ink—the illest tattoo magazine in the world reppin’ for the urban tattooed population—announced the release of their Summer 2013 issue. For this edition of the hottest ink mag on newsstands, Urban Ink linked up with MMG affiliate, Wale, for an exclusive photo shoot commemorating one of his most meaningful tats—a portrait of the late Malcolm X etched on his forearm.

Portrait tattoos are extremely prevalent in the tattoo culture. Some people tattoo images of loved ones, and then, there are others who dedicate their skin to iconic figures. As is the case with Wale, who decided to ink a portrait of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz on his arm. Urban Ink got together with the “LoveHate Thing” rapper at a New York City studio for a Malcolm X–themed shoot and to get the inside story on his commemorative tat, among other interesting things you may have not known about Mr. Folarin.

The new issue of Urban Ink is on newsstands June 18. Wale’s new album, The Gifted, is in stores June 25.

Check out the cover and another shot of Wale re-creating an iconic Malcolm X photo in the gallery.

Photos: Urban Ink

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