The mural of Ian Curtis — the Manchester-born Joy Division frontman who passed away by suicide in 1980 — had featured on the side of a building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter for the past two years.
Last week, the mural was covered up by a promotional advert for Aitch’s new album, ‘Close To Home’. Manchester residents expressed their outrage on social media before the Manchester rapper spotted the mistake.
“I’d seen it on Twitter, and that was the first time I’d seen it when a kind of outrage burst - like, what’s Aitch doing putting his album over Ian’s mural?” Aitch told BBC Breakfast.
“I don't pick and choose where I put my billboards or album promo, I just wake up and drive past it or see it on the internet, just like everyone else,” he added.
'I was the most hated person in Manchester for about 40 minutes'— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) August 22, 2022
Rapper Aitch has told #BBCBreakfast he will have a mural of music icon Ian Curtis "fixed pronto" after it was painted over with an advert for his new album.https://t.co/WlHMJRX7lM pic.twitter.com/mxXmZsO13P
The rapper went on to add that he felt like “the most hated person in Manchester for about 40 minutes”, and was “fuming” over the decision to put the album promo over such an iconic mural.
“I was fuming for two reasons,” he said. "I was fuming for Ian and his people and what that mural stands for, and then I was fuming for myself because I was having such a good week. I was like, 'the album is coming out in a couple of days, I can't wait, everything's going so well’.
"But it was out of my control and there was nothing I could do, apart from putting a stop to it and get it fixed, and obviously that's exactly what I've done, so I think everyone is my friend again now,” he told BBC Breakfast.
The mural of Ian Curtis was originally painted by Manchester artist AkseP19 in collaboration with Headstock Festival to raise awareness for mental health.
Amazon Music has since issued an apology, stating: “We ordered the production to stop and are working with Aitch to restore or replace the original. Our apologies to all who are justifiably upset."
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter