E! Online has reported that the publication has defended the controversial snaps of Jay-Z's wife, stating: "The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season."
The magazine continued: "As for the artistic make-up, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face. We find the images beautiful and inspiring."
Despite the magazine justifying the pictures of Queen B, many readers have complained about the "offensive" images, with one telling the Atlanta Post: "As a fan of Fela Kuti, a man who was passionate about the freedom of Blacks/Africans throughout the Diaspora, I'm not quite sure as to how blackface pays tribute to him."
They added: "I'm not quite sure as to why she would agree to do a photoshoot that associates her with one of the most deeply rooted racist images in American history."
Beyoncé's camp are still yet to comment on the reports.