On Saturday, Minaj shared the lyric video for “Only,” a song from her upcoming album, The Pinkprint. The song features Lil Wayne, Drake, and Chris Brown. The video, meanwhile, features an uncomfortable amount of Nazi-inspired imagery.
The animated video, which you can watch above if you are so inclined, (the song isn’t all that great, so feel free to pass, especially if genocide-as-entertainment isn’t your thing) features images that will, to anyone who’s ever cracked open a history book or turned on a television, look disturbingly familiar. The Young Money logo as a stand-in for swastikas, gas masks, tanks, uniformed armies at the ready. And this for a song about how Minaj claims she never slept with Wayne or Drake. In one word: classy.
Unsurprisingly, many people are unhappy with the video. Here are but a few examples:
— Melissa Morgan (@melissamorgs) November 8, 2014
@NICKIMINAJ i <3 you. but making a nazi themed video, w/yourself as a sexy Hitler & your initials looking like a swastika? disrespectful 🙁
— Troye Sivan (@troyesivan) November 8, 2014
@JOsborne32 the nazi-esque video was pretty freaking tastless
— Kaiti Maddox (@KaitiMaddox) November 8, 2014
Nicki has a lyric video that evokes Nazi themes/imagery? Think the most offensive part is you guys watched a Nicki Minaj video for lyrics.
— Ol’ QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) November 9, 2014
And so on.
The video’s director, Jeff Osborne, has been retweeting criticism (but not, it should be noted, responding to it). One could read this as a deliberate provocation, which might lead one to believe the original purpose of the video was to elicit a negative (though buzzy) reaction. Some people might call that a cheap stunt. Other people might just it what it is: garbage.
Minaj, who was busy preparing to host (and then hosting) the MTV EMAs, also has yet to respond.