Nicki Minaj’s Video Angering Many Over Nazi-Like Imagery

By Ronica Cleary
[Master of Science in Public Communication, Drexel University]

ChasingRonica, ChasingNJ, MY9NJ Fox TV, Nov 13, 2014

Last Friday, Nicki Minaj released a new video for her song “Only” featuring [KIKE] Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. While the song itself is filled with an incredible amount of profanity, it's the video that is causing quite the stir because of how it evokes Nazi imagery.

The video shows Minaj in charge, where some say it's perhaps a dictator-type figure, with soldiers wearing red armbands gathered around long, red banners that have the Young Money logo. Young Money Entertainment is the record label founded by Lil Wayne and the YM logo, some say, looks similar to a swastika.

According to Minaj, the video was influenced by a cartoon called “Metalocalypse” and the graphic novel “Sin City”.

Minaj did issue an apology via twitter saying: "I didn't come up with the concept, but I'm very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art."

However, the video's director, Jeffrey Osborne, said he will not apologize for the video.

[Osborne: "First, I’m not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question. The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism. … As far as an explanation, I think its actually important to remind younger generations of atrocities that occurred in the past as a way to prevent them from happening in the future. And the most effective way of connecting with people today is through social media and pop culture. So if my work is misinterpreted because it’s not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I’m not sorry. What else is trending?"]

New Jersey's Rabbi [Pharisee] Schmuley chimed in to discuss this controversial video. He feels Minaj's apology is not sufficient and that she should remove the video completely. He noted the video sterilizes Nazis and could inadvertently make Nazis look cool to young people watching the video.

“Why would we want to somehow sanitize it is not the word. Make it acceptable to put that in a music video so that young influential youth can say ‘oh wow maybe there was some cutting edge dimension to the third right',” [KIKE] Schmuley said

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