But ‘Only’ director Jeff Osbourne says he intended the fascism-inspired video to educate ‘younger generations of atrocities’
Nicki Minaj has hit Twitter to respond to the controversy over her "Only" music video. Directed by Jeff Osborne, the animated video runs with an obviously Nazi-inspired aesthetic, with nods to swastikas and the SS.
Receptions were mixed, with many slamming Minaj for her tasteless appropriation of Nazism. The Anti-Defamation League heavily criticised Minaj and her team, saying it was "deeply disturbed" by the video, describing it as a "new low for pop culture". A statement also pointed out that the clip also "debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 'night of broken glass' pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust". Oops.
Given that there's been such furious debate about the video, it was only a matter of time before Minaj waded in. As it happens, she's really sorry.
The artist who made the lyric video for “Only” was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called "Metalocalypse" & Sin City.— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
Both the producer, & person in charge of over seeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A. Loucas), happen to be Jewish— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
I didn't come up w/the concept, but I'm very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art.— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
Jeff Osborne, the director for the video, took to Myspace (remember that?) to offer his thoughts on the controversy. However, he's steadfastly refused to apologise for anything and admitted that a lot of the video is indeed representative of Nazism. Read his statement below:
“Before I start, be clear that these are my personal views and not the views of Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, or Young Money. 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.
But a majority of the recognizable models/symbols are American: MQ9 Reaper Drone, F22 Raptor, Sidewinder missile, security cameras, M60, SWAT uniform, General’s uniform, the Supreme court, and the Lincoln Memorial. What’s also American is the 1st Amendment, which I’ve unexpectedly succeeded in showing how we willfully squeeze ourselves out of that right every day.
Despite the fact heavy religious and economic themes were glossed over, there’s also Russian T-90 tanks, Belgian FN FAL, German mp5 (not manufactured until 1966), an Italian Ferrari, and a Vatican Pope.
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?”
It's a pretty strange statement. A cartoon Nicki Minaj who may or not be dressed up as a Nazi doesn't teach younger generations anything about World War II. Whatever you think about the video (I for one am not 'offended'), that's simply bullshit. Osborne made a video he knew would provoke a fierce reaction. Then again, it's a common misinterpretation amongst artists that just because people are talking about your work it means it's good.