Yesterday (November 10), Minaj came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who accused the rapper of evoking "the style of Nazi propaganda films" in her latest video and portraying herself "as a military dictator" surrounded by armbands and banners akin to those used by the Nazis during World War II.
Minaj took to Twitter this morning (November 11) to defend her video and apologize to those who were offended.
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
In a statement issued yesterday, ADL National Director (and Holocaust survivor) Abraham H. Foxman said, "This video is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era. The abuse of Nazi imagery is deeply disturbing and offensive to Jews and all those who can recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to make as a result of Hitler's Nazi juggernaut."
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
UPDATE: Jeff Osborne has confirmed in a statement to Myspace that he was inspired by Nazi imagery. His explanation is 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?