While Minaj proclaimed Tuesday (Nov. 11) via Twitter that she doesn't condone Nazism, the "Only" director, visual artist Jeff Osbourne, claims the models and symbols used "are all representative of Nazism." And "I'm not apologizing for my work."
Read the statement issued to Myspace:
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 it's 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?
While Osbourne acknowledges that his imagery is "representative of Nazism," Minaj tweeted that she'd "never condone Nazism" in her art. She also dismissed the Nazi comparisons, saying "the artist who made the lyric video for 'Only' was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called Metalocalypse & Sin City."
Osbourne's statement also raises the question of whether Minaj viewed the video before its release. What we do know, going off Minaj's tweets, is that "the producer & person in charge of overseeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A. Loucas) happens to be Jewish."