Released on November 7, the new lyric video for Nicki Minaj’s latest single, “Only” features Nazi imagery, in addition to a cameo appearance by MOT Drake.
The video was debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.
“Nicki Minaj’s new video disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism," wrote Abraham H. Foxman, Anti Defamation League national director and a Holocaust survivor, in a statement today.
While a correlation between song lyrics and their music videos is not always a mandatory requisite in the music industry, Minaj’s choice of imagery seems largely irrelevant to her lyrics, which are about how the singer has yet to have sex with any of the artists featured in the new single (Drake, Chris Brown and Lil’ Wayne).
In the video, Minaj is seated on a throne at the head of large room with rows of soldiers at her feet. Large red flags and banners are prominent throughout the video. The flags have white circles with the letters “YM,” which stands for Young Money — Minaj’s production studio name—printed inside the circle, resembling swastikas. The rows of cartoon soldiers are even sporting red bands with the YM logo, much like the SS officers of the Third Reich.
Other wartime images are also recurring throughout the video, including explosive rockets, tanks and even gasmasks.
Minaj’s cartoon likeness is depicted in the singer’s usual skin-tight garb, but her musical counterparts are illustrated in more significant dress. Cartoon Chris Brown is a decorated military general and Lil’ Wayne wears a tailored suit. Drake, himself Jewish, is depicted as a priest, complete with a tab collar and set against a church backdrop.
"It is troubling that no one among Minaj’s group of producers, publicists and managers raised a red flag about the use of such imagery before ushering the video into public release," wrote Foxman in his statement.