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Last week, Nicki Minaj released her video for Only, and received a flurry of backlash because it featured a lot of Nazi imagery. It was actually condemned by the anti-defamation league. The national director of the league, Abraham H. Foxman told Fox news

“Nicki Minaj’s new video disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism. The irony should be lost on no one that this video debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the ’night of broken glass’ pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust… This video it is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era. This imagery is deeply disturbing and offensive to Jews and all those who recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to pay as a result of the Nazi juggernaut.”

It’s kind of a damning quote to say the least, but it’s not really a surprise that the video is controversial. Controversy is the only thing keeping pop music alive these days. Honestly, watching the video, it seems like the Nazi imagery is only placed there to start some kind of trouble.


If you want to watch the video for yourself you can do so here, but you might want to put it on mute first. Here’s a screencap too, for those not willing to subject themselves to that kind of pain:


The interesting part of this, though, is that Minaj went to Twitter to justify the video and defend against the backlash, and she ended up citing some pretty strange inspirations for the video. She said

The artist who made the lyric video for “Only” was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called "Metalocalypse" & Sin City.

Well, it looks like Nicki Minaj is trying to be more like Nathan Explosion than some Nazi. Even cooler, though, is that Brendon Small, the man behind Dethklok, responded to her comments on twitter  by saying

Dear @NICKIMINAJ if you want help with your videos all you have to do is ask. (And get a bigger budget)

 So, does this mean that we’ll get to see a pop music video directed by Brendon Small?? Well, probably no. He later gave a more detailed response to Metal Insider, saying:

“They seem to be confused about art. Our video is influenced by Russian war propaganda art, very stylized  WWII satire urging people to enlist in the DETHKLOK army. The story itself is about a man enlisting (and giving his life) to become a ‘klokateer’, which is a glorified Roadie. When we play it live people are pretty transfixed. I wanted to make a video that convinced regular people to join the army (granted, one that doesn’t exist) and who knows, maybe they would? Minaj dressed people up like Nazis and held them captive by slowly speaking to them. Which, to me, is also funny. Watching her video, I’m confused by how she’s influenced  by us. And ultimately I don’t care, because I really don’t think she’s a Nazi – but that would be a funny reveal this point in her career…”

Here’s the video in question that he’s referring to:


There are some pretty major differences in both videos, obviously, so Minaj can’t really say that the whole thing was inspired by Dethklok. It may have been inspired just by the animation style, but she can’t just point and say “it looks Nazi themed because of them.” Lesson learned, though. If you’re going to make a music video, Communist imagery: Good, Nazi imagery: Bad.