The video's director Jeff Osbourne has broken his silence on the controversy surrounding the video after Minaj herself tweeted that she would "never condone Nazism" in her art.
"First, I'm not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question," Osbourne said in a statement on Myspace. "The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism."
The lyric video, which debuted on Friday, features a cartoon version of Minaj as a military dictator surrounded by red banners resembling those used by the Nazi Party during World War II and soldiers wearing red armbands, among other Nazi-themed imagery. Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown are also featured on the song and in the video.
Osbourne went on to further explain his controversial decision.
"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," he said. "And the most effective way of connecting 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?"
You can read Osbourne's full statement below. (The Anti-Defamation League previously released a statement deeming the video "disturbing." Read the story here.)
Minaj tweeted a response to the public backlash on Tuesday, apologizing for offending while also informing fans that "both the producer, & person in charge of over seeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A. Loucas), happen to be Jewish." For what it's worth, Drake is also half Jewish.
Nicki also stated that the artist behind "Only" was inspired by the Adult Swim cartoon Metalpocalypse and Sin City.
As Billboard notes, the conflicting statements raise questions as to whether or not Minaj had seen the video before it went public. In the mag's latest cover story, Minaj declared that she is extremely involved in her team's decisions as they relate to her career.
"People don't know how heavily involved I am in my own career," she said. "I'm on 15 to 25 conference calls every few days strategizing with my team. I think a lot of artists sit back and have it done for them. Sometimes as women in the industry -- if you're sexy or like doing sexy things -- some people subconsciously negate your brain. They think you're stupid."
See Osbourne's full statement below. What do you think: Does the video go too far, or are people overreacting? Sound off in the comments below and on social media using #ETNow.
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?