Nicki Minaj's new music video for "Only" is stirring up controversy. The animation portrays Minaj as a powerful dictator leading a massive army with tanks. She's flanked on either side of her throne by red-and-black banners with circular logos of her record label Young Money's initials. Members of her army are wearing armbands with the same logo. Unfortunately, the YM symbol, banners, and armbands all look alarmingly similar to visuals from another interesting moment in history: Hitler's Third Reich.
Minaj is clearly trying to portray herself as being on top of the rap game. A commenter on BuzzFeed stepped in to defend her: "The point is that Nicki Minaj is vehemently critiqued for whatever she does, whether it is allegations regarding her body, her clothing... Regardless of all the hate, she comes [out] on top all the time. By appropriating Nazi symbols, she is illustrating the paradox that she has so many haters (with people now accusing her of being anti-Semitic), yet she is still ruling the industry, much like a dictator."
Not to belittle anyone's personal struggle to succeed in their chosen field, but you should probably stay away from comparing your career victories to the absolute and corrupt power Hitler exercised in Nazi Germany. No one should ever aspire to be a dictator like Adolf Hitler, because he senselessly murdered millions of people and believed in the superiority of one race. I could go on, but I'm hoping anyone reading this is well-versed not only in the horror of his existence, but of him managing to take control of several nations and getting them to carry out his horrific Final Solution.
Surely, there were other ways for Minaj to demonstrate that she's conquered the scene and doesn't care what others think. Appropriating imagery that conjures up anti-Semitism, fascism, genocide, and other terrifying things presents her message in the wrong way. The underlying question here is: Why would anyone want to compare themselves to any dictator? It's a pretty alarming analogy when you think about it, isn't it?