Nicki Minaj's 'Only' Video Shots Look Like a Style Regression


Nicki Minaj has Instagrammed the making-of her “Only” video with Drake and Lil Wayne and frankly, we’re worried: that bodystocking and 8-inch stripper heels are an undeniable style regression. (Not unlike the song.) But we had become so enamored of her minimalist, lux look! Nu Minaj, come back! Look at this lovely smile!

When Minaj ditched the cotton candy wigs and sleeked up her style, it was the perfect move: outrageous Harajuku Barbie frocks had worked for her and shook up the fashion world, but the steez had run its course. Now one of the most successful rappers that ever lived—not just owning the pop charts but proprietor of her own burgeoning empire complete with clothing line, MAC line, and signature scent—she was clearly ready to dress like the handling-her-businessperson that she was. That she earned. Even in her absurdist/greatest thing ever Minajesty commercial, whose purposefully cheesy/dramatic script practically screamed for a rainbow beehive and frock made of stuffed animals, Minaj showed welcome restraint by symbolizing her transformation, ditching a pink gown and tiara for a shimmery shift dress and watercolor pink-blonde hair. It screamed, “I run this ish.” (And: I own a white steed, because obviously.)

Now, though, it seems she’ll appear in the “Only” video in an ostrich-feather bedroom coat, black body stocking, undies and the aforementioned stripper heels (which in general I’m not opposed to but taken in the context of the ensemble they’re just kind of… exasperating). They could, of course, work in the context of the theme—check those crustpunks crouching behind flames, could it be set in some kind of post-apocalypse dystopia and/or post-2010 New Orleans? (That’s an “all the crustpunks moved to New Orleans” joke. No?)

Furthermore, this is just one too many shots of Drake sitting in a chair looking at Minaj’s booty while she vamps. “Anaconda” worked because she subverted the eye of the viewer, and also chopped up a dick-like banana in the video. Hopefully the “Only” video inspires a similar subversion if this shot makes the cut. Reserving judgment ’til it drops, but still hate the song primarily for the boys’ verses, and how they undermine Minaj’s powerful one out the gate.

Of course, Minaj is shooting this on the heels of the lyric video for “Only,” which featured imagery that was inspired by the Nazis, as director Jeff Osborne later confirmed. Minaj apologized, which was a good look barring that “some of my best friends are Jewish” line (ugh), but it still demands that the actual video comes correct (and that she starts pre-approving all material with her name on it before it goes out there, assuming she did not with that one).

I take some solace in the fact that in this photo, Minaj is giving us full drag queen. Her insta caption: “Tit teez on fleek.” So drag queen.

The Pinkprint drops December 15, because Nicki Minaj is Santa.

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