Throughout the past couple years—or, let’s face it, even just the past couple of months—we’ve seen many different sides to Nicki Minaj. From her incredulous “Anaconda” music video to her short and sassy appearence in “Bang Bang,” the rapper has grabbed our attention—and we haven’t looked away since. Shedding her previous Barbie-fied image, Minaj is showing a new face in her latest video, “Only.”
Clothed in black lingerie, a masquerade mask, and a lace veil, the rapper parades around a seriously 50 Shades of Grey-inspired basement, equipped with a riding crop and a squad of fellow dominatrixes. And though she’s dressed provacatively, make no mistake about it: Minaj is the one in charge here. She may only rap the first verse of the song, she stands throughout the remainder of the song as not an object of desire, but a woman with her own power and capacity to assert it.
Though the controversal lyric video for the song depicts Minaj quite literally taking over the world, this clip shows the rapper in a more physically passive yet emotionally powerful position. While Chris Brown, Drake, and Lil Wayne take up the remainder of the song, Minaj is the focus of the music video as she’s rapped about and backed up by her crew of guys. She’s poised for world domination, and at this point, is fully ready to grasp it without so much as breaking a sweat.
Watch the music video for “Only” below.