Nicki Minaj has taken to social media tonight, expressing her unhappiness at Grammy-granting body the Recording Academy. The group issued a decision today that Minaj’s recent song “Super Freaky Girl” doesn’t qualify to compete as a rap song at the annual awards show, and will instead be forced into the “pop” category.
It’s a strange decision, both because “Super Freaky Girl” is currently dominating Billboard’s rap charts, and because—despite extensively sampling Rick James’ “Super Freak”—“Super Freaky Girl” also foregrounds Minaj, y’know…rapping. Like, a lot.
Posting on Twitter and Instagram this evening, Minaj called out a move she clearly perceives as a double standard, writing that, “I have no prob being moved out the RAP category as long as we r ALL being treated FAIRLY.” She specifically called out Latto’s song “Big Energy” as being more of a pop song than her own, asking that, if “Super Freaky Girl” gets moved, “Big Energy” should be, too. (Anyone who says different, we are informed, “is simply a Nicki hater or a troll.”)
Billboard itself pointed attention at the discrepancy tonight—understandable, given that the company already pretty clearly ruled that the song where Nicki Minaj raps extensively is a rap song. Others have pointed out that MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” also powered by James’ admittedly infectious hook, was readily accepted for Best Rap Performance way back in 1990, so it presumably can’t just be a matter of the song having an especially pop-y beat.
The Grammy nominations are slated to arrive on November 15. As THR notes, this isn’t the first time that Minaj—whose music occasionally straddles the line between pop and more traditional rap—has taken umbrage at the idea that a song of hers isn’t “real rap”; she pulled out of a concert organized by Hot 97 a few years back after host Peter Rosenberg made similar comments about “Starships.” Tonight, her ire eventually pivoted directly to Latto; Minaj posted a series of DMs from the “Big Energy” rapper asking her for features, accused her of manipulative behavior, and just generally kicked off what’s looking to be a pretty hellacious feud.