US rapper Nicki Minaj has hit out at the Grammy Awards for putting her hit single Super Freaky Girl in a category where it has “less of a chance to win”.
She said the song had been moved to the pop category to clear the path “to give newer artists things that they really don’t deserve” in the rap field.
That sparked a war of words on Twitter between Minaj and rising rapper Latto.
Super Freaky Girl has topped both the US pop and rap charts. Grammy organisers have not commented.
Speaking on Instagram, Minaj claimed there was “an agenda” against her in the music industry, and “a concerted effort to give newer artists things that they really don’t deserve over people who have been deserving for many years”.
She suggested she was losing out at the expense of artists who the gatekeepers “want to shine”, and who “these corporate giants can make the money off”.
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“The people who control a lot of things behind the scenes, they have to elevate someone that they profit off. So they must move the goalposts for me all the time.”
Minaj added: “Why is the goalpost only ever moved when it’s Nicki? Well, I’ll tell you why. They don’t want the people who they have in the industry to have to go up against me.
“But why? If you’re great, if a song is great, you should be able to be put together in the same category.
“Now, what do you think is going to happen when they start voting on these pop categories? And it’s a bunch of, you know, people, white or wherever they’re from, or older or whatever, and they have to decide between Nicki Minaj and Harry Styles, or Nicki Minaj and Adele?
“That’s purposely designed so that Nicki is not in the category that you don’t want any competition in. Put her in there so she has more competition and less of a chance to win.”
Latto arrives at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., August 28, 2022
Latto’s Big Energy recently won song of the year at the BET Hip Hop Awards
She referenced 23-year-old Latto’s song Big Energy, which she said had been put in the rap category. Big Energy went to number three in the US pop chart and number one on the rap rundown.
“If Super Freaky Girl is pop, then so is Big Energy,” Minaj argued. “If you move Super Freaky Girl out of rap and put it in pop, do the same thing with Big Energy. Same producers on both songs, by the way. So let’s keep [it] fair.”
An exchange between Minaj and Latto on Twitter quickly descended into personal acrimony.