During an Instagram Live on Thursday, Minaj voiced her concerns over “Super Freaky Girl” being moved from the rap category to pop on the 2023 Grammy ballet, deeming it unfair. Minaj — who despite countless hit singles and albums and 10 nominations over the years has yet to win a Grammy — is not the first artist to raise questions about the Recording Academy’s categorizing methods. In the video, she mentions Drake’s best rap song win with “Hotline Bling” at the 2017 Grammys (a point of contention for the Toronto rapper, who said the song was pop but only categorized as rap because of his race and past music) and Latto’s “Big Energy” being eligible to compete in this year’s rap field.
“If ‘Super Freaky Girl’ is a pop song, what genre is ‘Big Energy?’” Minaj asked.
Like “Super Freaky Girl,” Latto’s chart-topper was also produced by Dr. Luke and Vaughn Oliver; a live version of “Big Energy” is eligible to compete in the best melodic rap performance category at the 2023 Grammys. (A live version is in contention because the original “Big Energy” was released in September 2021, outside the eligibility period.) “They stay moving the goal post when it comes to me,” Minaj added multiple times.
While Minaj also brought up names like Doja Cat, Post Malone, Harry Styles and Adele, she continued to circle back to Latto, both by name and also in ways that the 23-year-old burgeoning rap star could have perceived as subliminal.
“If you know something is unfair as an artist, speak on that sh–,” Minaj went on. “If you can’t tell by now that there is a concerted effort to give newer artists things they really don’t deserve over people who have been deserving for many years, they you not paying attention.”
Minaj also accused “corporate giants” of elevating “someone they can profit off of” and intentionally moving “Super Freaky Girl” to create less competition for other artists in the rap categories. She even mentioned the future of female rap, adding that the genre will no longer “have any Black women.” The comment can be understood as a dig against Latto, whose mother is white and father is Black. Minaj also went on to say in a tweet that Latto is “wiping that spray tan off & being a Karen,” a term typically reserved for white women.
On Twitter, Minaj echoed the sentiments expressed during her Live about “Super Freaky Girl” and “Big Energy,” even quoting tweets from fans who were drawing the comparison.
This didn’t sit well with Latto, who had been trying to celebrate her AMA nominations (including favorite female hip-hop artist and favorite hip-hop song with “Big Energy”) amidst social media backlash to her BET Hip Hop Awards win, sparked by Kodak Black. “Damn I can’t win for losing…all these awards/noms I can’t even celebrate,” she tweeted.
From there, Latto and Nicki went back and forth exchanging a tirade of jabs, airing out past subliminal digs and insulting family members, with fans egging them on in the replies. Nicki posted a screenshot of a text Latto sent her, and Latto returned the favor by releasing an audio recording of a phone conversation she and the “Super Bass” rapper had. The exchange went on for hours, with other female rappers, including Azealia Banks, Erica Banks and Chika, chiming in. In the end, Minaj deleted all of her tweets to Latto, only leaving behind a video clip of Whitney Houston laughing uncontrollably in a music video.
See some of the Twitter feud below: