Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” is in its ninth week at the top of Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs list, but it will compete in the pop category at the Grammys.
According to a source, Minaj originally submitted the tune, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in August, to the rap category at the Grammys. Still, the decision was overruled by the Recording Academy’s rap committee.
That panel decided that Minaj’s lively and pop-sounding single “Super Freak,” which samples Rick James’ 1981 classic “Super Freak,” should compete for best pop solo performance rather than rap accolades.
Minaj slammed the decision on social media on Thursday, posting an Instagram video and a series of tweets. “They keep changing the goalposts when it comes to me,” Minaj remarked of the academy on Instagram. “Why is it that the goalpost is only ever moved when Nicki is involved?”
If “Super Freaky Girl” has to compete in pop, Minaj believes Latto’s “Big Energy,” which is pop-leaning, samples Tom Tom Club’s 1981 song “Genius of Love,” which was notably covered by Mariah Carey for the No. 1 smash “Fantasy,” should as well.
“I have no objections to being transferred out of the RAP category as long as we are ALL treated FAIRLY,” she tweeted. “If SFG (Super Freaky Girl) has 2B pushed out RAP, then Big Energy does as well!” ANYONE who says different
“Big Energy” by Latto spent two weeks at the top of Billboard’s rap chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 all-genre chart. “Big Energy” will compete for rap Grammys rather than pop Grammys at the Grammys.
The Recording Academy did not respond to an email requesting comment. The nominees for the 2023 Grammys will be revealed on November 15, and the live ceremony will air on CBS on February 5, 2023.
The first round of nominations will be voted on Thursday and end on October 23.
Minaj has had a string of pop and hip-hop songs over the years, many of which feature her rapping or singing — occasionally both on the same track. With its sample of Annie Lennox’s 1995 cover version of “No More I Love You’s,” her debut solo single, “Your Love,” was pop-adjacent, and Minaj has released other pop-heavy songs like “Super Bass” and “Starships,” which Hot 97 radio host Peter Rosenberg famously dubbed “not real hip-hop” and caused Minaj to pull out of the station’s annual Summer Jam concert.
However, Minaj has only participated in pop once, winning best pop duo/group performance with “Bang Bang,” featuring Ariana Grande and Jessie J. Her Grammy nominations for best rap album for Pink Friday and The Pinkprint, best rap song for “Anaconda,” and best rap performance for “Moment 4 Life” and “Truffle Butter” have all been in rap.
“Super Freaky Girl” is in the same league as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”: The singer-breakthrough rapper’s single topped Billboard’s rap chart for 13 weeks and subsequently led the all-genre Hot 100 list for seven weeks, but it was not nominated for a Grammy in the rap category. Instead, at the 2020 show, it was nominated for — and won — best pop solo performance.
Doja Cat’s “Say So,” which contains her singing and rapping, and Post Malone’s “Better Now,” which combines hip-hop, alternative, and pop, are two other songs with rap components that have competed for best pop solo performance.
Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s “Fancy,” Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” and Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road,” which won the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance in 2020, are among the collaborative songs that topped Billboard’s rap chart but competed for best pop duo/group performance.
When the pair achieved success with the hits “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” at the 2014 ceremony, they were first booted out of the rap Grammys. However, that decision was eventually reversed – and highly condemned – when the group won the rap Grammys, defeating Kendrick Lamar and others – a move that even Macklemore criticized. As a result, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did not submit their sophomore album for consideration for the 2017 Grammy Awards.