Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” is spending its eighth week at the top of the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, but at the Grammys, the song will compete in the pop category.
Minaj originally submitted the track – which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August – in the rap categories at the Grammys, but the decision was overturned by the Recording Academy’s rap committee, according to a source. This group determined that Minaj’s playful and pop-tinged song, which samples Rick James’ 1981 classic “Super Freak,” should compete for best pop solo performance rather than rap awards.
Minaj criticized the decision on social media Thursday in an Instagram video post and a series of tweets. “They move the goalposts when it comes to me,” Minaj said on IG of the academy. “Why is the goalpost only ever moved when it’s Nicki?”
Minaj also said if “Super Freaky Girl” has to compete in pop, so should Latto’s “Big Energy,” which is pop-heavy and samples Tom Tom Club’s 1981 song “Genius of Love,” made famous by Mariah Carey for the #1 was sampled Click Fantasy.
“I have no problem being lifted out of the RAP category as long as we are ALL treated FAIR,” she tweeted. “If SFG (Super Freaky Girl) pulled 2B out of RAP, so did Big Energy! ANYONE who says diff is simply a Nicki hater or a troll.”
Latto’s “Big Energy” stayed at #1 on the Billboard rap chart for two weeks and reached #3 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. At the Grammys, “Big Energy” will compete for rap Grammys, not pop.
A representative from The Recording Academy did not respond to an email requesting comment.
The 2023 Grammys nominees will be announced November 15 and the live broadcast will air February 5, 2023 on CBS. Voting for the first round of nominations begins on Thursday and ends on October 23.
Minaj has released a slew of pop and hip-hop hits over the years in which she raps or sings — sometimes both on the same track. Her 2010 debut solo single “Your Love” was pop-centric with its sample of Annie Lennox’s 1995 cover of “No More I Love You’s,” and Minaj has released other pop-heavy songs like “Super Bass” and “Starships,” famously called Hot 97 radio host Peter Rosenberg “not real hip-hop” and prompted Minaj to pull out of the station’s annual Summer Jam concert.
But of Minaj’s 10 Grammy nominations, she’s only been in pop once — for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with “Bang Bang,” alongside Ariana Grande and Jessie J. Most of her Grammy nominations have been in rap, including best rap -Albums for pink friday and The pink printbest rap song for “Anaconda” and best rap performance for “Moment 4 Life” and “Truffle Butter”.
“Super Freaky Girl” is in similar company to Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”: The singer-rapper’s groundbreaking track topped the Billboard rap chart for 13 weeks and eventually topped the all-genre Hot 100 for seven weeks. charts but did not compete in the rap categories at the Grammys. Instead, it was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2020 show — and won.
Other songs with rap elements that have competed for best pop solo performance include Doja Cat’s “Say So,” to which she sings and raps, and Post Malone’s “Better Now,” which features hip-hop, alternative and pop sounds together.
Collaborative songs that topped the Billboard rap chart but competed for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the Grammys include Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s “Fancy,” Wiz Khalifa and Charlie’s “See You Again.” Puth, as well as “Old” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus Town Road, which received the award in 2020.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were originally dropped from the Rap Grammys when the duo broke through at the 2014 show with hits “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us.” But that decision was later overturned — and heavily criticized — when the group won the rap Grammys, beating Kendrick Lamar and others — a decision even Macklemore denounced. As a result, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis did not submit their second album for the Grammy competition at the 2017 show.