The reality that Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” changed shifted out of the Grammys’ rap classes and into the pop department on an initial ballot has nearly led to a worldwide incident, given the following exposure and controversy as voting started out this week. It’s definitely resulted in the year’s most visible hip-hop feud, with fiery warfare of phrases between Minaj and Latto, whose “Big Energy” stayed as a rap contender and became now not bounced to pop.

But misplaced amid all this — or unreported until now, anyway — is the reality that Minaj is, in reality, at the ballot in rap categories this year… just no longer for “Super Freaky Girl.”


Grammy electorate who’ve received their ballots inform Variety that Minaj is in competition within the great rap performance category for another track of hers, “Do We Have a Problem?” which has a featured appearance from Lil Baby. The Grammys’ rap screening committee apparently took into consideration this more of a true hip track and “Super Freaky Girl” more pop in nature, splitting the distinction.
“Do We Have a Problem?” become a great hit, even though now not quite as monstrous as “Super Freaky Girl,” which went to No. 1 this summer season on the Billboard Hot 100. “Do We Have a Problem?” got here out in February and soared to No. 2 on that chart. Minaj has already been awarded for it: The “Problem” video won a first-class hip-hop video trophy at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

In reality, Minaj makes numerous extra appearances at the rap as part of the Grammy poll, even though several are for collaborative songs on which she became considered extra of a featured artist and won’t be involved in making the Grammy submissions.

“Blick Blick,” a tune she shares with Coi Leray, is on the ballot for first-rate rap performance and high-quality rap song. (It changed into additionally submitted and regular in the music video class.) Similarly, “Love within the Way,” music she did with Bleu, is listed among many of the eligible songs for best rap music and best melodic rap performance. In both cases, Minaj is listed as a featured artist, now not the primary name (despite the fact that whilst those respective songs got here out, she shared pinnacle billing in place of taking the “featured” credit).

As changed into first said with the aid of the Hollywood Reporter — putting off Minaj’s alarm bells in a sequence of social media posts and video monologs Thursday — the Grammys’ rap screening committee bounced “Super Freaky Girl” to the pop department. It’s a long way from uncommon for artists to bitch about being shifted into the pop department from a genre category: Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile both expressed their displeasure about having it finished with their submissions remaining 12 months, as Justin Bieber had executed the year earlier than. In any case, “SFG” ended up as a contender for fine pop solo performance as well as in the all-genre satisfactory tune video class.

Altogether, Minaj appears 8 times in the poll — as soon as in a pop category, twice in the music video, and 5 instances in rap classes. However, the truth that she has other shots at being nominated and winning inside the rap department does now not alloy her and others’ belief that “Super Freaky Girl” stays her first-class shot at selecting something, and that its satisfactory shot could have been in the ways much less crowded rap class.


However, Minaj’s obvious perception that she became bounced out of rap as a way to clean a course for Latto’s “Big Energy” might not totally keep water. It’s no longer clean at all that “Super Freaky Girl” and “Big Energy” ever might have contended in the same category. Because even as it’s been rumored that “Super Freaky Girl” was firstly submitted with the aid of Minaj’s camp for great rap performance, then rejected, “Big Energy” isn’t always protected in that class, either. The Latto tune is on the poll under the separate category of exceptional melodic rap overall performance.

And right here’s wherein it gets complicated. Latto does have a tune on the poll for quality rap performance, but it’s “Sunshine,” with functions by means of Lil Wayne and Childish Gambino. Latto additionally seems in that class for 2 songs on which she became the featured artist, “Mind Yo Business” through Lakeyah and “Booty” by using Saucy Santana.

So while there’s a Nicki-vs.-Latto showdown potentially looming within the rap overall performance class, it will likely be for “Do We Have a Problem?” as opposed to “Sunshine,” and was by no means destined to be an “SFG”-vs.-“Big Energy” matchup. Got all that?

The irony right here, possibly, amid the Minaj/Latto flap, is that neither of them would be taken into consideration as a runaway frontrunner within the rap performance category within the face of Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Pt. 5” being at the ballot there. Lamar has 14 Grammys beneath his belt, 5 of which were for fine rap performance.

One extra curiosity of note: Latto’s nomination inside the great melodic rap class is for a live model of “Big Energy.” It’s now not clear why that might have been submitted in the vicinity of the unique hit recording. True, the unmarried turned launched in late September of 2021, simply days before the eligibility period for the modern-day spherical of Grammys started out. However, there is a proviso in track eligibility that allows tracks to contend so long as they were on an album launched for the duration of an appropriate length, as Latto’s “777” album changed into. But perhaps her camp becomes just hedging its bets.

On the pinnacle of the aforementioned tune entries in rap categories, Latto has “777” entered for a great rap album. Minaj did now not have an album launch this year, with the four tracks she has in contention all being one-offs or acting on collaborators’ albums.

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