Nicki Minaj, Latto feud online over Grammy category issues
Nicki Minaj and Latto got into an online feud over Grammy category issues on Friday. The harsh exchange of words between them started when Minaj accused the Recording Academy of showing a bias toward Latto. Her reaction was triggered by the Academy’s move of switching her song ‘Super Freaky Girl’s category from Rap to Pop.
As the Twitter war between the two went full-bore on Thursday night and Friday morning, Minaj called the newcomer “an entitled Karen,” while Latto returned fire by saying that Minaj was “a 40-year-old bully” acting in a way unbecoming of her age and stature.
Latto even referred to Minaj as “my idol-turned-rival” as the conversation went nuclear. “Super freaky grandma is married AND related to f***ing rapists. You ain’t gone bully me B***H! My idol turned rival now u hating!”
Minaj has since deleted her tweets aimed at Latto, while, as of this story being published, Latto’s part of the war of words remains up on the platform.
Before things really got heated, Latto addressed Minaj’s request for her support in protesting the Grammy screening committee’s decision to switch ‘Super Freaky Girl’ from a rap to pop category. The ‘Big Energy’ artist tweeted, “I’ve ignored countless subtweets since March and instead addressed u in the dm. You’re asking why I didn’t speak up in ur defense it’s the same answer I gave u when u asked why I didn’t congratulate you. Ur literally older than my mom tryna be a bully.”
Minaj then wrote, “This Karen has probably mentioned my name in over 100 interviews. Says she waited in line for Pink Friday w/ her Barbie chain on, bangs, pink hair but today, scratch off decides to be silent; rather than speak up for the Black woman she called her biggest inspiration.”
This part of the interchange occurred before the gloves really came off.
Race eventually seemed to figure into it, with Minaj tweeting about Latto (who is of mixed heritage): “Now she wiping that spray tan off & being a Karen. They black when it’s beneficial chi.”
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Later, after Minaj tweeted (in a since-deleted post) that she would be releasing some private conversations, apparently to prove that Latto has undue help from collaborators or ghostwriters, Latto responded: “I’ll post em my got damn self. They’ll all tell u I WRITE TOO! I heard a few of ur refs before they came out too boo. U forgot WE ALL collab w the same writers?? Difference is I don’t deny it. The world seen me writing since 16 on national TV tho.”
The bad blood spilled out into the open Thursday after the Hollywood Reporter first reported that Minaj’s ‘Super Freaky Girl’ hit had been submitted for consideration in a rap category but shifted on the first ballot by a Grammy committee into the pop category instead.
Minaj unloaded on social media and in a 17-minute Instagram video, contending that the move would only be fair if Latto’s ‘Big Energy’ was also shifted from rap to pop categories. “If you can’t tell by now that there is a concerted effort to give newer artists things that they really don’t deserve over people who have been deserving for many years, then you’re not paying attention,” Minaj said in the video.
“And by the way, this is not to say any song is bad or any female rapper is bad. But why is the goalpost only ever moved when it’s Nicki? Well, I’ll tell you why. They don’t want the people that they have in the industry to go up against me.”
Minaj’s argument was that she would be a near-certain loser in the pop category with “white” and “older” voters, going up against Adele and Harry Styles, whereas Latto would have an easier path to victory in the rap category, something she said was being specifically engineered to tip their respective scales.
On Twitter, Minaj subsequently shared a screen-shot of a direct message she allegedly got from Latto about the Grammy issue, with the up-and-coming rapper (who is also expected to be a contender for the best new artist award) quoted as saying, “I agree w you however because of where we left off i (don’t) think you need to bring my name/song up to prove ur point.”
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In response to that now-deleted tweet of Minaj’s, Latto responded by accusing the other rapper of seeming “malicious” in her behaviour. “1st of all I texted u cause I didn’t wanna do the internet sht w sum1 I looked up to,” Latto tweeted. “Just like the 1st time I DMed u asking about ur ongoing subtweets. I wanted to speak up cuz like I said I do agree but the way u going about it seems malicious esp. after how we left off.”
The two traded jabs about age and status, with Latto using the hashtag “#40yroldbully” and Minaj tweeting, “All this time I thought you was at least 35.” (Minaj is 39 and Latto is 23.)
Minaj referring to Latto’s “spray tan” and artists being “black when it’s beneficial” came after she raised the issue of race earlier in her Instagram video. “Soon female rap will really not have any Black women,” Minaj said in the IG speech, without making any specific references as to who she was talking about at that point.
Minaj also said that Latto’s album was stiff. “You sold 20K, right? Mad you flopped. That’s why u really mad,” she wrote. The ‘777’ album debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 in April with a reported 21,000 album-equivalent units.
In screenshots captured of one of her since-deleted tweets, Minaj said that Latto has “frustration about me politely declining three feature requests. Scratch off is just an entitled Karen who blames others for her album flopping”.
The veteran rapper took issue with Latto’s charge that she is related to a “rapist”.
“1. Didn’t care about rape when she was begging for features. 2. Didn’t care about Kodak’s past. 3. Didn’t care about the accusations made about Dr Luke who produced Big Energy. 4. News Flash, scratch off. I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve inspired millions. You’re one of them BOZO,” Minaj’s post read.
Latto’s charges about Minaj’s husband are related to a plea deal in which Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in New York and served four years in state prison in the 1994 case. Minaj’s counter-attack about Dr Luke refers to the producer having been accused of rape by Kesha, with a defamation lawsuit by the producer against the artist that continues to wind through a New York appeals court.
(With inputs from agencies)