Nicki Minaj’s ‘Super Freaky Girl’ Will Compete in Pop Category Not Rap at 2023 Grammys
Despite its eight-week stay at the top Billboard’s Rap Songs Chart, “Super Freaky Girl” was deemed too popular for the rap industry.
Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Freaky Girl” is spending its eighth week on top of Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs chart, but at the Grammys, the song will compete in the pop category.
Original submission by Minaj was the track, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August — to the rap categories at the Grammys, but the decision was overturned by the Recording Academy’s rap committee, according to a source. That group determined that Minaj’s playful and pop-sounding song sampling Rick James‘ 1981 classic “Super Freak” should compete for best pop solo performance instead of rap awards.
Representatives for Minaj and The Recording Academy did not immediately reply to The Hollywood Reporter‘s emails seeking comment. Nominees for the 2023 Grammys will be announced on Nov. 15, and the live telecast will air on Feb. 5, 2023, on CBS. Voting for the first round begins on Thursday and ends Oct. 23.
Minaj has released many pop and hip-hop hits over the years, some featuring both singing and rapping. Her debut solo single, 2010’s “Your Love,” was pop-adjacent with its sample of Annie Lennox’s 1995 cover version of “No More I Love You’s,” 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.
But of Minaj’s 10 Grammy nominations, she’s only competed in pop once — for best pop duo/group performance with “Bang Bang” alongside Ariana Grande and Jessie J. The majority of her Grammy nominations have been in rap, including 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.”
“Super Freaky Girl” is in similar company to Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”: The singer-rapper’s breakthrough track topped Hot Rap Songs for 13 weeks and eventually led the all-genre Hot 100 chart for seven weeks but it didn’t compete in the rap categories at the Grammys. Instead, it was nominated — and won — best pop solo performance at the 2020 show.
Doja Cat’s song “Say So” features rap elements. Post Malone’s song “Better Now”, which combines hip-hop, alternative, and pop sounds, also competes for the award.
Collaborative songs that topped Billboard‘s 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 Puth’s “See You Again,” and Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road,” which won the honor in 2020.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were originally kicked out of the rap Grammys when the duo had a breakthrough with the hits “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” at the 2014 show. However, that decision was later reversed — and heavily criticised — when the group won the rap Grammys. This victory beat Kendrick Lamar and others. Macklemore even denounced the decision. As a result, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis didn’t submit their sophomore album for Grammy contention at the 2017 show.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.
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