With the Recording Academy releasing its nominees for the 2021 Grammy Awards today, the reactions have been flying thick and fast on Twitter about the respective merits of the nominees, the mysterious absence of The Weeknd, and the most egregious snubs. However, rather than addressing this year’s batch of nominees, one person used the opportunity to revive an old grievance against the Academy. Nicki Minaj reminded her fans that she was once nominated for Best New Artist in 2012, but lost to Bon Iver.
“Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation,” she wrote. “They gave it to the white man Bon Iver.” As usual, there’s a point to her pettiness — pun intended. The Grammys have long had a history of overlooking and underrating accomplished artists in traditionally Black genres like rap and R&B — especially women, who have rarely won albums of the year in either category and are even more seldom even nominated for general categories like Album Of The Year.
Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 24, 2020
In fact, this year, there are no women nominated in the Rap category at all and only Jhene Aiko and Chloe X Halle are nominated in the new spinoff R&B category, Best Progressive R&B. Also, remember the year they gave Best Rap Album to Macklemore despite Kendrick Lamar being nominated for Good Kid, MAAD City?
So this time, we have to side with Nicki. Incidentally, though, the Academy does have the chance to clean up that eight-year-old mistake; this year’s Best New Artist category includes Chika, the breakout Alabama rapper who starred on Netflix’s Project Power and collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Doja Cat, the compelling R&B/hip-hop hybrid who racked up a No. 1 with Nicki earlier this year, and Megan Thee Stallion, who garnered two No. 1s with Beyonce and Cardi B, competing against a field that includes D Smoke, Ingrid Andress, Kaytranada, Noah Cyrus, and Phoebe Bridgers.