Bon Iver vs. Nicki Minaj
Earlier Tuesday, the nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards were revealed. But not quite everyone is ready to start thinking about next year’s big ceremony: mere hours after today’s announcement, Nicki Minaj reminded Twitter she’s still mad about being snubbed at the 2012 Grammys. Minaj specifically dragged Bon Iver, who beat her to win the Best New Artist accolade that 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,” a still-salty Minaj tweeted this afternoon. “They gave it to the white man Bon Iver.”
On the strength of sophomore album Bon Iver, Bon Iver, the Justin Vernon-led indie outfit did, indeed, take home the Best New Artist accolade in 2012, winning over Minaj, J. Cole, The Band Perry, and Skrillex. (Minaj went 0-for-4 that entire night.) However, as Page Six notes, Minaj’s reference to “7 songs simultaneously charting” actually happened two years prior in 2010.
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
Speaking of 2010, in October of that year, both Minaj and Vernon featured on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy single “Monster”. So, it’s rather strange that Minaj would go after one of her own associates — and eight years after the Grammy snub.
That being said, Minaj’s sentiments regarding the Grammys’ long and complicated history of racism isn’t entirely off-base. For years now, many prominent Black artists have spoken out against the Grammys’ lack of diversity; in 2017, Kanye, Frank Ocean, and Drake publicly protested music’s biggest night. If you’ll recall, Kanye also once threw a fit when Beck beat Beyoncé for Album of the Year (though that outburst have been a more merit than race-based argument).
Recently, Tyler, the Creator slammed the Grammys for confining Black artists to very specific categories, like “Rap” or “Urban”. “It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category,” the Odd Future rapper back in January.
“And I don’t like that ‘urban’ word,” he continued. “It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me. So when I hear that, I’m just like, why can’t we just be in pop? So I felt like — half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment.” For what it’s worth, the Grammys have since renamed the “Urban” category to (the not that much better) “Best Progressive R&B”.
In other Minaj news, the Queens-bred MC just celebrated the 10th anniversary of Pink Friday with a surprise deluxe edition.