Nicki Minaj's 2021 Grammy Nominations Shade Makes An Important Point
Nicki Minaj made a powerful statement about snubs for deserving artists on Nov. 24 after The Recording Academy announced the 2021 GRAMMY Awards nominations. Minaj recalled the time she was passed over for the Best New Artist award in 2012 while simultaneously charting seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100. While many Barbz ran to her defense, telling her that she doesn't need an award to be the queen of rap, Nicki Minaj's 2021 GRAMMYs nomination shade makes an important point about misogynoir and industry snubs as whole.
Minaj is no stranger to snubs; She's been nominated for a GRAMMY 10 times throughout her career, but has never won a single category, despite her prolific discography and track record of hits. She may not mind it that much (she is "the highest sellin' female rapper, for the record"), but with all the controversy surrounding the fan-favorite snubs for this year's nominations, she decided to make a statement about the music industry and The Recording Academy as a whole.
"Never forget the Grammys didn't give me my best new artist award ... They gave it to the white man Bon Iver," Minaj tweeted out. Immediate debate ensued in the replies to her tweet, with many praising her and her career, as well as a few bystanders calling her tweet out as overdramatic. Despite how one feels about Minaj invoking Bon Iver's frontman, Justin Vernon, in the tweet, her artistry speaks for itself to back up her point: Awards do not define an artist's success, and they're merely incidental to her overall career.
The Recording Academy has been subject to criticism by Black activists and music industry leaders for snubbing Black artists in favor of white ones and seemingly dividing nominations along racial lines in the past. Many fans point to Macklemore's win over Kendrick Lamar in 2014 for several kep Hip Hop categories as the prime example. Minaj's tweet only reinforces this reputation, as many fans became outraged on social media on Nov. 24 over The Weeknd's complete exclusion from the 2021 nominations and Justin Bieber's statement about his disdain for the "pop" category he was nominated in.
With race playing a key role in the development of music genres specific to the experiences of BIPOC, Minaj's tweet speaks volumes to the history of snubs at the GRAMMYs.
Barbz and fellow artists alike raced to support Minaj on Twitter, with the consensus among fans being that her tweet is not about shading other artists, but the systems which artists look to to derive their own sense of personal success. Remember, "50k for a verse, no album out?" Yeah, she's still the GOAT and selling records like hotcakes. No GRAMMY snub will change that.