Beef between Nicki Minaj and Latto spilled out into the open after Minaj said she felt the Recording Academy was showing a bias toward Latto in the way their work was being categorized.
As the Twitter war between the two went full-bore 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.
The younger artist even referred to Minaj as “my idol-turned-rival” as the conversation went nuclear. “Super freaky grandma is married AND related to fucking rapists. You ain’t gone bully me BITCH! My idol turned rival now u hating!”
Minaj has since deleted her tweets aimed at Latto, while 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.”
Wrote Minaj, “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.”
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.”
In response to that now-deleted tweet of Minaj’s, Latto responded by accusing the other rapper of seeming “malicious” in her behavior. “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 charged that Latto’s album was a stiff, writing, “You sold 20K, right? Mad you flopped. That’s why u really mad.” (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 charged 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,” tweeting that Latto “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.”
Latto’s charges about Minaj’s family relate 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 New York appeals court.