The relationship between the Grammys and the hip-hop community has been tumultuous since the genre’s births in the 1980’s. Grammy-worthy rap albums are often snubbed by the Recording Academy and emcees are tired of the disrespect.
For 2019 Grammys, three major forces in hip-hop turned down the chance to perform at the awards ceremony. Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Childish Gambino decided to not hit the stage tomorrow night (Feb. 10), which is quite disappointing yet understandable.
During a sit down with The New York Times, the show’s producer Ken Ehrlich said the friction with hip-hop continues to be a barrier when it comes to getting them to perform each year.
“The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world,” Ehrlich said. “When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.”
The issue is bigger than them not taking “home the big prize.” Back in 2014, Kendrick Lamar was notoriously snubbed by white rapper Macklemore for Album of the Year. This loss caused outrage because Lamar’s album was way more critically acclaimed and praised by the hip-hop community than Macklemore’s debut album, The Heist. This started a conversation about race and cultural appropriation within hip-hop. Macklemore even came forward and said he felt like he robbed the west coast rapper of a well-deserved award. Furthermore, most of the hip-hop categories aren’t even televised, which can perceived as the Grammys having a dismissive attitude towards it. So the issue is bigger than them throwing a tantrum because they didn’t receive album of the year.
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will be hosted by Alicia Keys and will air on CBS Feb. 10th at 8:00 p.m E/T.Follow @nydjlive