Have you ever thought of a musical artist’s importance based on whether they’ve won a Grammy or not? The annual Grammy Awards are known to be the most anticipated night of the year for the music industry. It recognizes important music in various categories and awards those the Recording Academy believes deserve recognition.
Drake, a top-charting rapper and singer, has been nominated for numerous Grammys since 2010. He’s taken four awards home; one for Best Rap Album, one for Best Melodic Rap Performance, and two for Best Rap Song. This year, Drake was one of five nominees for Best Rap Album for “Certified Lover Boy,” and for Best Rap Performance, for “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug). Drake is a veteran in the business and many awards have followed him throughout his career — so why was it important to him to take a stance by withdrawing his nominations for this year’s Grammys?
The rapper’s problems with the award show started in 2021 when they failed to show any recognition towards his fellow Canadian artist The Weeknd, who had one of the top-performing albums and singles of 2020. He even performed at the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, further proving his relevance. Drake called out the Grammys after hearing about The Weeknd being snubbed by saying this on his Instagram story:
I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exist now and the ones that come after. It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won’t change their ways. The other day I said [The Weeknd] was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up overtime and pass on to the generations to come.-Drake via Instagram Story
Even during one of Drake’s last wins at the 2019 Grammys for Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan,” the producers cut his microphone after mentioning awards have no true value.
This year, people have speculated that Drake did not submit any of the nominations for “Certified Lover Boy,” since it was not on any of the preliminary ballots distributed to voters for the big categories such as Best Album, Song or Record of the Year. Drake’s nominations were only geared towards the rap categories, not those competing with different genres.
Drake is not the first artist to disapprove of the Grammys’ significance; several musicians have come out explaining their negative views on the award show, including legendary rapper Eminem, who has won several Grammys himself. He stated in an interview how hard artists work to win a Grammy to prove their significance in the industry, which in the end isn’t even worth it. He also said those who run the Grammys pitch the idea that “you might win” in nominees’ heads and then give it away to an artist that is not typically well-known. Eminem basically said he feels that work is shown through the impact on fans, which the Grammys do not recognize, and after being snubbed by artists he feels did not do that, he will never go to the Grammys again.
Overall, artists seem to lose interest in the Grammys as they do not show proper appreciation towards artists that make an impact on today’s music; this is most likely why Drake pulled his nominations for the year — especially considering his thoughts against them during the past two years.
Do you think winning a Grammy makes an artist more successful than those that don’t? Let us know your thoughts by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter!