Editor's Take: The Grammy's 2018 Was A Massive Snub Of Hip-Hop
By: Kayla Pasacreta
I expected a lot from the Grammy's this year. Music has always served as intersection of politics and social awareness. With the presidency of Donald Trump, brink of the #MeToo movement, and just in reflection of how f****d up 2017 was, I was ready to see an award show bold enough to show appreciation to the timely political relevance of albums like DAMN and 4:44. With Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z racking up multiple nominations, hip-hop lovers alike were ready for the Grammy's to finally put some respeck on hip-hop's name. R&B fans were also respectively anticipating some wins for SZA, who without a doubt proved 2017 to be her stand-out year.
Unfortunately, the Grammy's still did hip-hop dirty, and Brooklyn's finest left the NYC-based award show 0-8. You read that right - Jay-Z was nominated for 8 Grammy's and left without a single one. 4:44 was a brilliant manifestation of the importance of generational wealth, building black folks up, marriage, colorism...the list goes on. Still, Bruno Mar's 24K Magic took home best album, song of the year, and record of the year.
We love Bruno, but come on man!
Why, you ask, is such foolishness happening?! The Grammy's makes it difficult for hip-hop to prosper outside of rap categories. Don't believe me? A rapper hasn't won "album of the year" since 2004, when Outkast took the award home. For hip-hop to be the number one genre in the country, it quite frankly makes no sense hip-hop albums like- let's say 4:44, DAMN, Graduation - weren't able to take home album of the year.
Yeah, yeah, the Grammy's skit of artists reading "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" was funny, political, and timely, and the acknowledgement of the #MeToo movement was appreciated - but does that really mean shit when the Grammy's doesn't care to actually give awards to and recognize the modern day pioneers of the genre that has ALWAYS been on the forefront of bringing about social change? I refuse to give the Grammy's props for some timely political moments when they still don't put respeck on hip-hop's name!
Hip-hop, rap, and R&B performances at the Grammy's are arguably some of the most entertaining and talked about portions of the Grammy's, but the artists still do not get the awards they deserve. Time and time again, the Grammy's casts a blind eye to black artistry and innovation; using black artists as entertainment rather than honoring them as pioneers of artistry and talent. The Recording Academy attempted to embrace hip-hop juuuust enough, without giving the artists any of the major awards.
Hip-hop is the biggest, most consumed, and most influential music genre. It deserves more recognition, accolades, and respect from the Recording Academy.