It’s usually no surprise when hip-hop acts aren’t nominated for the Grammy’s major prizes — Album of The Year, Song of The Year, Record of The Year, and Best New Artist. Disappointing, definitely, but fans of the genre are no longer shocked when their favorite artists are shut out.
This year, however, saw a change to this mindset, as fans across all genres were shocked that Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” perhaps the most critically acclaimed hip-hop album ever (and early favorite for Album of The Year) wasn’t even nominated in any of the major categories.
Admittedly, hip-hop has to accept some blame for this continual Grammy neglect. The nihilism found in many popular rap albums (understandably) turns many Grammy votes off. And, many of the categories have specific rules against sample-laden music, a fact disqualifying many (if not most) rap songs as well.
?uestlove of the Roots, a three-time Grammy winner, says the hip-hop community shares some of the blame for its losing streak. He says those in the genre aren’t involved enough with The Recording Academy, its community and its events.”We’re not active members of (The Recording Academy) and I promise to take a more active role in that.” He adds “It’s taxing time-wise, but you know, I can either sit and complain… or do something about it.”
As “rap-friendly” entities such as the MTV VMAs and the BET Music Awards become more and more relevant (especially among younger music fans and artists), should we even care about the Grammys anymore?