Words by Nick Slay
Despite the first rap category in 1989, Hip-Hop has always felt snubbed by The Grammys. So much so that the original Grammy for Rap awarded to Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff wasn’t a part of the televised broadcast, hence the no show by Smith and LL Cool J respectively. Artists like JAY-Z and Kanye West have notoriously given The Grammys the cold shoulder due to its treatment of Hip-Hop by their non-attendance. Then something changed.
Due to changing the rules that would allow streaming only albums like Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book to be considered last year was a big turning point. The Grammys in selecting Chance The Rapper to win Best New Artists as well as two other awards saw the organization slowly catch up with the times. Hip-Hop, which has started to dominate music in terms of sales and pop culture relevance in recent years, is finally getting it’s fair share. In its attempt to modernize and grow with the culture, The Recording Academy will feature its first ever, The Rap Nominations Review Committee.
Instead of rap artists being left to general voting which disenfranchised artists like 2 Chainz and Future who dominated Billboard charts in their respective debut years, current artists like Migos, Logic, and Cardi B will have a greater chance this year. The anonymous committee made up of artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers will exclusively focus on the consideration of Hip-Hop artists outside of the R&B category. Announced in June, the group’s main task is giving rap artists a level playing field for voter consideration. The Recording Academy has made its move to be more diverse and inclusive after the “Oscars So White Scandal” in the previous year. Recognizing that the many major contributions in music do reflect the efforts of the African-American and other minorities.