The 2019 Grammy Awards are Sunday and amongst the top performers are #CardiB, #TravisScott and #PostMalone, who’s performance unfortunately included collaborator #21Savage (but let’s keep our prayers up for 21). While the show has secured some pretty great acts, other great acts opted not to accept their invitation.
#Drake, #ChildishGambino and #KendrickLamar all declined to perform at the biggest award show in the music industry. And at this time, its also unclear if the artists will attend the show at all.
Many can speculate, the choices not to participate in the show is a part of a long standing tension between the hip-hop community and the Grammys. The two entities have been estranged from each other for many years mainly because the ceremony has too often alienated their hip hop stars.
Jay-Z is one celeb who has used his consistent absence at the Grammys as a protest. Last year, Jay was nominated for 8 Grammys and was snubbed of them all. Kendrick did win all 5 of his noms, however lost Album of the Year to #BrunoMars.
Ken Ehrlich, longtime producer of the Grammy award show, told the NYTimes, “The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world. 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.”
This year’s Album of the Year category includes four rap artists: Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, Drake’s Scorpion, Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys and the Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack to Black Panther.
Last year Bill Freimuth, the Recording Academy’s Head of Awards, told XXL the Grammy committee are doing their due diligence to address hip-hop’s concerns of inclusion at the awards ceremony. “We certainly have been listening to the community with these concerns. The difficulties that our voters have every year is that there are so many excellent recordings, and I think this year that number increased even more.
He continued, “As always, we only have so many nominees in every category. So, you know, it’s never easy to tell what’s going to be nominated because we have got so many [voters] that are professional music creators, they’re coming from all types of different genres and different disciplines and varied experiences.”