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The Grammy Rap Committee Didn’t Nominate Macklemore, But the Academy Let Him In Anyway…

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The Grammys are supposedly about honoring the best releases.  But what if your genre’s Grammy committee doesn’t want you nominated?

This is supposedly the situation surrounding Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  The duo has been nominated for seven awards including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.  But an anonymous source who attended the Grammy committee meeting told the AP “most rap committee members felt the duo shouldn’t qualify for the rap categories because of their success on mainstream radio and their appeal in the pop world”.

The Rap Committee declined all of their submissions last year.  Basically, they think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are more of a pop duo.

Later, at a general Grammy Committee meeting, everyone from all genres came together to decide what classification to give Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They overturned the rap committee’s decision by a landslide.

Why does this even matter?  Fader has quoted an essay by Rob Kenner that sums it up nicely:

“famous people tend to get more votes from clueless Academy members, regardless of the quality of their work. This is especially true in specialized categories like reggae and, to a lesser extent, hip-hop, where many voting members of the Recording Academy (who tend to skew older than the demographic for rap music) may not be well acquainted with the best releases in any given year.”

Oh, and Macklemore doesn’t even think he should win best rap album. He said the award should go to Kendrick Lamar.

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Comments (40)
  1. Me

    Even more proof that the Grammys are nothing but a crock. Since when does being mainstream make a rapper not a rap artist? Eminem’s won Best Rap Album 5 times, and he’s had more radio success and “appeal to the pop world” than pretty much anybody in recent history. You know who else has won that award multiple times? Kanye and Outkast, two more wildly popular acts.

    Can we just finally kill The Grammys?


    Reply
    1. as anonymous as you are ignorant

      You may notice that they actually did end up in the rap category and swept it.

      You may also notice that this is from an anonymous source, which means you can’t fact check it or verify it as true.

      Which means the story itself could very likely be a crock.


      Reply
  2. Henry Chatfield

    I can understand where the rap committee is coming from, but that just goes to show that they have an inaccurate and outdated system of voting for who really “deserves” the award.


    Reply
    1. visitor

      As Macklemore certainly qualifies as BOTH RAP AND POP, it makes more sense for them to be in the POP category – thus creating more opportunity for another RAP artist who is not as POPULAR.

      The RAP committee absolutely made the right decision that would benefit more artists. Once an artist transcends a genre and achieves MAINSTREAM appeal, they should be seen as a POP artist and allow lessor known artists in the genre an opportunity at some recognition.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I agree


        Reply
  3. itzy garcia

    kendrick lamar should defiantly win best rap album of the year


    Reply
    1. Someone

      No.


      Reply
      1. Me

        Yes.


        Reply
        1. Sometwo

          No.


          Reply
          1. you

            yes.


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              Nah


              Reply
              1. me

                idiot. yes.


                Reply
                1. Truth

                  Retard, no.


                  Reply
                  1. him

                    Yes, Moron


                    Reply
                    1. what

                      maybe, indifferent


    2. fuckingkiddingme

      Definitely not.


      Reply
      1. noimnot

        Good Kid, m.a.a.d city deserves Best Rap Album as much as Yeezus does. Both artists have shown unique style which are likely to change the genre of hip-hop. If Macklemore wins, I’m done with the Grammys.


        Reply
    3. Rashad

      HELL YES!!!


      Reply
    4. Brandon

      Definitely!


      Reply
    5. KendrickLamarShouldWin

      It’s not just about being pop cross-over rap artist. Kendrick Lamar embodies “rap” – and is so oozing talent he should win the rap awards.


      Reply
  4. jw

    The Grammys are traditionally biased against artists who find success outside the traditional industry infrastructure. It was clear when Metallica got snubbed in 1989, & it’s clear this year with Macklemore. There are no grounds to exclude the Heist from nominations except that there’s no industry insider taking credit for their success. Successful independent artists sort of undermine the entire circle jerk premise of the ceremony. It’s pretty disappointing that no one will come out & say this, & that every article covering this story just sort of pussy foots around it.

    At least, that’s how it appears from the outside.


    Reply
    1. JChristofffer

      You hit the nail on the head.


      Reply
    2. BC

      I kinda think it’s the opposite. That the Grammys reward musicians based on sale and not quality of the work. I don’t think The Heist is that great of an album. Maybe 10th best hip hop/rap album I’ve heard this year, and I’m not a big hip hop fan. I also don’t think Kayne’s, Drakes, or Jay-Z should have been nominated either. Maybe I’m biased, but Shad’s album should have been up there before any of those 3. And there are so many great hip hop albums. But if you aren’t moving units, the Grammys don’t notice you. And considering it’s just a big circle jerk of industry people who only care about units sold (even if the album is sub par), then it’s never going to be about the best album. And if you don’t know Shad, check out Stylin


      Reply
      1. Doms

        What do you expect them to do? Take every rapper with a decent flow and some lyrics and nominate him? You get recognized at the grammys when you’re a star, thats the point of it. If you genuinely think Drake and Kanye’s albums shouldn’t be nominated then you really don’t know much.


        Reply
        1. Jerah

          Drake and Kanye are terrible. Kanye was OK at best when he was rapping with Dilated peoples.


          Reply
          1. jw

            Any of the acts being great or not isn’t the point. The point is to take big acts and parade them in front of everyone in order to say, “Thank you so much, music industry. Thank you label, thank you stylist, thank you marketing department, thank you video director, thank you radio. Without you, this (‘this’ being all of the money made/fame generated) wouldn’t be possible.” That’s what’s being celebrated. There’s an inferred subservience on the part of the artist, even if it’s through gritted teeth. Quality has nothing to do with it, that’s not what’s being celebrated.

            But if an artist like Macklemore or Metallica wins, it’s the opposite. The industry should be thanking them. Because they built the train, & the industry just hopped on board. They don’t want Lars Ulrich back onstage saying, “Fuck you guys. We didn’t need you 8 years ago & we don’t need you now. But thanks anyways.” Because they didn’t owe anyone anything, & Macklemore doesn’t owe anyone anything. And that’s why he’s getting snubbed. That’s what I think, anyways.

            Thinking that the Grammy award winners need to align with your personal taste or subjective idea of quality is to miss the point of the whole charade. The point is for everyone to get dressed up & try to convince the world that you can’t find success in the industry without going through the traditional channels, & Macklemore undermines that agenda. He’s living proof that there are alternative avenues to success that are in almost every way better than the traditional channels.

            And there are exceptions to this… apparently some nominating committees are more open minded than others. But I think that the overarching theme of the event is self-congratulatory, any real debate about what was/wasn’t the best music of the year happens elsewhere.


            Reply
  5. GuyOnline

    Now Kanye and Yeezus can win. You don’t want a scene with RL and Mackelmore accepting an award and have Kanye interrupt.


    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I never really had much of an opinion about the the Grammys on the whole, but I lost all respect for the award last year when Skrillex won best remix (Cinema) over Eric Prydz’s remix of M83 – Midnight City. What a damn joke.


    Reply
  7. GGG

    Sounds like they just didn’t want Macklemore in. Pretty sure PLENTY of mainstream artists have been nominated for best rap album.


    Reply
  8. Jerah

    I have been listening to Macklemore for about 10 years or so, not entirely sure. But this dude was underground for soo long. IF this committee is not aware of this, they are no rap committee in my eyes, they are phonies. I was happy that he got big since he was always this good, always sounded like this, always rapped about important shit. Has not changed one bit. Good for macklemore.


    Reply
    1. Me

      Well, yeah, they’re phonies. They’re members of a Grammy committee.


      Reply
    2. Lewis Ryan

      Which makes it all the more ridiculous he was up for “Best New Artist.” What truly new artist has been working on his or her career for 10+ years?


      Reply
  9. rip-rap

    Q: Just who are the members of the “rap committee?”


    Reply
  10. as anonymous as you are ignorant

    A single anonymous source? Any fact checking going on? Is it possible that somebody made this up?
    Does anybody related to this story or the comments above even know how an artist gets nominated?

    If the Grammys are such a “crock” and “clueless” that just need to go away then why are you talking about them?

    Artists and producers vote on the Grammys. If you have the credits, you can vote… I suspect most of the commenters and haters on here don’t qualify to vote because if they did, they’d probably spend their time writing songs instead of using that time to say the award is irrelevant.
    Obviously the Grammys matter or you wouldn’t bother commenting.


    Reply
  11. Willis

    If you aren’t a NARAS member, forget about getting noticed for a Grammy. Fact.


    Reply
  12. Mr Willis

    they make rap music, they should be in the category. period.


    Reply
    1. Blackamoor

      Then how do you explain the fact that Macklemore got more play on Pop radio all year than actual Rap radio? Clearly he’s been marketed as a pop artist all year long so that’s the category he belongs in.


      Reply
  13. Who stole the soul???

    Macklemore wins best rap album…JT wins best R&B album.

    Pure crap


    Reply
  14. Blackamoor

    The most important point the article is that the committee is more familiar with what was put out over the course of the year than the over all Academy. Every “pop” artist falls into another genre such as rock, rap, etc. So it would not be inappropriate for the Rap committee to determine that a particular act belongs more in the pop category. After all, Macklemore doesn’t get play on Rap radio or on Rap video shows, he gets play on Pop radio. That fact alone means the industry was considering him pop all year, yet when it comes to issuing the award, he “rap” all of a sudden? That’s the hypocrisy at play here.


    Reply
  15. JJay

    I think they’re both amazing.. It would be ignorant to just put down macklemore and say he’s horrible. I’m a huge macklemore fan.. But I’m also a HUGE Kendrick fan. Honestly, the only good thing about the Grammy’s are the performances. The Grammy’s have degraded so much, accomplishment and sentimental wise, that the awards themselves have lost they’re value. I think the only awards show who can accurately judge hip hop music is the BET Hip Hop Awards.

    And by the way, I think Kendrick defiantly deserved to win best Rap Album of the year.


    Reply

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