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.

41 Responses

  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?

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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.

  3. itzy garcia

    kendrick lamar should defiantly win best rap album of the year

  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.

    • 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

      • 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.

        • Jerah

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

  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.

  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.

  7. GGG

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

  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.

    • Me

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

    • 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?

  9. 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.

  10. Willis

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

  11. Mr Willis

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

    • 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.

  12. Who stole the soul???

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

    Pure crap

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • Nadine

      After reading this article I applaud Kanye for having the courage to do what he did! I never heard of Beck. Neither have I heard anyone say anything about his music. I went to YouTube, just to even find out what his music sounded like. Kanye, went about it the wrong way. Regardless to how Beck won, it didn’t seem as Tho he should have won, album of the year Grammy. Now, think about it, people need to be real! I think the whole world is as shocked about this, as if I.
      sounds like the Grammy Awards committee, needs an overhaul. Is there anything else left in this world that we can have any confidence in? I wouldn’t want an award that I knew I didn’t truly deserve. It’s just not fair. I have to give Beck his props! He said that he didn’t deserve that Grammy to the world!

  15. Nadine

    I was told that I had already left a message it. When this site knows good and well that I didnt. This is just crooked all around. Unbelievable! This is just down right in your face defiance!