Drake Officially Disqualified from the Grammys In 2018, Sources Say

Drake at the Toronto Film Festival
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Drake at the Toronto Film Festival
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photo: GabboT (CC 2.0)

Looks like Drake is out on a technicality.

First it was Frank Ocean.  Now it’s Drake.  Two huge artists, both of whom couldn’t care less about the Grammys.  Both have openly criticized the awards showcase, and abstained.

In fact, neither of them cared enough to even submit their albums for consideration.  Which meant that Frank Ocean was disqualified from consideration.

And now, so is Drake.

According to sources sharing details with Digital Music News this morning, Drake failed to submit More Life to the Recording Academy for Grammy consideration.  Which means, the album is officially disqualified for inclusion or any possible award.

The album — or mixtape or playlist, depending on how you qualify it — was one of the top-ranked releases of the year.  It even reached #1 on the Billboard 200.

Drake has won three Grammy Awards in total.  The first was Best Rap Album for Take Care, followed by Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song awards for ‘Hotline Bling’.

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That latest accolades may have created the problem.  After winning two rap awards for ‘Bling,’ Drake properly noted that there’s actually no rapping in the song.  So why did he get a rap award?

“you’re purposely trying to alienate me by making me win the rap [award].”

Here’s what Drake told DJ Semtex earlier this year, shortly after the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony.  “I won two awards last night, but I don’t even want them,” Drake blasted.

“It feels weird for some reason.  For some reason it just doesn’t feel right to me.  Like I feel like almost alienated — or you’re purposely trying to alienate me by making me win the rap [award].  Or either just pacifying me by handing me something.

“Putting me in that category.  Because it’s the only place you can figure out where to put me.”

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Then, there’s this Drake lyric, uttered on Big Sean’s ‘Blessings’:

I could give two fucks about where the Grammys go.

I just gave out Grammys on my Instagram

Them OVO boys the businessman 

But if Drake has the best album, shouldn’t he win the Grammy?

The situation raises serious questions about the Grammy submissions process.  For starters, a formal submissions protocol seems unnecessary, especially given a string of submission problems over the years.  That includes a ‘gamed’ submission by New Jersey Boston native Linda Chorney, a stunt the Grammy Committee vowed to prevent in the future.

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But the biggest issue comes from the other side.  Superstars like Drake simply aren’t participating, despite being extremely relevant and deserving of at least a nomination.

So, why not skip the submission requirement altogether?



19 Responses

  1. Miguel

    I too was disqualified from the Grammys for not subitting an entry.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Wow, that’s… maybe I’m a Grammy judge after all.

      • FanOfMusic

        Hi Paul,

        For years I have followed DMN and always enjoyed some of the banter, commentary and well-informed content that you provide. However, your commentary on the GRAMMY Awards over the years is quite ill-informed. It is one thing to not agree with the complete concept of awards and how they may or may not be adjudicated, but it’s another to be significantly misinformed on how the GRAMMY Awards process works.

        As you are well aware, the Recording Academy is a member organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other recording professionals. As such, there is no one person or “one” entity that is in charge of the rules, guidelines, and other processes that impact the GRAMMY Awards. It is all committee driven made up of Academy members and experts in the music community.

        While the process is not perfect at all, it is ever-evolving and changes are made each year to the process by the Awards & Nominations committee. This committee is made up of voting members of the Academy and come from all genres of music. They convene annually to review the year’s previous processes, review changes to guidelines, rules, etc. that are presented by members of the Academy and review any other proposals presented for a wide variety of issues i.e. adding additional categories, removing categories, renaming and redefining categories, etc.

        Specifically to your point about Drake being in a Rap category; committees of genre experts review all the music that is submitted for consideration in the entire process. Experts in the Rap Field (artists, producers, engineers, songwriters, label representatives, academics, music historians who currently work in the Rap music genre) thoughtfully listened to Drake’s music and felt that it was appropriately placed in the Rap Field. It’s quite simply democracy at its finest. However, we know that democracy is not always pristine.

        Regarding your comment on the submission process, one can only imagine the push back and poor press the Academy would receive if it were not for a passive submission process. Respectfully, your community (the press) would have a field day with many more conspiracy theories and poorly informed articles about how “The Academy” and it’s cabal only nominate a select few.

        I would like to encourage someone such as yourself as passionate as you are about music to engage the Recording Academy and seek out an opportunity to be a voice there. Yes, it will be frustrating, yes it will seem insurmountable when you actually engage some of the conversations that happen regarding this process, HOWEVER these processes are not about the destination, but the journey.

        It is amazes me that every year, there are some artists who consistently come out in the press and make the statement that the GRAMMY Awards are sleepy, old, irrelevant, etc. The fact that they consistently make it part of their artistic narrative exactly indicates just how relevant and coveted the GRAMMY statue is to our music community.

        There are many passionate individuals who work both within the Academy walls and in the music community that give of their time, energy and passion to be the custodians of a process that has a tremendous amount of integrity and has proved that over its 60 year legacy. I would encourage you and other press outlets to begin to tell the stories from that perspective. Perhaps that would engage more members of the music community and all of its genres to get involved and lend their voice, either through some type of Academy service or just by exercising a vote within the awards process. That is truly the crux of any voting process…the process is only as good as the components within in it. If the relevant voters are not there to vote on the relevant recordings, then the process is only as good as the outcome. If our national elections haven’t taught us this, then I’m not sure that we will ever learn.

        Respectfully yours……

  2. word

    Did you reach out to the Grammy awards organization when you wrote this?
    Most credible journalists would check in with the company they are writing about to get a comment before publishing.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      The perceived protocol of contacting a company is actually debatable within journalism. Quite frequently, when I reach out to a company, they start spinning and changing details to defuse the story entirely. In this scenario, who knows: maybe there would be an honorary press release for Drake issued by the Academy, just to backspin the whole thing. I’m not suggesting the Recording Academy would do this, and I have friends within the organization, but DMN doesn’t need their permission or blessing to publish an article, or invite PR interference. I’ve held stories waiting for a response, only to realize we’ve ‘changed history’ for the worse by doing that.

      • FanOfMusic

        I don’t believe it has anything to do with protocol as much as it has to do with being fully informed before a story or commentary is written. The fact that you and other outlets continue to do so does not serve the purpose of the commentary nor does it serve much of anything else other than to add noise. The fact that Drake is unhappy with his placement within in the awards process should not be what the story is. He is free to feel that way and I understand that. The real story is why do the experts in the genre who review these submissions place him in that genre? That is where the real story is (although not as sexy or perhaps juicy)…please start inquiring about that. That will fully inform the music community. Not Drake’s petulance over receiving a coveted honor and his dismay over where it resides!

  3. wurdo

    Also, if you think your work is worth winning a Grammy and you care about that, then you or your label should submit. If you don’t care to win, then don’t submit. End of story to this non-story.

    And if you expect somebody sift through 100,000 releases that come out each year to figure out which is worth a nomination, why don’t you sign yourself up for that job?

    P.S. you can’t be disqualified if you don’t submit your record. That would mean you abstained from participating. Disqualification would mean that someone else said you can’t participate.

  4. Adrienne

    Linda Chorney did not “game” the system, she used it legitimately to get her album heard. Maybe you should refrain from libel and do further research.

  5. mingosfear

    Fanofmusic, wurdo and others have already made excellent points. But I’ll add this – Being nominated or winning a Grammy is not based on Chart Positions, such as the Billboard Charts. So to mention that the album was #1 on the Billboard 200 is completely irrelevant to this article, since it’s not relevant to winning a Grammy. And – while I agree that it is not necessary to contact the organization to write about it, well, you don’t need to in order to be informed about what you are writing about. These days, you can simply go to the organizations website to find out how their processes or procedures work. Here’s one page for example: . It’s called RESEARCH, it’s what journalists and writers do. At least they used to, before writing articles became nothing more than click bait garbage as this article is. Case in point, I gave up reading Digital Music News a long time ago until I heard about this article. And well, here I am – you got a page view and I even left a comment. Well played.

    • Nathan Allen Pinard

      There are people that do choose entries to nominated (or just listen to) based on the charts, just to get an idea since they dont’ want to listed to 100+ entries to figure out which is best. That’s the problem I have with the Grammys, is the method in which nominees are chosen. Generall there are so much very lew listen to every entry, and you have to Google every single one by hand.

  6. 41 Years In Music Guy

    So first, Digital Music News??….WOW….this is a major scoop. I’ve been in the music business for 41 years as a guitarist, writer,producer and artist and I’ve played on 50+ albums/cd’s/digital releases and played live for over 6 million. Now, that’s more records than 99% of any new artist or player will ever hope to do or can do…Drake notwithstanding…ahhh look we have…an old guy…twilight of his career…naaa…I had a Billboard #1 in 2015 and I have a CD on the RMR charts Top 30 for 6 1/2 months….To a lot of newer artists (who truthfully I don’t consider artists…(Autotune and Garage Band do not Quanlify you as a musician) Grammy’s and awards don’t mean much (I am currently nominated for an HMMA Award)..Well screw the non talented shallow wannabees, I don’t care how (not) successful they are…These accolades to “real” musicians who honed their craft and worked their entire lives (Not in their bedrooms or on some singing TV show) mean plenty, and if they don’t mean anything, why do 14 THOUSAND to 19 THOUSAND artists submit to Grammy’s?? You are an artist for a life and a success for a second…As far as the Linda Chorney comment (That includes a ‘gamed’ submission by New Jersey native Linda Chorney, a stunt the Grammy Committee vowed to prevent in the future.) I heard Linda’s submission “Emotional Jukebox” at the beginning of that Grammy cycle and I voted for it because it was an exceptional album..You know how she “GAMED” the system Paul…really…tell me, you’re so knowledgeable. She gamed the system by…OOOHHHHH SCARY…SUBMITTING IT FOR A GRAMMY….Just like I, and 15,0000 other artists did that year…She worked it respectfully and legally like we all did….She submitted an excellent record and I heard it just like everyone in that Grammy cycle did, by it being sent or downloaded for consideration. If you want to get the real scoop on what happened with Linda, why don’t you just contact her instead of making stuff up or just copying and pasting something you don’t know about. You’re a professional, do your homework or don’t write it. You know what, Fuck Drake (RE himself: I could give two fucks about where the Grammys go.) If he doesn’t give a damn,and his “peeps” are too stupid to not know you have to submit, then he SHOULD BE disqualified. Why should anyone be pissed that he DIDN’T SUBMIT TO SOMETHING HE THINKS IS BOGUS…Start the DRAKE ACADEMY and Have the DRAKE AWARDS and DRAKE CARES. Why would you waste your time and people’s eyeballs on this article?? He doesn’t need to say anything and neither do you….We all work our asses off, (musicians,writers and everyone in this business) some have unwarranted success and some have successes that were paid in sweat, blood, tears, lyrics,divorces,lives and incredible music never given it’s just rewards. It’s actually supposed to be about that music and feeling justified and proud of your work Paul, not about accusations about “gaming the system” or a successful artist too stupid to submit about something he doesn’t care about….Write about music….

  7. Jim Berkenstadt

    Wow! Where to start? Your headline and article makes for great online trashy journalism! Very misleading. First, the headline should read: “FAKE NEWS! Drake disqualified from Grammys! Everyone should get a trophy!”
    Drake was NOT disqualified from trying to win a Grammy for his new album and songs. He was not punished by the Grammys for bad-mouthing them, as your article also implies. Drake has a record label, a manager, an agent, a lawyer, and a truck load of other handlers. None of them decided or remembered to enter his album or songs this year. Or, maybe it was even intentional to get publicity? Too bad Drake.

    I have belonged to NARAS since 1994. It is a private organization that has a set of rules for how Grammys are entered, nominated and awarded. If you don’t enter your music, you are choosing not to participate. That doesn’t mean you were “disqualified” or discriminated against. That means you and your handlers are idiots for not entering your music. Because, as we all know, if you get a Grammy, people will run out and jump on your bandwagon and buy your music. No injustice occurred. You wrote, “So, why not skip the submission requirement altogether?” And since you appear to be a millennial, you of course expect that everyone should get a trophy, especially Drake. Just like when you used to sit on the bench of of your soccer game with the scoreboard turned off, and everyone got a trophy for showing up and breathing. Lame. Not how the real world works Paul. Billboard charts, Billboard Ads, and your love of Drake, are not how Grammys are won. Why not contact NARAS to see how the rules work.

    I was surprised to see your Libelous statement against Indie Artist Linda Chorney. As a professional music historian, I took a special interest in this. More FAKE NEWS. I never knew her when her album came out. It was the first or second year of the Grammy365/ facebook-type system. I had read all of the rules for Entry, Nomination and Grammy voting. I came across her album and listened to it. It was phenomenal. Great vocals, strong lyrics and awesome NY big time session players. I followed the different rounds of voting, including Linda Chorney’s posts. None of her activities violated a single rule of the Grammys that year. What happened, is that she created a buzz with a quality album. Meanwhile, the handlers for the non-nominated artists in that category, sat back and figured that a full page ad in Billboard would reach enough voters. But technology had moved on. Chorney was nominated for Best Americana Album along with four others. This enraged the old guard, who’s artist didn’t get the fifth spot. They turned on the PR spin cycle and created the MYTH that Linda had “gamed” the system, which she didn’t. If she had “gamed” the system, I would have turned her in! And how does one game the system Paul? By big labels throwing parties and telling all their employees who to vote for? That’s gaming the system. Now, the old guard
    has once again won the day, removing democracy, and creating “committees” of big shots (no independents) that can disregard direct votes for Independent artists and insert their own major label artists. Those are the new rules. It is the major label bosses who have once again “gamed” the system, not Linda Chorney… who you have libeled by again spreading the MYTH like a good sheep.

    If you had an ounce of journalistic integrity, you would do some digging, find the truth and apologize to Chorney. Why not start by watching Linda’s TED talk on YouTube, or read the Grammy rules. If you do, I’ll give you a trophy!

    • ScottFadynich

      Thank you Jim Berkenstadt.
      You are a true hero to all the honest independents creators all over the world. Your perspective as noted music historian with a solid footing in the legal world is refreshing.
      As far as I know the writer of this “Click Bait” article has never reached out to Linda Chorney for the true side to the story, and from the way it reads he has never visited the Recording Academy’s “submission rules” pages, due diligence required to be an expert commentator .
      Jim also thanks for the laugh and your brilliant writing style.

  8. DanCallMusic / THE VILLAINS

    Paul, why don’t you just go ahead and blow Drake now and get it over with? But before you do, you need to apologize to Linda Chorney for your ridiculously mis-informed ‘reporting’ on how she supposedly ‘gamed’ the Grammy system. Sorry she didn’t have 15 producers and ghost writers making her nominated record like Drake, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and the rest of their ilk do but she did the best she could with what she had *sarcasm included, no charge*.

    In a shameless bit of self promotion, would love for you to check out my bands ‘gamed’ Grammy entry in the Pop Vocal Album category, THE VILLAINS ‘One More Time’. If it is honored with a nomination nod, would love your consideration and your time is appreciated. Was produced, written, and recorded by just little ole me but hopefully you’ll look past that. Here’s a listening link:


    How’s that for ‘gaming’?

  9. Kat

    Very very offensive to throw Linda Chorney under the bus at the end of your article. I feel an apology is in order and might be appreciated if you remove the last paragraphs where you inaccurately discredit a dedicated hard working musician who does not deserve to be slammed time and time again. Do the Right thing and stop this continuation of false accusations.