What Will Sunday’s Grammys Mean for Hip-Hop

The Grammys will be airing this Sunday and like every year Hip-Hop will not be represented the way we feel it should. Some of this year’s nominations are as followed

Iggy Azalea was nominated for Best New Artist and her “Fancy” single featuring Charli XCX is up for Record of the Year.

Childish Gambino, Drake, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Lecrae were nominated in the Best Rap Performance category for “3005,” “0 To 100 / The Catch Up,” “Rap God,” “I” and “All I Need Is You,” respectively.

The nominees for Best Rap Album are Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic, Childish Gambino’s because the internet, Common Nobody’s Smiling, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP2, ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron and Wiz Khalifa’s Blacc Hollywood.

On Sunday, Iggy will vie for four Grammys, including best rap album, for her debut, “The New Classic.” Few artists had a bigger year than Azalea, especially with her inescapable single, “Fancy,” with Charli XCX. If, as many observers expect, she claims the award, she’ll be the first woman, as a solo act, to win that category. (Lauryn Hill was a member of the Fugees when their album “The Score” won in 1997.) And that exasperates those who believe Azalea owes her fast success to being an attractive, blonde white woman. Jay Cole took to his album “Forst Hills Drive” and voiced his opinion on “Fire Squad” saying

“While silly  argue over who gon’ snatch the crown

Look around, my  white people have snatched the sound

This year I’ll prolly go to the awards dappered down

Watch Iggy win a Grammy, as I try to crack a smile”

 When asked by MTV News to envision rap’s future, J. Cole said, “I fast forward 20, 30 years from now, and I see hip-hop being completely white.” For a community robbed, to use Macklemore’s word, of so much for so long, this isn’t just hyperbole. Even if J. Cole’s whitewashed hip-hop dystopia seems unlikely now, it encapsulates the rising anxieties of black hip-hop artists that fear they may someday be smudged out of the cultural phenomenon they create.

Ever since Macklemore and his musical partner Ryan Lewis won four Grammys last year, including best rap album, rap song, and rap performance, he’s been compelled to say that, as a white man, he knows he must tread respectfully in a genre created by, and still dominated, by African-Americans.





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