Word up HNHH viewers, the Grammys were on last night, and even if you missed it, you can catch all the relevant performances here.
So let's just take a minute to discuss the lack of love showed to my favourite genre, obviously, hip-hop. What the fuck. How did Bon Iver win Artist of the Year? I like Bon Iver, I mean, I used to be into his shit a while back...I really didn't think he was a new artist. Besides for that though, he beat out Nicki Minaj and J. Cole? Nicki Minaj can definitely be offensive, even her performance at the Grammys was fucking weird and not something I really enjoyed; so maybe her weirdness was to her disadvantage, but J. Cole?! J. Cole is hardly offensive and he is fucking real! On top of this, he has a story, he is definitely a new and fresh artist, and he is only getting bigger.
As DJ Rockstar and I discussed the Grammys this morning we reminisced on past hip-hop MCs that were snubbed in the Best New Artist category, and in general at the Grammy Awards . At last year's Grammys, for example, some artist called Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist. At least I've heard of Bon Iver. Who da fuck is Esperanza? She beat out Justin Beiber. And Drake. Man, Justin Beiber is fucking huge now. (Drake is too). Don't get me wrong, I strongly dislike Justin Beiber. I just find this shit surprising. And where is Esperanza now? WHERE?!
Hip-hop is probably used to being snubbed by the Grammys though. It was only in 1989 that the Grammy Awards actually decided to introduce a category for rap, with Best Rap Performance. This was after hip-hop become a little more mainstream-- the success of Run DMC, Def Jam getting bigger etc. More awards have been added to the rap category over the years, but still, the hip-hop community is often left feeling slighted after the Awards show is over, and I feel like this year is no different.
Even though there are categories set for rap (five in total), rap is often neglected from the mainstream categories, like Best New Artist, but also Record of the Year, or Album of the Year. This year Kanye's album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was not even a nominee for Album of the Year, yet Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans was nominated. How is Bruno Mars more reputable than Kanye West? Can someone please tell me if Doo-Wops & Hooligans was better than MBDTWF? I just refuse to believe that is possible. Adele, who is embraced by the hip-hop community, actually won Album of the Year for 21 (and pretty much every other award) so maybe we can be happy that an artist who is loved by hip-hop, and who has soul roots won; or we can be happy that Bruno Mars didn't win.
Nonetheless, Kanye brought home the awards last night. Although 'Ye was forgotten in the mainstream categories, in the rap categories... he won everything! It seems that even in the rap categories though, it's always Jay-Z, Kanye or Eminem who win shit. These are artists who are established in the game (but not just established-- still running it), and are known for changing the game in some way. I guess that's what it takes for a hip-hop artist to win.
Read the full list of nominees and winners here.