The Recording Academy might open a lane for mixtapes at the Grammys.
Under the Recording Academy's current rules, music must be "commercially released" to be eligible for a Grammy nomination. This eligibility requirement does not reflect the current music climate, in which many projects are released for free, e.g. mixtapes.
But according to a report by the International Business Times, the Academy is open to adding a category that would honor free music. In an email to the IB Times, a spokesperson said that the Academy considers changes to its nomination process on an annual basis.
“The Grammy Awards process is fluid and, like music, continues to evolve,” the spokesperson wrote. “As a peer-voted award, the awards process is also peer-determined. Each spring, music creators in the community work with Recording Academy staff to prepare and submit proposals, which are then reviewed by the Board and announced shortly thereafter.”
This news comes after a new petition posted to Change.org called "Allow Free Music to be Eligible for Grammy Nomination" has raised over 30 thousand signatures as of Wednesday morning.
“Ridiculously talented artists who are releasing free mixtapes and projects are not getting the recognition they truly deserve,” wrote Max Krasowitz, who created the petition. "Artists like Chance the Rapper who are now getting national recognition and performing on national platforms are being punished for making their music available to everyone, rich or poor, by releasing their music for free."
Sign the petition here.