Drake slammed the Grammys for its lack of recognition of hip-hop on Sunday night ahead of the ceremony. The rapper, who was not in attendance, took to his Instagram stories to remind his fellow artists that music’s big night is actually meaningless.
In the story, Drake shared a clip of himself at the 2019 Grammys, writing over it, “All you incredible artists remember this show isn’t the facts, it’s just the opinion of a group of people [whose names] are kept a secret (literally you can Google it). Congrats to anybody winning anything for hip hop but this show doesn’t dictate shit in our world.”
Drake has a long, contentious relationship with the Grammys and the Recording Academy. In 2020, after the Weeknd was snubbed during the nominations, Drake wrote on Instagram that there is “disconnect” between the Grammys and, well, music.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artists that exist now and the ones that come after,” Drake wrote. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways.”
He added, “This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”
In 2021, Drake withdraw his Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album for “Certified Lover Boy” and for Best Rap Performance for song “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug. The Recording Academy received a request from Drake and his management team to remove his nominations, and the Grammys obliged.
The last time Drake won a Grammy was 2019, when he picked up Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan,” and during his speech (which he included in last night’s Instagram story) he appeared to take several not-so-subtle jabs at the Recording Academy.
“We play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” Drake said. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown… Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending money to buy tickets to your shows, you don’t need this right here. You already won.”
Drake wasn’t the only one who spoke up about the Grammys’ treatment of hip-hop last night. During his acceptance speech for the Global Impact Award, Jay-Z took the opportunity to tear into the ceremony’s complicated history with hip-hop and Beyoncé consistently being snubbed in the major categories.
“Obviously it’s subjective because it’s music and it’s opinion-based. But you know, some things — you know, I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year,” the rapper said, gesturing to Beyoncé, who last year became the most awarded artist in Grammy Awards history with only one win in a Big Four category. “So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Some of you are gonna go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category. When I get nervous, I tell the truth.”
All of the rap awards at this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony were presented during the pre-show. It’s the first time since 2015 that at least one rap category was not presented during the main show.