Does anyone have anything nice to say about the Grammys lately? It seems that all the buzz surrounding this year’s awards, which air on March 14, 2021, is centered around snubs and backlash. The Weeknd, for instance, said on March 11 that he’s boycotting the show forever and will not allow his label to submit his music to the Grammys for consideration anymore. The rapper has had beef with the Recording Academy ever since his album “After Hours” was totally shut out, which puzzled many due to the massive success of his songs from the project including “Blinding Lights,” which broke Billboard records. After nominations were announced and his name was nowhere to be found, The Weeknd, who previously won three Grammys, lashed out on social media. “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” he wrote. Keep reading to see who else has taken issue with the Grammys in recent days…
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Justin Bieber is up for four Grammys in 2021, but he’s not happy… and he’s reportedly decided to not attend due to his frustration. What’s he mad at? He’s upset that his album “Changes” was nominated for best pop album rather than best R&B album. In November 2020 when nominations were announced, Justin complained about the grouping. “I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said, I set out to make an R&B album,” he said on Instagram. “‘Changes’ was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me.”
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In September 2020, Kanye West showed what he thought of the Recording Academy’s annual prizes when he posted a video of himself urinating on a Grammy… one of 21 gramophone trophies he’s won over the years.
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Halsey has had issues with the Grammys for years and once claimed that nominations are the result of “bribes.” Back in 2019, her “Manic” album was snubbed. She responded on social media, “The Grammys are an elusive process. It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes.'” Then, in 2020, her massive hit “Without Me,” which went platinum, was snubbed. That only added to her anger and frustration.
Nicki Minaj has yet to take home a Grammy trophy, despite earning 10 nominations since 2011. She’s hinted that the Recording Academy voting process is racist. In November 2020, she tweeted, “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on Billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver.”
Drake, a four-time Grammy winner and 47-time nominee, took issue with the Recording Academy while backing The Weeknd, who was snubbed in 2021. “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 [who] exist now and the ones [who] come after,” Drake wrote on Instagram. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up, but they just can’t change their ways.” Drake even suggested that an alternative award show should be created.
Teyana Taylor dropped “The Album” on Juneteenth 2020 and it became her first top 10 entry on the Billboard 200. Many people, including the artist herself, thought she was a shoo-in for at least at a nomination for best R&B album. She was not. In fact, no women were nominated in the category ahead of the 2021 Grammys ceremony, despite critically acclaimed albums from Brandy, Summer Walker, Kehlani and Jhené Aiko. “Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM,” Teyana tweeted afterward.
Zayn Malik’s beef with the Grammys is rather interesting. On March 9, 2021, the singer blasted the Recording Academy seemingly out of nowhere. “F*** the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations,” he tweeted. “Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.” Many assumed Zayn’s issue stemmed from the fact that his newest album, “Nobody Is Listening,” wasn’t nominated. However, Zayn’s album missed the cutoff for Grammy consideration by a few months. His album will be eligible for prizes at the 2022 ceremony — but whether he wants to be nominated is another question.
50 Cent thinks the Grammys are “out of touch.” The rapper made his feelings known after the 2021 nominations for best rap album were announced. Many assumed that 50 was upset that the late rapper Pop Smoke’s “Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon” album wasn’t nominated. (Pop, however, was nominated for best rap performance for “Dior.”) Prior to the noms, 50 told Spotify’s “RapCaviar” why he expected Pop to be snubbed. “If it’s recognized it will only be because he’s gone,” 50 said. “The content is similar to what I would do. They didn’t recognize mine. They gave me Grammys when I was with Em, when I’m on records with Eminem. Other than that, they’re afraid to give him Grammys because they think it’s teaching the audience to want to be like Pop and to be like him is to be part of gang culture. Who you see get Grammys that is making drill music? You mean to tell me ain’t none of those songs worthy of it?”
In 2020, Pubic Enemy frontman Chuck D blasted the Grammys after it ousted CEO Deborah Dugan. The way Chuck (and many others) saw it, Deborah wanted to make serious changes at the Recording Academy. Keep in mind that Public Enemy was being given a lifetime achievement award. “I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change,” he wrote on Instagram. “As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up… They want to keep it status quo…” He added, “Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line. But it was obvious [Deborah] was having her own struggles with an academy that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992 yet want to give us a lifetime achievement award without acknowledging a lifetime of work. We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award… I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive…”
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