Rap Still Under Wraps
This past Sunday was the annual Grammy Awards and as usual, a rap artist did not win Album of the Year. Nominees for the award were Eminem, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum, and Katy Perry. After seeing that list I thought that Eminem had it easily. According to the article Eminem’s Loss Shows Grammys Still Behind On Rap written by Nekesa Mumbi Moody, only two rap artists have ever won Album of the Year who were OutKast and Lauryn Hill. This is the 3rd time in Eminem’s 12 year career that he has been up for album of the year and lost. More shocking, Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories have never gone to a rap artist.
But why is this? Rap is one of the most popular genres of music and yet does not seem to do well at the Grammys. Even though there are categories now only for rap artists, it was not always this way. It took years for the Grammys to televise the rap categories, causing many artists to boycott the show. Rap is now an integral part of the Grammys; it has many categories for itself and rap artists perform each year. But, the artists only seem to win categories set aside strictly for rap. For example, Eminem has 13 Grammys but all have been in rap categories. Jay-Z has 10; all have been in a rap category except one. Kanye West has 14 and yet, has not won a single one outside of rap.
This shows that the Recording Academy is still resistant to considering rap an important part of music. The Grammys have yet to perfect equally integrating all genres of music into the Grammys and allowing rap to take the spotlight. The 2011 Grammys seemed to be all about country with Lady Antebellum taking home 4 awards, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. I absolutely believe that there is bias within the Recording Academy because the pattern seems to be consistent; rap is not taking home any major out of category awards. At the next Grammys, the Academy needs to let the artists who deserve to win take home the coveted golden trophy.