After the announcement of the Grammy nominations for the year, The Weeknd posted on both Instagram and Twitter:
“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency…”
“Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!”
It is impossible to deny the success of The Weeknd’s album and songs such as Blinding Lights, which broke the record for the most weeks spent at the top of the Billboard’s all-format Radio Songs airplay chart.
Just last year, Tyler the Creator also called out the Grammys for his win in best rap album of the year. He felt that his album, Igor, was falsely categorized as rap and many other artists who look like him also frequently get thrown into the “urban” or “rap” categories based on the color of their skin and not the content of their music. The past two years especially have really brought to light the Grammys’ failure to recognize black artists and their work.
One of the most prominent moments of racism in the Grammys was back in 1989 when DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Jeff Townes and Will Smith) chose to boycott the Grammys after their award was given during the only non-televised portion of the show. This was not the last of the controversy surrounding the Grammys.
Following this year’s controversy, Nicki Minaj 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 have it to the white man Bon Iver.”
It seems as if every year, there is some controversy surrounding the award show and it begs the question: Is it time to stop recognizing these awards as an indicator of success?
After The Weeknd’s treatment from the award show this year, Drake posted on his Instagram story:
“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 not and the ones that come after.”
In addition to the prior message, Drake mentioned several artists of color that were snubbed by the Grammys this year, including Lil Baby, Pop Smoke, and Partynextdoor.
An artists’ worth is by no means determined by the number of awards they have received, but instead by the impact of their music. While The Weeknd was most definitely robbed of nominations for awards that he deserved, his music had a huge impact and was appreciated by many.