Editorial – The Recording Academy unveiled the 2021 Grammy Award nominations on Tuesday (November 24) and inadvertently sparked a heated debate across all social media platforms. Par for the course, some rap and R&B fans were outraged by some of the perceived oversights and took their opinions online.
i’m sorry after hours/blinding lights might just be the biggest grammy snub of the century. my GOD
— the voice of the american people (@marscuv) November 24, 2020
People were so upset The Weeknd received zero nominations for After Dark, he became a trending Twitter topic not long after the list was released. Even Kid Cudi had something to say about The Weeknd snub, tweeting, “Abel was robbed man this shit weak.”
But that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Fans pointed out Eminem also didn’t receive a single nomination for his January album Music To Be Murdered By and neither did Run The Jewels for their powerful LP Run The Jewels 4.
Below are 10 artists who fans believe should’ve received way more love for their musical endeavors over the past year.
The Canadian crooner released After Hours in March, which quickly shot to the top of the Billboard 200, selling over 444,000 copies in its opening week. The project was anchored by four singles — “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” “In Your Eyes” and “Save Your Tears” — all of which didn’t receive a single nomination. “Blinding Lights,” which came with a short film highlighting the dangers of drunk driving, also topped the Hot 100 upon its release.
Another No. 1 album, Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By arrived in January as another surprise, much like Kamikaze. The project reeled in roughly 279,000 total album equivalent units in its inaugural week, propelled by the previously released singles “Godzilla” featuring the late Juice WRLD and “Darkness.”
In the process, Slim Shady became the first artist to have 10 consecutive albums land at No. 1 and one of six artists to have released at least 10 No. 1 albums. Despite its accolades, the Recording Academy didn’t find it worthy of a nod, which wasn’t missed by his Stans.
Run The Jewels
Killer Mike and El-P of Run The Jewels arguably delivered one of 2020’s most potent and socially relevant projects, RTJ 4. But like Eminem, didn’t receive a single nomination. The 11-track album featured a mountain of politically conscious lyrics, most notably on the song “walking in the snow” which takes a raw look at the police killings of unarmed Black citizens.
The album dropped not long after the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor uprisings, making the album feel even more urgent. Coupled with guest spots from Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha, 2 Chainz, Pharrell Williams and Greg Nice, the album was a Hip Hop fan favorite — just not a Recording Academy favorite.
While it’s true Lil Baby picked up a pair of nominations in the Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance categories for “The Bigger Picture,” fans still think he was snubbed. They believe his album My Turn should’ve easily been voted into the Best Rap Album category alongside Nas’ King’s Disease, Royce Da 5’9’s The Allegory, Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist’s Alfredo, D Smoke’s Black Habits and Jay Electronica’s A Written Testimony.
The album dropped in February and resulted in Lil Baby’s first No. 1 Billboard 200 album, selling over 197,000 total album equivalent units in its first week. Quality Control CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas was also, uh, peeved and lashed out at the Recording Academy on Twitter, writing, “Whoever making the decisions at the Grammys ‘You all disconnected like a mf. you don’t speak for our culture. Congrats to all the nominees. #MyTurnAlbumOfTheYear.”
R&B singer Summer Walker was also missing from the 2021 Grammy nominations. The rising star, who recently graced the cover of Rolling Stone with Erykah Badu, released her debut album Over It in 2019 and followed up with Over It (Complete Set) earlier this month. The original version debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with over 134,000 total album equivalent units sold in its inaugural week.
Roddy Ricch had a massive year with the release of his single “The Box,” which came from his chart-topping album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial. The project spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and included one of the biggest singles of the year, the aforementioned “The Box.”
Even so, the album wasn’t nominated in either the Best Rap Album or Album of the Year categories — and his fans were pissed. But don’t feel too bad for the 22-year-old rapper, he collected nominations in six categories, including Song of the Year for “The Box” and Best Rap Song for “Rockstar.”
Pop Smoke, Mac Miller & Juice WRLD
Several posthumous albums arrived in 2019 and 2020 that were eligible for Grammys. Pop Smoke’s Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon, Mac Miller’s Circles and Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die were among them, but the Recording Academy didn’t find them worthy of any special recognition. Even crazier is the fact both Pop and Juice’s album were two of 2020’s biggest-selling albums and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
In an recent interview, 50 Cent — who executive produced Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon — predicted the project wouldn’t be nominated, explaining, “If it’s recognized it will because he’s gone … 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?”
Singer Teyana Taylor wasn’t afraid to let the world know how upset she was when the Grammy Award nominations were revealed. Her latest project, The Album, wasn’t nominated in the Best R&B Album category yet five male artists were, including John Legend and Gregory Porter. The exclusion and what she apparently sees as blatant misogyny prompted Taylor to tweet, “Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM cause all I see is dick in this category.”