Back in October, long before awards season, Drake decided to liven up one weekend by hosting his own "Hood Grammys" on Instagram, handing out virtual gongs and the all-powerful Drake co-sign to the likes of Rae Sremmurd, Bobby Shmurda, and iLoveMakonnen. He prefaced his awards with a brief speech, in the form of a caption: "haaaaa Grammys need to have a rap year. Run it up." He's got a point: not that we need a gimmicky, one-off homage to hip-hop per se, but that the Grammys are still as out of touch as they've ever been—and just as white.
It's been 26 years since Chuck D rapped Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy?, and those flickers of discontent have kept on simmering. Last week, the nominees for the 57th round of the awards were announced to a chorus of zzz. Sure, Drake and iLoveMakonnen bagged nominations for SoundCloud loosies "0 to 100" (Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song) and "Tuesday" (Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration). But elsewhere, the same old problems were glaringly obvious. Below, I've compiled what's essentially a list of factual observations about the Grammys' nominations: extrapolation is barely even necessary to see that these details add up to an annual event that's hopelessly out of date with both the music industry and the world. It's one glaring example of how hip-hop artists—and black artists in particular—are still excluded from an upper echelon of the industry, right there in front of you.