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Drake has Grammy nominations withdrawn

By | Published on Tuesday 7 December 2021


Drake has requested that his two Grammy nominations be withdrawn. He was up for Best Rap Performance for ‘Way 2 Sexy’ and Best Rap Album for ‘Certified Lover Boy’.

No official comment has been made on the matter, although both nominations have been removed from the lists on the Grammy Awards website. And Drake has been an outspoken critic of the awards in the past. When ‘Hotline Bling’ won Best Rap Song in 2017, he said: “‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song. The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black … it feels weird to me”.

Last year, amid much controversy about the nominations, Drake wrote on Instagram: “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 now and the ones that come after”.

He has also complained in the past about being nominated in (and winning) rap categories for music that did not feature any rapping. So, him finding himself represented only in rap categories again this year – and once again not appearing in any of the major multi-genre categories – seems likely to be the main reason for him not wanting to take part.

Drake is not the only artist to have Grammy nominations withdrawn since they were announced last month. Although it appears that he is the only one to have requested it. Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff and Annie Clark (aka St Vincent) are all down a nomination, having been removed from the list of songwriters on Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ album, which is up for Album Of The Year.

Swift, Antonoff and Clark were not directly involved in the making of ‘Sour’, but were subsequently given credit on the song ‘Deja Vu’, due to its similarities to Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’, which they did co-write.

Awards organisers explained that, under its rules, the writers of samples or interpolations are not included in Album Of The Year nominations, and therefore Swift, Antonoff and Clark had been included in error.

“Last week, we received the correct credits from the label that recognise Annie Clark, Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift as songwriters of an interpolation on the track, ‘Deja Vu””, said Grammy organiser the Recording Academy. “In keeping with current Grammy guidelines, as songwriters of an interpolated track, Clark, Antonoff and Swift are not nominees in the Album Of The Year category for ‘Sour'”.

Marilyn Manson, whose appearance in two nominations this year caused much controversy due to the ongoing sexual abuse accusations against him, also recently had his name taken off one.

He had been up for Best Rap Song for his involvement in Kanye West’s ‘Jail’. However, while he appears on the recording, he did not actually co-write the track, and so was taken off the list of nominees. He is, however, still listed as a nominee on West’s ‘Donda’ album in the Album Of The Year category.

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