In A Historic First, Drake Pulls Two Nominations From Grammy Awards

The “Way To Sexy” singer will no longer be in the running for the Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance categories for this year’s Grammy Awards.

Getty Credit: Jerritt Clark / Contributor

Drake and his management team have announced hat the rapper is officially withdrawing his album, “Certified Lover Boy,” from the list of 2022 Grammy nominations — an unprecedented move in the history of the music awards show.

Initially reported by Variety on Monday, the decision comes after Drake’s song, “Way 2 Sexy,” which features Future and Young Thug, was nominated for Best Rap Performance last month. The artist also earned a Best Rap Album nomination for “Certified Lover Boy.”

Since the voting period has already begun, The Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance categories will move forward with just four nominations each instead of six. The removal of the nomination at this stage of the voting process is unprecedented, given that Grammy nominations are submitted by artists’ record labels in advance.

 

Although Drake has yet to release a specific statement related to the decision, many fans are speculating that the withdrawal may be an act of protest against the Grammys current non-inclusive voting board.

During the nomination period for the 2021 Grammy’s, Drake’s friend and OVO label mate, The Weeknd (Abel Tesafye),was snubbed across all 2021 categories, despite the widespread success of his album “After Hours,” which accumulated 12.5 million certified album units and 83 million certified digital single units in the U.S. based on sales and on-demand streaming, making it number 1 on US Billboard 200 and the biggest first week sales of 2020 for an album at the time.


 

A general distaste with the Grammy’s lack of acknowledgement of Black artists has been growing among Black artists, an issue which Drake has been vocal about in the past. A year ago, the rapper advocated for the awards to be replaced with “something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”

During his 2019 Grammy Award speech for his single, “God's Plan,” Drake voiced his views about inequalities within the Grammy system and the subjectivity of voters, saying, “I wanna let you know we're playing in an opinion-based sport not a factual-based sport.”

Drake isn’t the only artist who has spoken up. In recent years, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West have all called out the Recording Academy’s failure to recognize the Black artists who have shaped culture and paved the way for generations of non-Black musical acts and genres.

For example, a rap album has not won the Album Of The Year award since 2004, when Outkast took home the award for “Speakerboxxx / The Love Below.”