The Canadian rap superstar was up for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance at the 64th annual Grammy Awards next month.
The Recording Academy has submitted to Drake’s request to have his nominations for the 2022 Grammy Awards withdrawn. The superstar rapper/singer did not give a reason for the decision.
Drake was nominated for two Grammys next month, specifically Best Rap Album for Certified Lover Boy and Best Rap Performance for “Way 2 Sexy,” his Billboard 100-topping collaboration with Future and Young Thug. The ceremonies are set for Jan. 28, 2022, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
He rap superstar and his management made the request to have his nominations removed, as reported by Variety.
This type of withdrawal from the Grammys may be unprecedented, particularly so late in the awarding process. The eligibility period for Grammy consideration this year was from Sept. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021. During that time, the musical product must be released. An artist’s label or representative must then submit the project for nomination consideration. Should an artist chose not to be considered, all their label has to do is not submit.
With the Grammys now just over a month away, final-round voting for members commenced on Monday. The Grammys will keep the two categories in which Drake is nominated at only four nominees. The Recording Academy is electing not to replace him with the artist who earned the sixth most votes, as it did when the General Field categories expanded from eight nominees to 10.
As it now stands, the nominees for Best Rap Album are Kanye West’s Donda, J. Cole‘s The Off Season, Nas’ King’s Disease II and Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You’re Lost. The Best Rap Performance nominees are Cardi B’s “Up,” Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s “Family Ties,” J.Cole’s “My Life” featuring 21 Savage & Morray, and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Sh-t.” The Grammy website has already made the update.
If Drake doesn't want to have anything to do with the Grammys, that's fine. But if that's the case, he shouldn't submit his work.
Those spots could have gone to rap musicians whose lives and careers would have been changed by being nominated. Now, they're wasted. https://t.co/slKMRYOLgg
— Hugh McIntyre (@PopBangHugh) December 6, 2021
Although Drake’s official reason for withdrawing can only be speculated on for now, it’s no secret that his dealings with the Grammys have been less than enthusiastic over the years. While he’s a four-time Grammy-Award winner, he has not held back on his criticisms of the award show and its nomination process.
The Weeknd, a frequent collaborator with Drake and a fellow Canadian, was snubbed in 2020 despite having unprecedented success with his “Blinding Lights” single. Drake took to his Instagram Stories to vent about how the Grammys need to revamp the voting process, particularly pointing out how the Recording Academy has been notorious for snubbing Black artists.
“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 who come after,” he wrote.
In 2017, he opted not to submit his release, More Life, for 2018 Grammy consideration despite it going double platinum with three Top 10 Billboard 100 singles: “Fake Love,” ″Passionfruit” and “Portland.” When Drake did win a Best Rap Song Grammy in 2019 for “God’s Plan,” he boldly downplayed the validity of award shows like the Grammys during his televised acceptance speech.
“We play an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” Drake said. “You already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if they’re singing in your hometown. You’re already winning, you don’t need this right here.”