10 Times The Grammy Awards Did Hip-Hop Justice

Features

Labeled as Music’s Biggest Night, the 59th Annual Grammy Awards takes place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb 12). The annual celebration of the best artists, songs, and visuals in music over the past year has some big hip-hop categories this year — in terms of the nominees — and has been the talk of our office.

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While all genres will be represented and acknowledged, VIBE is keeping a particular eye on the rap stars who garnered nominations. With names like Drake, Chance the Rapper, and Anderson .Paak scoring nods in three of the four major categories, hip-hop has yet another chance to rise to the occasion and compete against the best in all of music. It’s an opportunity which hasn’t always been afforded to the culture in the past.

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Hip-Hop and the Grammy’s relationship with one another is a checkered one that started off on the wrong foot in 1989 when the award show refused to televise the first award presentation for the Best Rap Song award, leading to winners DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince to boycott the ceremony. Although the Grammy committee would right that wrong, it was just the first of many instances in which the Grammys were not as respectful to hip-hop culture, its music, or their artists. All the missteps lead to a decade filled with snubs and a lack of representation throughout the ’90s. This was particularly painful when it comes to the four major awards presented: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

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However, over the years, the Grammy committee has slowly, but surely, come around to hip-hop, which has reflected in a few of our brightest stars making history. More recently, hip-hoppers have beat out some of the biggest acts in all of music. With the show around the corner, we’ve decided to highlight 10 instances which the Grammy committee actually got it right and gave our artists and producers their just due.