The 2018 Grammy nominations have opened up the gates for debates. From snubs to surprise contenders, everything seems to be a talking point for music enthusiasts and its critics.
On Tuesday (Nov. 28) VIBE’s editor-in-chief Datwon Thomas discussed with Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham the importance of the two rap titans and what they mean to the young listeners of today.
“They get a chance to speak to those who aren’t heard,” Thomas said. “These are the voices that are there for us. JAY-Z is one who’s made it from the streets to the stock market to the boardrooms and presidents of labels. You also have Kendrick, an incredible lyricist who’s on his well on his way to business. So these are actually really good icons to look up to.”
Ingraham then looked to the lyrics of “The Story of O.J.” and “Humble” to point out her view of rap’s negative influence on the mainstream. “The Story of O.J.” OK, this is nominated,” she said before reading the lyrics. “Light n-word”, I can’t say the word, I’m not saying the word. “Light n-word, dark n-word, faux n-word, real n-word, rich n-word, poor n-word, house n-word, field n-word.”
“It’s unfortunate that you guys picked those particular lines and not the supportive lyrics that they also put out,” Thomas replied. “The JAY-Z lines are what we’re actually speaking to [the reality of] now. No matter how far JAY-Z goes, how far he achieves in the mainstream’s eyes, he’s always going to be looked at as what he was saying. This is a creative license and they’re able to do that; from bar to bar from verse to verse.”
He continued by pressing the importance of how the lyrics are more than just bullet points for the naysayers.
“You have to take in the whole project, not bits and pieces that work into your agenda,” he said. “The Grammy board must think highly of these individuals because they’re nominated in record numbers.”
Hov scored the most nominations with eight, while Kendrick followed close with seven. Both artists are up for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
Watch the full interview above.