The 2017 Grammy Nominees for best rap performance are…
- “No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
- “Panda” — Desiigner
- “Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
- “All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana
- “That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West
Yes you’re seeing that correctly. The guy who says “Panda” 500 times for three and a half minutes straight in a song is nominated for a Grammy along with every other artist you probably already anticipated.
So why does this happen? How is it that every year, when Grammy season is upon us, any learned rap fan can channel their inner-Nostradamus and predict almost every single nominee in the rap categories?
There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because of your incredible gift of seeing into to the future.
Let’s call the Grammy’s exactly what it is. It’s the Westminster Dog show, where the labels are the handlers, the artists are the dogs, the Grammy committee are the judges and you’re the audience. It’s all a big show where the winners with the most money take home the biggest prizes.
Leading up to the Grammy nominations, all these artist’s “handlers” produce huge promotions, giveaways and marketing campaigns around Los Angeles to schmooze and influence as many awards committee members as possible. Parties with free gifts, visits from the artists themselves, paid vacations, billboards and payola are only a few things these businesses create to influence the “committee” judges. This is why you’ll never see less popular artists winning awards in popular categories on the sheer merit of talent and true creativity. Because unless an artist has some major coin to “buy in” or a kick ass marketing team (which means you need even more money), they’re not going to be accepting any awards presented by Jay-Z any time soon.
This awards show game is all about who has the deepest pockets and the most effective marketing team, not to mention the artist who seems to be the biggest sweetheart at the time.
Let’s have a look at the nominees and who backs them financially:
- Desiigner backed financially by GOOD/Def Jam
- Drake backed financially by Universal
- Fat Joe backed financially by RNG/Empire
- Schoolboy Q backed financially by TDE/Interscope
- Chance the Rapper backed financially by ???
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Chance the Rapper is independent, he has no record label! Gotcha!” And you’re partially correct. While he has no official record deal, Chance does have an exclusive deal with a little $700 billion dollar company that goes by the name of Apple Inc. And if you don’t think Apple doesn’t stand to benefit from having a Grammy nominated/winning artist who exclusively sells his current album through them, you should probably get back to waiting for that Jay Electronica album to drop.
So the next time you find yourself wondering, “how the hell did these guys Big Weedsack, Lil Boaty and Young Assbag get nominated for a Grammy?” Look no further than the businesses that support the nominees.
I know, we love to think these shows are pure, and fair. The Grammy’s is an awards ceremony icon that represents a LOT of money in the music industry and all the giant record companies stand to make (or lose) a LOT of money on their investments (the artists) based on the outcome of these shows.
So the next time you’re watching any of these awards shows on tv or YouTube, and find yourself wondering, “Why is this guy named after a boat getting an award for artist of the year?” look no further than the record label that employs him.