The Grammy Awards have always had a rather turbulent relationship with hip-hop. The awards ceremony only began to acknowledge rap albums in 1996 and they made a mistake of awarding Naughty By Nature’s Poverty Paradise over 2 Pac’s Me Against the World.
In 2014, the Grammy Awards received major criticism for awarding Macklemore’s The Heist over Kendrick Lamar’s hip-hop classic Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. More controversy occurred this year after it was announced that Iggy Azalea would be nominated in several rap categories.
DJ Drama has cemented his legacy in hip-hop and provides great insight on the culture. He recently took a moment to share his thoughts on the 2015 Grammy Awards and who should walk away with the top awards in the rap category.
The nominees for Best Rap Performance include Childish Gambino “3005,” Drake “0 to 100,” Eminem “Rap God,” Kendrick Lamar “I,” and Lecrae “All I Need is You.” Who do you think will win?
The Grammy for the best rap performance, it’s a real tight category. If I had to narrow it down, I would probably want to see it go to either Drake or Childish Gambino. Childish Gambino for “3005” and Drake for “0 to 100.” Clearly, “0 to100” had a huge impact in the clubs as well as on radio and on the charts; “3005” was a huge record as well. The category is strong. LeCrae is in it, in a lane of his own. Of course, Eminem is still a “Rap God.” But overall, Childish Gambino and Drake are my favorites.
Best Rap Album nominees include Iggy Azalea, Common, Eminem, Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa, and Schoolboy Q. Who should win in the category for Best Rap Album?
That’s another tough one. I’m gonna go with Childish Gambino again. If not Childish, then Wiz Khalifa with Blacc Hollywood. I just really like those guys. I like Schoolboy Q a lot too. I like Iggy too. I know a lot of people who are on her team. I think it would be good for her to win. But at the same time, because of the position she’s in right now, it could also be another Macklemore type of situation where the hip-hop community might feel a type of way. Some of it is unfair to her because of the space she’s in. If Iggy takes it, it’s definitely going to be a controversial decision.
If we took out social politics and focused only on the music, how does Iggy’s album stand up against the other rap albums in the Best Rap Album category?
I think Childish Gambino’s album was a better album than Iggy’s album. I think Schoolboy Q’s was a better album than Iggy’s album. But with the success that Iggy has, she definitely deserves to be in that category. Regardless of what a hip-hop purist would say, when we talk about Grammys, we’re talking about various levels here. I understand why she got nominated. I definitely don’t have any ill feelings or ill intent. I’ve known Iggy for a long time and I reached out to Iggy in 2011 on Twitter and began an initial conversation. I knew she was destined to blow. It comes with the territory, man. With success comes great responsibility.