Drake withdrew his Grammy nominations for 2022
A representative for the Recording Academy confirmed to Variety that Drake has withdrawn his two Grammy nominations for 2022. Reps for Drake did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to our source, Drake and his management made the choice, and the Grammys fulfilled the request, albeit his rationale remained unknown at the time of publishing.
Drake was one of five candidates for Best Rap Album for “Certified Lover Boy,” as well as Best Rap Performance for “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug).
Rather than awarding a nomination to the person who received the sixth-most votes, as the Academy did when it abruptly decided to expand the top four categories from eight to ten last month,
voting for those two rap categories will continue with only four nominees, presumably because the voting period has already begun; Grammy ballots were distributed to voting members on Monday morning.
Grammy nominations must be filed by a representative, generally the artist’s record company, and if an artist does not wish for their song to be considered, the label simply does not submit it.
It’s possible that removing a nomination at this late stage — after it’s been filed and published, let alone on the day the ballots are released — is unusual.
Drake’s nominations, on the other hand, were uncommon.
While it is unclear whether he chose not to submit the blockbuster “Certified Lover Boy” or any of its songs for the big categories — Album, Song, or Record of the Year — his absence from any of those categories on even the preliminary ballot distributed to voters, which includes thousands of releases, suggests that he did not.
He certainly chose to apply for — and was nominated for — the two rap categories from which he has withdrawn.
Some suspect that his choice was influenced by the fact that he was mentioned in lawsuits stemming from last month’s tragedy at the Astroworld event in Houston, where ten people died
after a crowd erupted during headliner Travis Scott’s set, which included a surprise appearance by Drake. Drake, on the other hand, is due to play alongside Kanye West at the “Free Larry Hoover” benefit event in Los Angeles on Thursday, making that explanation seem doubtful.
Drake has had a long and often strained history with the Grammys.
After failing to honor his colleague and fellow Canadian musician the Weeknd in any of its 2021 categories, despite having one of the top albums and songs of 2020, he asked for them to be
replaced with “something fresh that we can build up through time and pass on to the generations to come” a year ago.
“I think we should stop being surprised every year by the disparity between meaningful music and these awards and just accept that what formerly was the greatest form of acknowledgment may no longer be important to the artists who exist today and those who come after,” he stated on his Instagram Story.
“It’s like a relative you keep expecting to alter their ways, but they simply won’t,” I claimed the other day that @theweeknd was a lock for album or song of the year, along with a slew of other logical assumptions, and it simply never works out that way.
This is an excellent opportunity for someone to start something fresh that we can build on over time and pass down to future generations.”
In 2017, he refused to submit his album “More Life” for any 2018 Grammy awards, despite the fact that it qualified; the controversy surrounding that year’s ceremony grew as Jay-Z received no prizes while being nominated for eight.
Drake also mocked the Grammys during his victory speech for “God’s Plan,” which won Best Rap Song in 2019. The organizers of the awards presentation shut off his microphone when he said that honors have no meaning.
“We play an opinionated sport, not a factual sport,” he explained. “You’ve already won if people are singing your songs word for word in your hometown.” You’re already ahead; you don’t need this right now.”
However, in the aftermath of years of accusations of insider dealings and self-interest, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. has made a strong and deliberate effort to revamp some
Academy procedures and employees and effectively clean up the organization’s act.
The Academy revealed only weeks after the 2021 awards that it was disbanding the “secret” nomination-review panels that had selected the final list of candidates for decades.
And, while some were outraged when the Academy unexpectedly increased the number of candidates for Best Album, Song, Record, and New Artist from eight to
ten last month, Mason argued it was a long-planned decision that Academy executives and board members saw an opportunity
to finalize (although some suggest it was done to ensure that Taylor Swift, who had no other 2022 nominations, got one).