By Danielle Racicot:
The Grammys are a traditional music award night where the ceremony features performances by well-known artists. The Grammy awards recognize these artists achievements within the music industry. According to Grammy.com the first award ceremony was on May 4th, 1959 to recognize artists music from 1958. Most recently was the 61st Annual Grammy Awards night held on February 10, 2019, honoring artists music from October 1st, 2017 to September 30, 2018.
At this most recent awards night, musician, Drake was awarded Best Rap Song for his new hit “God’s Plan”. According to IMDb, Drake has won 161 awards from 532 nominations. Drake is no stranger to the Grammys and definitely not shy when giving his own opinion about them.
In the video below you can see Drake’s acceptance speech discussed how he views the Grammys to be falsely handing out awards not based off of someones actual talent, but rather their popularity.
Drake emphasized in the video,
“All my peers that make music from their heart that do things pure and tell the truth, I wanna let you know we’re playing in an opinion-based sport not a factual-based sport….This is a business where sometimes it’s up to a bunch of people who might not understand what a mixed race kid from Canada has to say or a fly Spanish girl from New York or anybody else, or a brother from Houston…”
So what does Drake mean by it’s a business and not based off of actual performance? According to the Recording Academy, only Recording Academy voting members are eligible to vote for the Grammy Award winners. This means that Grammy winners are determined by the artists’, musicians’ and songwriters in the academy. Therefore, Drake was explaining these people who are voting don’t always understand artists music and the work they put in to their songs, specifically mentioning mixed races and Spanish people.
Drake wasn’t the only artist to ever criticize the Grammy Awards for being more prone to giving out the popular award, rather than the deserving award. There have been numerous boycotts and other artists who have turned down this award. According to bet.com, in 2004, 50 Cent stated he’d never go back to the Grammy Awards in his career, citing the fact that Evanescence won Best New Artist in a year where he commercially was on top of the world. This alludes towards Drake’s idea of popularity versus hard-working singers.
Drake wanted to end his speech on a high note, giving advice to younger singers who are trying to make it in this industry. He wanted every young singer, whether there mixed race, Spanish or another ethnicity, to understand the importance of fans. He claimed if people are singing your songs and remembering the lyrics, you’ve already won. The end of Drake’s speech said,
“But my point is you’ve already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you, you already won.”