Rap and the Grammys


First Rap Category Grammy in 1989:

Reached by phone at his hotel room after he won the Grammy, Will Smith–the Fresh Prince of D. J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince–said he was “more than happy to accept it.” But, he added, “I’m not as happy as I could have been. . . . (The presentation not being televised) detracts from the excitement of the award.”

Smith, one of three nominees to boycott the ceremony, said he had no regrets about the action.

“Absolutely no second feelings. The way it happened was exactly the way I wanted it to happen.”

Smith also insisted he had no hard feelings toward Kool Moe Dee, a fellow nominee who didn’t participate in the boycott and who took over the presenter’s role (for R&B male vocal) that had been offered to Smith.

Said Smith, “Everybody to their own opinion.”

Kool Moe Dee, who used the televised slot to do a short rap portraying rap music as a positive influence, was critical of the boycott when meeting the press backstage.

“One management company started it and went to the papers and figured all the rappers would follow,” he said in reference to Rush Artist Management, which handles D. J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and fellow boycotters Salt-N-Pepa and L. L. Cool J.

“It was wrong. They were trying to turn it into a race thing. . . . I felt it was a negative move not to come to the Grammys–like crying over spilled milk.”

via GRAMMYS ’89 : Backstage Harmony: Talk About Rap and a Boycott Flap . . . – Los Angeles Times

Rap and R&B Category Grammys in 2013 (Hosted by LL Cool J):

The 55th GRAMMY Awards is still yet to hit the main stage, but the Rap and R&B awards were just given at the Pre-Telecast.


Best Rap Performance: Jay-Z & Kanye West – ‘N***as In Paris’

Best Rap Song: Jay-Z & Kanye West – ‘N***as In Paris’

Best Rap Album: Drake –Take Care

Best R&B Performance: Usher – ‘Climax’

Best Traditional R&B Performance: Beyonce – ‘Love On Top’

Best R&B Song: Miguel – ‘Adorn’

Best R&B Album: Robert Glasper –Black Radio

I’m not sure how none of these award categories are popular enough to put on TV, especially when the 1st five acts listed are music award mainstays for years now, but what do I know?