H.eld O.ut from V.ictory: Jay-Z Headlines Snubs at 2018 Grammy Awards

New York’s own, rapper, Jay-Z shut out at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards despite eight nominations.


Jay-Z’s 13th studio album “4:44” garnered him eight nominations at this years Grammy Awards. The album was released on June 30, 2017 features 10 tracks, two of which were released as singles and three bonus tracks.

Jeff Lombardi Jr., Sports Editor

WAYNE, N.J.- The 60th rendition of the Grammy Awards saw the biggest night in the music industry take centerstage at Madison Square Garden, making its return to the Big Apple for the first time in 15 years.

American rapper and Brooklyn native, Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, had an industry leading eight nominations for his album “4:44” which became his 14th number one album to debut at the top of the United States Billboard 200. Carter, has been one of the most successful artists in the history of the Grammy Awards having been nominated for 74 awards while winning 21 since 1998, when he was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance (“Hard Knock Life”) and Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group (“Money Ain’t A Thing”), while taking home the honors for Best Rap Album for his work on “Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life.”

However, the “Empire State of Mind” artist, which helped him solidify the title as “The King of New York” went home empty handed this year after falling short on his nominations for Album of the Year, Best Rap Album (“4:44”), Record of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Music Video (“The Story of O.J.”), Song of the Year, Best Rap Performance, (“4:44” single) and Best Rap/Sung Performance with his wife, Beyoncé (“Family Feud”).

Family Affair: The 48-year old rapper (left) pictured with his 6 year-old daughter, Blue Ivy and wife Beyonce at the 60th Grammy Awards Sunday night. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS)

The awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Music Video and Best Rap Performance went to Kendrick Lamar for his album “Damn” and single “HUMBLE,” while Lamar was also awarded  Best Rap/Sung Performance along with Rihanna for their performance of the song, “Loyalty.”  Lamar also held the honor of opening the nights festivities performing his songs “XXX,” “DNA,” and verses from “New Freezer” and “King’s Dead.”

The most controversial of HOV’s defeats came when he was bested three times for a sweep of the top categories as the undisputed new “King of Pop,” Bruno Mars, was awarded Album of the Year for “24K Magic,” Record of the Year for the single of the same title and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like.”  

Jay-Z’s Grammy Awards “snub” brings up the on going debate of the last 30 or so years that rap music is, and continues to be under represented and rewarded.  In recent years, other big name rappers such as Drake and Kanye West, whose 21 Grammy Awards are tied with Carter for the most by a rapper, have boycotted the Grammy’s by choosing not to submit their work for nomination and blow off the event all together. Jay-Z himself was absent from the ceremonies from 2000-2003, which included missing out on receiving his previously mentioned award for Best Rap Album, due to the frustration of seeing fellow rapper, DMX go home empty handed following the 1999 awards.

Jay-Z performing at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA for the opening of his 4:44 tour in October. (Credit Rozette Rago/The New York Times)

Although this year saw three of the five albums nominated for Album of the Year fall under the Hip-Hop/rap genre (Jay-Z, “4:44,” Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN,” Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!”), only two rap albums have ever won the award, Lauryn Hill’s, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1999 and Outkast’s “The Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” in 2004.

Regardless of Jay-Z’s shutout at this year’s Grammy Awards, “4:44” should be remembered as a late-career, genius form of artistry, having earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and an 8.4/10 rating from Pitchfork, the third highest rating of any of his last eight solo albums trailing only “The Blueprint” (2001, 8.7/10) and “American Gangster” (2007, 8.6/10).

The following music video for Jay-Z’s Best Music Video nominee, “The Story of O.J.” contains explicit content and provoking imagery. Parental guidance is advised.