Grammy’s Can Never Get It Right


Image courtesy of Complex

Gregory Shepherd, Staff Writer

Breakout artist Cardi B received a Grammy award for best rap album of the year last Sunday. The rapper’s hit-filled album “Invasion of Privacy” beat out a star-studded nominee list that included Pusha T’s “DAYTONA,” Travis Scott’s “Astroworld,” Nipsey Hussle’s “Victory Lap” and Mac Miller’s “Swimming.”

As an enthusiast of rap music, this category is the only category that matters within the Grammy nomination, and the result left me confused.

The winners of the rap album of the year category remain inconsistent year after year.

In 2016, Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” won over Drake’s fan-favorite trap album, “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late.” At the time this surprised many fans since Drake’s album was better received and the replay value outlasted Lamar’s album.

In another instance back in 2014, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist”  shockingly beat out Lamar’s album “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” in one of the worst snubs in the category’s history. My confusion lies in what is the true definition of “the best rap album?” It’s unclear what consistent qualities voters look for in each nomination when the qualities to look for are really simple. Whatever album contains exceptional use of lyrics while appropriately upholding the music aspect that embodies the current state rap culture should win.

Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” is a great album that launched her career. With hits like “Bodak Yellow,” “I Like It” and “Be Careful,” she deserved a Grammy nomination, just in a different category.

“Invasion of Privacy” belonged in the best pop album category. To a casual listener, “Invasion of Privacy” is clearly a rap album because Cardi is “rapping” on it, which isn’t exactly true. The technicalities may be far too meticulous to go through, but in short the content and her core fan base come from the genre of pop. I know this because my 70-year-old grandma, who only listens to music on her radio, was well aware of “Bodak Yellow.” Ask any type of rap fan if they’ve been bumpin’ “Invasion of Privacy” and I’ll tell you their answer is going to be no. With respect for Cardi B, having her album reach platinum certification before it was  technically released reaches far past the limitations of being classified only as best rap album of the year.

Pusha T’s “DAYTONA” was the album that really should have received the award. As most rap fans know, Pusha T is an elite lyricist that didn’t hold back on his latest album, and tracks such as “If You Know You Know” and “The Games We Play” showed just that. The album’s production complimented Pusha T’s flows with help from one of the genres most influential producers, Kanye West. The simple yet addictive production on tracks “Santeria” and “What Would Meek Do?” really lifted the already impressive rapping from Pusha. “DAYTONA” even had a song called “Infared” that would later ignite one of the most memorable “rap beefs” with the biggest artist in the genre, Drake.

Congratulations Cardi, but Push should have gotten this one.