The Grammys weren’t all that hip this year, at least in the eyes of one of hip-hop’s big dogs. Although his peers P. Diddy, Eve, Lil’ Kim, Nelly and Missy Elliott were attending to perform, present or compete for one of those golden record players, Jay-Z continued his boycott of the ceremony.
“I didn’t think they gave the rightful respect to hip-hop,” Jay told MTV News earlier this month, explaining why he has avoided the awards show since 1999 despite several nominations and a win for Best Rap Album.
“It started that they didn’t nominate DMX that year,” he said. “DMX had an incredible album. He didn’t get a nomination. I was like, ‘Nah, that’s
Rappers have never had a love affair with the Grammys. The same year Jay started his boycott, Eminem, who won for Best New Artist, simply blew off attending the show. A decade earlier, artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (the first hip-hop act to win a Grammy), Kid ‘N Play and Salt-n-Pepa boycotted because the rap category was not televised.
“What I really wanted to accomplish is, next year, or two years from now, the rappers would be able to have what I didn’t have,” Will Smith explained in ’89.
Fat Joe says little has changed.
“I remember one year, we went there when [Big] Pun was nominated for a Grammy,” Joe said. “And when we got there, we walked the red carpet with the suits and everything and we didn’t even hear the category. They were like, ‘They announced it earlier; they had a winner.’ I don’t think they acknowledge hip-hop for being the true art form that it is.”
“I did go when I was nominated for a Grammy in ’96,” Nas said, “just to see what it was like. I didn’t expect to win, but I had to go because the environment was real serious, so I went to see what that was like. After you do it you get it out of your system. You keep it moving. If I would’ve won that day, I’d still feel the same right now. I’m cool. I support the people who boycott because to turn my back on them wouldn’t be right either. I wouldn’t do it, ’cause I don’t feel the need to even give them that much attention.”
A few weeks ago, when it was still up in the air whether Jay would attend, his friend P. Diddy said he didn’t think a boycott was necessary.
“I think he should show up,” Diddy said. “He’s basically made his position felt. They recognized, and now it’s up to us to make sure we’re seen in a proper light at the Grammys.”
Obviously, Jay was not convinced. He did concede that the Grammy committee’s voting was on point, though, when it came to the hip-hop categories, saying they had improved “100 percent.” However, he did have one major concern.
“I really wanna see how they do as far as televising the [hip-hop] awards,” he said.
This year, three of the four rap awards were handed out before the telecast. Outkast won Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Ms. Jackson,” Elliot took home the Best Rap Solo Performance award for “Get Ur Freak On,” and Eve and Gwen Stefani earned the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration honor for “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.”
For a list of Grammy winners, click here.
For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive .