Much to his consternation, Kanye West has never won the Grammy for Album of the Year … which is why we can’t even begin to imagine how he feels about the Best Recording Package award. After all, he’s never even been nominated for that one.
True, Watch The Throne did pick up a nod a few Grammys ago, but it was ’Ye’s creative partner Virgil Abloh who scored the honor (according to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the award is given out to art directors) … and, really, it’s not like it matters, since WTT lost Best Recording Package to the Arcade Fire’s Scenes from the Suburbs deluxe edition, anyway.
So, to date, the award has eluded him, a trend that seems certain to continue with his brand-new Yeezus album … especially since its packaging consists of little more than a clear CD jewel box, a strategically placed piece of tape, and a single sticker affixed to the back cover. But, that may not actually be the case, because according to Academy guidelines, as long as it’s submitted for Grammy consideration, Yeezus is more than eligible for Best Recording Package, provided “the package is the standard commercial version that is nationally distributed for sale.”
Basically, that means that as long as all the copies of Yeezus in stores are the same — and, as far as we can tell, they are — then the album could finally bring West his first Recording Package Grammy. And it would truly be his: according to a spokesperson (whom we had to contact since the full Yeezus credits have yet to be posted on Kanye’s official site), West is credited with the design of the album’s packaging.
Per the Recording Academy, the Best Recording Package award was established to “recognize excellence in packaging for work on classical or non-classical albums and singles released for the first time during the eligibility year.” One category is for standard format — jewel cases, digipaks, LPs — while a second is handed out for boxed sets, special packages and limited-edition packages. Recent winners of the former category include Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney’s brother, Dan, for the group’s Brothers album, Metallica (yes, they apparently designed it) for Death Magnetic and Adam Jones for Tool’s 10,000 Days.