The Heist: Debunking The Myth Of Macklemore's Grammy "Robbery"

Macklemore doesn't need to apologize for his Grammy win. The Grammy Committee uses an inherently flawed process, and Hip Hop has yet to create a credible alternative to honor its own culture.

Since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Sunday win over Kendrick Lamar for the Grammy’s “Best Rap Album” award, there has been no shortage of commentary. I suspect a number of “think pieces” have been written including the phrase “cultural appropriation.” America has had a problem candidly discussing race since it was “discovered,” so I’m all for some open dialogue on the matter. The problem is that we’re not really getting any. By and large, what’s flooding cyberspace is a bunch of half-assed rhetoric about how the “white guy who doesn’t even belong in Hip Hop” has “robbed” Kendrick Lamar.

If you’re looking for more of that here, feel free to redirect your browser to another site. Macklemore’s whiteness isn’t the sole driving reason he won the Grammy for “Best Rap Album,” although it’s a totally fair question to ask when trying to come to some conclusion about why what many felt was the best representation of Hip Hop during the Grammy Committee’s eligibility period of October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 wasn’t honored. Macklemore isn’t the antagonist to Kendrick’s protagonist or some kind of cultural interloper. And I’m not writing this to build that bullshit, straw-man argument here and shoot it down. But I do think people are asking the wrong questions as it regards why The Heist took home the honors instead of good kid, m.A.A.d city. Do the Grammy Awards still matter? Is there a better process for awarding the best Hip Hop in any given year? Why are people in Hip Hop looking for external validation from the Grammy Awards? Why does it seem like the process for awarding Grammys is shrouded in secrecy?

The Myth Of White Grammy Award Favoritism

I think Macklemore should stop apologizing for winning the Grammy for “Best Rap Album.” I’m not arguing that he should have won—I think Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music and obviously Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city (both released during the eligibility window) would have both been better choices. The Heist didn’t win solely because Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are white. The Grammy for “Best Rap Album” has only been in existence since 1995. Contrary to what Huffington Post erroneously asserted in a January 28 article, the Academy doesn’t “love white rappers.” In the 19 years since the award’s inception at the 38th Grammys, only one other white artist has won “Best Rap Album.” That would be one Marshall Bruce Mathers for Recovery, Relapse, The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Slim Shady LP.

I think if the Grammy Committee truly went out of their way to award the top-selling white artists in Rap, they would have awarded Vanilla Ice in 1991 instead of LL Cool J. As it happens, LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” won over “Ice Ice Baby” in the category of “Best Rap Solo Performance.” This happened despite the fact that sales of Vanilla Ice’s To The Extreme (7 million) were more than three times higher than those of LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out album (2 million). But we’ll revisit the issue of how sales impact Grammy wins a bit later.

Two winners in 19 years doesn’t sound like some vast conspiracy to enable the domination of Rap by Caucasian males. If you want to make an argument that Macklemore’s whiteness afforded him the type of visibility the Grammy committee historically rewards, I would agree. Macklemore said as much himself during a CRWN interview with Elliott Wilson in the following quote:

“But it’s something that I absolutely, not only in terms of society, benefit from my white privilege but being a Hip Hop artist in 2013, I do as well. The people that are coming to shows, the people that are connecting, that are resonating with me, that are like, ‘I look like that guy. I have an immediate connection with him.’ I benefit from that privilege and I think that mainstream pop culture has accepted me on a level that they might be reluctant to, in terms of a person of color…”

I don’t think being white gets Macklemore, Ryan Lewis or any other artist a Grammy. But it does get them multiple appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and repeated spins on Clear Channel radio stations across the country. And, in turn, they enjoy the type of popularity that finds middle-aged women playing their album as they pull up to Trader Joe’s.

Best In Show: Why The Grammys Historically Reward Popularity

Not to belabor the point, but if you look at the list of artists who have won the Grammy for “Best Rap Album,” I think they’re being rewarded more for popularity than whiteness or any other factor. If you look below at the previous Grammy winners dating back to 1995, what you’ll find is an overwhelming preference given toward mainstream, major label, popular albums that fit conveniently within the Top 40. The lone exception would be Naughty By Nature’s Poverty’s Paradise.

The “Best Rap Album” Grammy Winners Since 1994

1995: Naughty By Nature - Poverty's Paradise (500,000 Sold)

1996: Fugees - The Score (6 Million Sold)

1997: Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out (7 Million Sold)

1998: Jay Z - Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life (5 Million Sold)

1999: Eminem - The Slim Shady LP (4 Million Sold)

2000: Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (10 Million Sold)

2001: OutKast - Stankonia (4 Million Sold)

2002: Eminem - The Eminem Show (10 Million Sold)

2003: OutKast - Speakerboxxx / The Love Below (11 Million Sold)

2004: Kanye West - The College Dropout (2 Million Sold)

2005: Kanye West - Late Registration (3 Million Sold)

2006: Ludacris - Release Therapy (1 Million Sold)

2007: Kanye West - Graduation (2 Million Sold)

2008: Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (3 Million Sold)

2009: Eminem - Relapse (2 Million Sold)

2010: Eminem - Recovery (4.5 Million Sold)

2011: Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (1 Million Sold)

2012: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist (1.2 Million Sold)

Treach, Vin Rock and Kay Gee’s third album enjoyed moderate commercial success, but not nearly as much as other albums released during the Grammy Committee’s eligibility window. From October 1, 1994 through September 30, 1995 2Pac’s Me Against The World, Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food (both #1 Billboard debuts) would have been more commercially popular choices. I’d argue that the committee—likely still smitten by Naughty’s “Hip Hop Hooray” popularity—went with a popular but slightly less threatening (at least compared to Tupac Shakur, Daz and Kurupt) choice. Given the above information, why do we put so much stock in the Grammys?

Pop Matters: Why The Grammys Are (Reluctantly) Still Relevant

When there’s such an egregious choice as Macklemore winning over Kendrick, one knee-jerk reaction is to say, “The Grammys don’t matter.” As much as it pains me to say it, I disagree. If you’re someone who’s not entrenched in Hip Hop music and culture on a daily basis, you can argue that Grammys are a perfectly logical way to get a qualitative analysis of what happened in music in any given year. The Grammys pass the “eye test.” If I’m from another planet (or even another country), and I know very little about popular American music, I’m going to start to ask what music people value and why. Eventually, I’d probably land on the Grammys as a benchmark, if for no other reason than the buzz surrounding the event and its historical track record. I’m not arguing that the Grammy Awards are the most accurate or even logical way to determine the best Rap/Hip Hop material in any given year.

Sadly, Hip Hop has done a piss poor job of bringing prestige, scholarly analysis and objectivity to its own awards. So awards such as the Grammys, American Music Awards and even the Billboard Awards win by default. Why? Because the Source Awards are most infamously associated with the Death Row versus Bad Boy face off and chain snatchings (with Andre 3000’s “The South got somethin’ to say” quote ranking a close third). The Vibe Awards conjure up memories of Young Buck stabbing Dr. Dre’s would-be assailant. And the O-Zone and Soul Train Awards are lumped in with other shows that lack the budget, history and national exposure of outfits like the Grammys. Unfortunately, yet again, Rap can only blame itself. If the Source Awards (or any other Hip Hop award show) had truly done a proper job honoring Hip Hop, I don’t think we’d have cared what the Grammy Awards had to say. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say artists like Biggie, Tupac and others put more stock in being honored by participants in their own culture than mainstream society.

I went on iTunes Sunday night after Macklemore’s win, and The Heist was already being described as a “Grammy Award Winning Album.” There’s a certain amount of prestige—real, imagined or externally manufactured—associated with winning a Grammy. There’s also a very real sales boost associated with winning a Grammy. According to Spotify, despite not winning “Best Rap Album,” Kendrick Lamar still saw his Spotify traffic increase by 99% after the Grammy Awards. When attempting to quantitatively gauge an album’s importance, fans and some critics will turn to the numbers—album sales, charting positions, and the amount of awards bestowed upon said album. In a perfect world, neither fans nor critics would only quantitatively judge an album in a manner measured numerically. But it’s not a perfect world, and people are fucking stupid. As such, I think a significant amount of people only use numbers because they assume they’re leveling the playing field. In reality, all album sales, charting positions and awards get you is the most popular, mainstream album. Occasionally the best Hip Hop album is also the most popular, mainstream album, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ win point out one of the many flaws in relying strictly on the numbers.

Crack In The System: Inherent Flaws In The Grammy Award Process

So aside from spawning a bunch of angry Hip Hop fans and “think pieces,” what’s the real takeaway from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ win? I think it just reinforces the commonly held opinion that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences doesn’t have a vested interest in Hip Hop music or culture. I think it would be foolish of us to expect them to have such an interest. I think the fact that the first win for “Best Rap Performance” was not televised speaks to this. The fact that Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince secured that win over Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton and Boogie Down Productions’ By All Means Necessary speaks further to this. If Hip Hop had a credible, Rap-centric award show, we wouldn't have cared about these slights.

I also think the Grammy Committee has a clear preference for mainstream, Top 40, major label Rap albums, despite instructions that voters “shall not be influenced by personal friendships, company loyalties, regional preferences or mass sales.” Aside from that, my biggest issue with the Grammy selection process is how the entire process is shrouded in secrecy. I think most of us probably know more about how the pope is selected than we do about how an album wins a Grammy. Both Rob Kenner and Killer Mike (Mike is a member of Atlanta’s Grammy committee) have shed some light on the process. Kenner penned an informative piece for Complex.com detailing his experience as a member of the screening committee for the “Best Reggae Album” category. Kenner’s evidence is strictly anecdotal, but given his credentials, they match up with both the “eye test” and the information made public about the Grammy voting process.

“I soon learned another unwritten rule during private conversations with other committee members: be careful about green-lighting an album by someone who was really famous if you don’t want to see that album win a Grammy,” Kenner wrote. “Because famous people tend to get more votes from clueless Academy members, regardless of the quality of their work.”

Additionally, members are encouraged to only vote in fields of their expertise, but according to Kenner’s experience, nothing prevents them from voting in a field they know nothing about. In theory, what prevents a member of the Heavy Metal screening committee from voting for Macklemore as “Best Rap Album” if it’s the only Rap album they know about? Nothing.

Macklemore essentially said as much to Hot 97 after his Grammy win. “This is the Grammys,” Macklemore said. “This is many different types of people. All different age groups filling out a ballot where they might not necessarily know the genre… I don’t really know about singer-songwriter or country music or whatever, but people are filling out bubbles of genres that they don’t know about. And that’s the process of it.”

This is all compounded by the fact that there is an anonymous nominations committee empowered to adjust the votes. Kenner mentions them, and they’re also referred to by Bill Wynam of Slate.com as a “secret manipulation of its membership’s nomination.” In theory, the anonymity should protect the committee from being swayed by record industry pressure and the ever-present possibility of payola which plagues radio. But this also further muddles the public perception of how Grammys are awarded.

No Apologies Necessary: Blame The Grammys Not Macklemore

Ultimately, the Grammy Awards could benefit from a bit of transparency. Given how many Top 40 projects and artists are awarded, I personally wouldn’t be mad at a public formula that rewards a weighted mixture of artistic merit, technical precision and sales. I don’t think commercial appeal should be the only way we measure an album’s success, because I don’t want to see PSY of “Gangnam Style” fame or Milli Vanilli win a Grammy. But I feel there is something to be said for popularity. And sales are a good way to quantitatively measure popularity.

All of which brings us back to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The Heist was an extremely popular album. In addition to album sales of 1.1 million, The Heist spawned the single “Thrift Shop,” which has sold at least 7 million copies. “Same Love” boasts sales of 2 million, and “Can’t Hold Us” has moved 4 million units. I didn’t personally care for the album, because I found it leaned too far toward the pop side. And I’m not even saying pop is inherently bad. I just don’t care for it. I would have said the same thing if Black Eyed Peas won an award. But I find the argument that The Heist wasn’t Grammy worthy because it was “too pop” flawed—especially given the Grammy Committee’s history of rewarding mainstream albums. And since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are only the second white artists to win “Best Rap Album,” I’m reluctant to fully play the race card. I’m not a Macklemore apologist, but I think he and Ryan Lewis are far from cultural interlopers. Not only was The Heist a truly independent album (though Lewis said Warner subsidiary Alternative Distribution Alliance pushed various singles from the album to Top 40 radio without a contractual agreement with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis LLC), but it’s at least Macklemore’s third Rap album.

I don’t think any of this is about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis being a white duo, being too pop or being so-called interlopers in Hip Hop. Musically, they knew exactly what they were doing, and they were critically and financially rewarded for their efforts. Sure, race plays a factor, but this isn’t a case of the evil white guys coming to infiltrate Hip Hop. The only fingers that should be pointed need to be aimed squarely at the Grammy Committee and at Hip Hop. The Grammy Awards have been around since 1958; that’s a time that obviously predates Hip Hop. And you can make a solid argument that Hip Hop has never been truly welcome. The Grammys were doing just fine without Rap. Why are people in Hip Hop still looking for validation outside the culture?

Hip Hop Needs To Do A Better Job Honoring Its Own Culture

Any form of music will be ignored while its still proving itself commercially viable. And Hip Hop was more or less ignored, or at best, treated like an inferior genre during its infancy. And I think this is why you had groups like Public Enemy saying, “Who gives a fuck about a Goddamn Grammy?” on the song “Terminator X to the Edge of Panic.” I think this is why Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince boycotted the Grammy Awards in 1989, and it’s why Jay Z also boycotted the 2002 Grammys. Whether we’re talking about Chubb Rock & Howie Tee’s 1989 album, And The Winner Is… or Steve Stoute’s full page op-ed in the New York Times, it’s all the same thing to me. The argument has shifted from Hip Hop being ignored to Hip Hop not liking how the genre and culture are being treated by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. This an issue of entitlement. I don’t think there’s a reasonable excuse for Hip Hop not having a viable alternative anymore now that the culture has surpassed its 40th birthday. The Grammy Academy uses an inherently flawed process to award artists, and as a fan, I find it even more frustrating because the problems with their process can be fixed rather easily. But what’s more frustrating is that after 40-plus years, we’re collectively still moping around and hoping for validation because we as Hip Hop consumers, critics and participants haven’t found a better way to honor our own culture. Given what I know and have experienced about the rebellious, self-empowered nature of the music and culture, I don’t think there’s anything “Hip Hop” about begging gatekeepers of mainstream American culture for their table scraps in hopes of recognition.

RELATED: 10 Of The Biggest “Best Rap Album” Grammy Award Snubs [List]

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @OmarBurgess.

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125 Comments

  • LSLS

    I'm white. Eminem is in my top 5. The other 4, are black rappers. I don't prefer white rappers by any means. That being said, Eminem put out the best album of the year with SSLP, MMLP and TES for sure. Relapse and Recovery were released in years of shitty mainstream rap music. Everyone pissing on Macklemore I swear doesn't know shit about the genre. Youre mad because one of the greatest albums of all time lost. I get that. But Macklemore is not appropriating black culture. He loves hip-hop and respects the roots more than almost any other white MC and acknowledges his white privileges. He did something wack by posting his apology to Kendrick, but its because he loves the genre and wanted everyone to see that. He wanted people to see him recognizing that he wasn't the best. But white artists can't win with you guys. If Iggy had won, lord knows she wouldn't have apologized, but you all woulda been mad saying that she should. It's ridiculous to be honest. Macklemore's The Heist had more meaning and better lyrics than Yeezus or NWTS. Those albums were not that good from a hip-hop standpoint. Thin Line, Starting Over, My Oh My, Neon Cathedrals were all amazing songs. GKMC was a million times better than any album nominated, but The Heist was far from the worst one. It's all opinion, but you can build a pretty strong argument for The Heist. Quick question, how many of y'all hating took the time to sit down and listen to the album. I haven't met anyone who hates it who actually listened to it, only white rapper gay advocate haters. I did listen to all of the nominees that year. From a musical standpoint Yeezus was good, lyrically is was dogshit. NWTS was very average. The Heist was good. GKMC was amazing. MCHG sucked lets be real. Take the time to listen to his album, listen to his story, listen to what he thinks about being a white rapper in a black game before you hate. Dudes real as fuck and most of you are just "haters" who havent actually given dude the time of day.

  • Anonymous

    The hip hop community does have its own award show in the BET Hip Hop Awards. But of course thats not a credible awards show because white people dont control it right?

  • Anonymous

    You say the Grammy's doesn't award whiteness in the Best RAP album category but you just proved yourself wrong when you listed the Grammy winners in the Rap category since 1995. Even though Eminem and Macklemore are the only two white artists to win a Best Rap Album Award, they have collectively won the award SEVEN times out of the 19 times the award has been handed out. Even though rap is dominated by blacks when a white artist does break through in a legit way like Eminem, that artist is given extreme favoritism.

    • ls

      But Eminem is also one of the greatest rappers of all time. Other than Relapse and Recovery (which were released in undeniably slow hip-hop years) all of his Grammys were 100% deserved.

  • Fletch Fletcher

    Your point about album sales makes no sense considering that gkmc sold basically the same amount of copies

  • Chango

    Public Enemy had it right. "Who gives a fuck about a Goddamned Grammy?" Seems the audience of these stupid ass shows care more than the recipients. Love him or hate him, I personally believe Grammy award-winning artist Lil' Wayne said it best: "Ashed my blunt in my Grammy Award" http://rapgenius.com/336206 Worthless garbage trophies.

  • Anonymous

    Great article. Just one thing: You forgot to list Drake's Take Care best album win in 2012 (making The Heist really the winner in 2013).

  • Anonymous

    Conclusion. You just wrote a lot of Bullshit to justify some bullshit.

  • nyioppp

    Stop complaining now, this is what everyone wanted. Should've supported Canibus instead of blacklisting him.

  • Anonymous

    fuck outta here with this shit fuck mackfaggot and fuck all yall who support him

  • Dawn

    if wanz wasn't singing on that thrift shop song i doubt it would've been a hit at all. wanz is why the song is even worth listening to, imo.

  • Jamar

    Lol this nigga Prodigy snitched on mad niggas back in the 80's. The old cats told me. That's why he can't come to the block no more. His ass getting stomped on site.

  • Jamar

    Lame ass article. Omar you's a bitch and I better not see yo ass in Queens

  • Anonymous

    if we were to do a history of rap performances at the grammys without pop acts i bet u will get a lot poppy singles with backup dancers and not street music

  • Anonymous

    You can't call paul wall a pop act like eminem or macklemore. yeah he went plat but he makes trill music, last time I checked that was hood music. if ra the rugged man or brother ali were to go platinum doing the same kind of rappers. the grammys won't give them awards or let them perform, unless elton john performs with them. so its not only about race but the recognition of hood/street music by the grammys, which 99% of black people make. kendrick cannot just appear to the grammys to perform maad city. he has to water the streetness of that record with a rock or punk bad.

  • Anonymous

    well written article

  • Barbara Mixon

    uptil I saw the paycheck 4 $9693 , I did not believe ...that...my best friend was like they say truly receiving money parttime from there new laptop. . there neighbour has done this for less than and resently took care of the mortgage on their place and purchased a brand new audi . this website... www.Fb39.com so zimmerman takes interviews and behaves like a celebrity now... makes me sad

  • Anonymous

    For the most part sell outs win a Grammy.

    • Anonymous

      That's what "selling out" is... It just means "popular", which just means "good" to more people than albums that are "less popular".

  • Anonymous

    "problem is that were not really getting any. By and large, whats flooding cyberspace is a bunch of half-assed rhetoric about how the white guy who doesnt even belong in Hip Hop has robbed Kendrick Lamar." I think white people belong in hip hop (as I'm white) and I still think Kendrick got robbed, and I'm sure there are plenty of other white people who would agree with that. I've rarely seen any comments about Macklemore not belonging in hip hop..

  • Anonymous

    Actually, The Heist was 2013's Grammy winner. 2012 was Drake's Take Care.

  • Max

    So your arguement is that eminem wins a Grammy for basically every record of his ever released and thus the committee doesn't favor white rappers. Smh. Vanilla Ice isn't a viable option. Basically if you are white and participate at an acceptable level then already your are superior in the eyes of the Grammys

    • Anonymous

      they lost for best album though fool.

    • Anonymous

      beastie boys have won grammys. duh. u ain't making any sense.

    • RealTalk

      Beastie Boys didn't win either. And again, people skim over the article without taking in all the writer is saying to suit their ready made opinion. That was just one idea put forward among others... Ya'll really need to stop the selective reading.

  • RealTalk

    I could've penned this. It's all exactly what I've been saying to fools in the comment section for the last 5 days.

  • Timbo

    Yall Brothas just mad the best rapper ever to do it is WHITE!!!! Eminem is and yall fucking know it to lol hahahahaha how about that shit huh? So stop crying about race in rap and maybe Em might let a black dude come close to being the best at your assumed artform. You also forget about how many white people created this artform for yall dumbasses to nursery rhyme to. Like Rick Rubin who fucking did all the work for Russell Simmons. All Russ did was bring his brother Run and the cocaine to the party. Rick said fuck it im out when gangsta rap came out and sold out to Russ because he saw the future of Rap would become. He saw a beutiful artform getting trashed and segregated racially.

    • Anonymous

      Most of hip hops legends do not think Eminem is the best, maybe ONE of the best, but not the best. However, plenty of white guys who relate to Eminem due to shared skin color and who did not care to give rap a chance before They Saw Someone White And Legit Do It Thinks Hes The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

    • Anonymous

      a lot of the best rate him including the og ice t.

    • A Person

      Em is dope, but to say he is the best ever is ignorant of basically ever other legend. Nas, Rakim, Kool G, Kane, GZA, RZA, Masta Ace, Melle Mel, Chuck D, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Elzhi, Guru, I can go on and on and on.

    • Anonymous

      Em is not the best rapper of all time. Not to mention you sound really, really defensive and apprehensive about Em and Rick Rubin.

  • Timbo

    Hip-hop's dim witted fans, their many shallow artists and lack of respect for true artistry killed hip-hop. You ever wonder why the Rolling Stones can still tour till this day and bank a shit ton in the process but you can only catch all your fav old school rappers at a festival showing all of them together for $10 getting no respect anymore? The industry promotes cannibalism amongst artist. Also, the only rappers that can actually TRULY perform are the white rappers OOPS did I say that? Yup, its a fact. The Rolling Stones are performers and thats what Hip Hop lacks. MAcklamore was one so was Eminem. They stay true to their roots and their fans stay LOYAL to them like they do to the beastie boys. THese artists are great performers and actually train to be good at it not like Rick fat ass Ross

    • Anonymous

      And thats the problem, whites like you who only give an artist a chance unless they look like you. YOURE one of those white guys who never listened to hip hop before Eminem came out so you don't have enough knowledge of the genre as a whole (mainstream AND underground) to truly be able to judge the performance skills of other rappers. If you only watch eminem and macklemore in concert how can you say that they are the only rappers who perform well. Jay Z and Kanye are not selling out arenas for nothing.

    • Anonymous

      What the fuck? Do you even see some of the great Hip-Hop acts perform live? You're one of those race-baiting trolls either way.

  • Mr. Tibbs

    I hate the radio but I will use it for my example. Macklemore has no spins on no radio stations in Chicago, honest. I didnt know who he was until this bullshit. I actually respect the fact that he discredited his win and was honest about who the better artist was. At the end of the day he didnt rob Kendrick, the Grammy's just proved they are not worthy of honoring th hip hop community.

  • Lucas Thompson

    After Reading This Articular, I Feel As If His Last Thought Saying Hip Hop Shouldn't Have To Be Validated Is The Equivalent To An Argument Of "Sticks & Stones". As Drake So Elegantly Put It,Trophies Are And Will Always Be The Only Thing That Matters In Society. Dan Marino Will Until The Day He Is Put In The Ground As The Greatest Player In NFL History (NEVER TO WIN A SUPERBOWL). In The NBA, LeBron James Has Two Final MVPs, Two Finals MVPs, Four MVP Seasons, Ten All Star Selections, Rookie Of The Year, Etcetera And He Will Never Be Anything To Anybody Unless He Wins Three Or Four More Titles (CC. Kobe Or MJ). To Say That We Should Just Be Happy With Who We Are And Hold Up Our Head High Is Easier Said Then Done, Because A Couple Of Years Ago Lil Wayne Was Arrested....Oh Excuse Me The "Grammy Award Winning" Lil Wayne (CC. Behind The Music).

  • Fuck Jersey

    Naughty by Nature? REALLY??? LMAO!!!

    • RealTalk

      Nothing at all funny you clueless bozo. They have some great albums with one of the better spittas to ever do it in Treach.

  • David Bunz

    I feel like in the entertainment industry race is such a non-issue. These people are the most laid back, non-judgmental people you can encounter. That's one reason drugs are prevalent in the industry. They're also all obsessed with their craft, and there's mutual respect oozing out of them. Remember, these are also the voting members. Furthermore, any award system is a popularity contest. You've got some people that will solely judge it based on if they like the music and others who will also take into account their personal feelings about the people making the music (i.e. Kanye West).

    • Anonymous

      Your post is terrible. There are numerous times where the "less popular" album/song has won an award against more commercially successful competition within the Grammys. Also...if people who have votes for these awards are judging an artist's work by the artist's personality, and not the content, then that's some ugly bias that has no place in a system that should be objective.

    • Greenland Player

      it's very easy to play the race card. that's what it is.

    • benben178

      Are you in the industry? Sure you have a good number of them like that but boy they are racial on certain things.

  • ztatata

    kendrick feels like a winner tbh, all that backlash, all these artists/producers/media/hip hop fans shitting on the grammys & macklemore, might be the first time it happens since All eyez on me (yep, it lost raoty)

  • blout

    "Hip Hop Needs To Do A Better Job Honoring Its Own Culture"

  • ky

    dx needs to stop getting butthurt over kendrick's loss. Yeah kendrick had a better rap album, but I honestly think they deserved the other wins. It's not called 'most technical song of the year' it's a song that strongly defined the year. And plus it's the god damn grammy's it doesn't mean shit for album quality in the first place

  • onelove

    great article Omar Burgess! Kendrick is def a better rapper, and def had a better album. That said, Macklemore is doing his thing and he needs to stop being such a bitch about his success. He's def going overboard to try to be politically correct towards Kendrick/hip hop, when the truth is, he did put out a great album (albeit 2nd best to GKMC)and he won through the process that is in place! that said, time to revamp the process. I think that there should be a different panel appointed for every genre.

  • Lori Harper

    up to I looked at the receipt which was of $9860 , I accept that my best friend was like really taking home money parttime at there computar. . there neighbor had bean doing this for under 1 year and a short time ago cleared the loans on there place and bourt a top of the range Land Rover Defender . learn the facts here now... www.Fb39.Com And Tells him what to do. Then thats a label. No matter how you want to look at it dumbass's

  • Whitey rules

    This is the worst piece I ever read on DX.

  • Whitey rules

    Eminem's SSLP 2 at 2 million sold meaning he already won the grammy for next yr. You black whiners stay losing. LOL

  • Anonymous

    way to go the other way on every subject dx.

  • Anonymous

    Eminem didn't have the best selling album when it won. AND THEN THERE WAS X. 5 MILLION MUTHAFUCKIN RECORDS SOLD. FUCK YOU OMAR BURGESS! Also why do critically acclaimed albums win for rock and pop categories. Bruce Springsteen sells a handful, he wins the grammy. N'Sync and Backstreet sell a billion, they go home empty handed. The truth is DMX didn't win because he was a gangster rapper because he sold 3 million more records than Eminem at the time they were nominated.

    • Anonymous

      to the original anon comment. Did you read the whole thing or just see some words you didn't like and thought you'd comment on that. Sales ain't the only rational stated, and compilations are not nominated.

    • K Dot Dot Dot

      Lol a "Greatest Hits" is never going to win a Grammy, seriously? Fucking moron.

    • Omar

      Fuck you too, you anonymous bitch ass nigga.

    • SheisErin

      Great point about mainstream, top selling pop artists not winning, ie. *NSYNC, BSB, Britney Spears.

    • Anonymous

      ok, my bad but 2pacs greatest hit sold more and Changes couldn't even win against Eminem. The fact still remains that the Grammy's don't respect hod music. Either a white person wins, a messed up album from a black person wins, or some phony contemporary rap artist wins. its pure facts

    • Anonymous

      And then there was x was eligible the following yr moron

  • Mr Burgess is sham writer who knows nothing about rap

    1997: Biggie's album sold more than Puffs making your theory nonsense. I could also do that for other yrs. Jay Z's black album sold more than Kanye's (3 million), Will Smith sold more than Jay Z (9 million), 50 cent sold much more albums than Outkast, practically (proof to show you the grammys hate street music) and what is your stance against Kendrick having to perform with Imagine Dragons. Be more constructive next time. Almost all your theories have flaws.

    • Anonymous

      sales of double albums are doubled though for some reason. so in reality it didn't really sell more.

    • Anonymous

      R.A.P Music wasn't eligible for best rap album in 2013 block head.

    • Omar

      Okay, you can stop pretending that you know everything about the Grammy's, Mr Know-It-All-But-Don't-Know-Shit. You made the same mistake twice. Stick to writing comments since you're nothing but a lowly, minumum wage peasant like the rest of these dick sucking peons.

    • Anonymous

      Will smith even sold 9 million and wasn't even nominated for the category. LEt a wack white rapper sell close to that and he walks away with the award.

    • Anonymous

      ANd then there was x was eligible for the following yr moron.

  • TF

    How the fuck can Macklemore win best rap album in 2012 when he just won it last week

  • Anonymous

    EMinem's album wasn't at 4 million when it won best rap album, you moron.

  • Anonymous

    This guy must be 12. the fact that Vanilla Ice was even nominated for that category shows you how any white rapper that makes it automatically goes to the grammys.

  • @tonybakercomedy

    Eminem winning every time he is nominated is some bullshit. That's what annoys me about the rap album category. They need people on the voting committee that KNOW hip hop. "Relapse" was NOT good.

    • Omar

      You don't have to know hip hop to be on the Committee, you dumb fuck. You just need to be a member and choose which artist wins whatever category in your opinion, tally, up the votes, and that's you decide a winner.

  • Anonymous

    Only one white rapper apart from Macklemore has won the best rap album and that was Eminem. Won for 5 albums though?!!! That is a lot Mr Burgess. The fact is that any white rapper who crosses the platinum mark wins best rap grammy. If this category was there in the early 90s Vanilla Ice would have won it.

    • philosopher

      You can't call paul wall a pop act like eminem or macklemore. yeah he went plat but he makes trill music, last time I checked that was hood music. if ra the rugged man or brother ali were to go platinum doing the same kind of rappers. the grammys won't give them awards or let them perform, unless elton john performs with them. so its not only about race but the recognition of hood/street music by the grammys, which 99% of black people make. kendrick cannot just appear to the grammys to perform maad city. he has to water the streetness of that record with a rock or punk bad.

    • RealTalk

      you cant come up with a pattern like you are trying to when there has only been 2. get real.

    • K Dot Dot Dot

      Any white rapper? Theres only been two? Paul Wall hasn't won any awards has he? How come no one mentions him?

  • Class

    great post... intelligent spin on things

  • Anonymous

    I stopped reading when he said R.A.P music was eligible for the grammys. No! Omar Burgess, it was realized in May 2012, meaning that it was eligible for the year Drake won. Better research next time.

  • mez d

    I agree with this article at points but the reasoning is kind of off and it's longwinded and repetitive. Its simply that people who don't know hip-hop voted, and so they look at the people nominated and say "oh hry I've heard this Thrift Shop song everywhere" or "These people are actually rappers with a nice message about equality!" or both, combined with peoples tendency to relate to someone of your own race and voila, they picked Macklemore. And the argument about white rappers isnt really good when you say only Eminem and Macklemore, then list a bunch of Eminem albums that won a Grammy. There havent been enough white rappers to make that. And I would think it feels a tad bit better to be recognized by an award show with history and some sort of credibility, that isn't for just one genre.

  • Anonymous

    Hip Hip Hip is in the Graveyard and yes whites have played a big part in this

  • Six Lowa

    Its so easy to say F the Grammy's but when you win or even get nominated ya #'s go up without a doubt...

  • sad

    worst rapper ever. no rap that guy. cheap pop. and u pricks here like "that" ? rofl leave this site then. u clueless dumb ppl.

  • Macklemore

    PENIS!! I fucking love it

  • dre

    all i got from this is that eminem has won this award the most...hmmmm

  • Cecilia

    Hahahah this is the most bias writing I read... How do you let writers like this one write "I think..." the Heist is POP you idiot! KING KENDRICK LAMAR is the true representation of Rap. Oh and Kendrick Lamar performance in the Grammys was a million times more representative of rap. The fact that Madonna was part of performance of that white guy that confirms that he is POP!!!!!!! #FuckTheGrammys #KingKendrickLamar #BestRapAlbumGoodKidMaddCity

  • Anonymous

    Oh my God, this had some terrible reasoning when talking about white artists not being favored. You list Eminem as the only other white artist to win "Rap Album of the Year".... ...Then you list how he's won literally EVERY year he's been nominated. Bruh, that's some suspect shit when Encore, Relapse, and Recovery all won. You could argue the SSLP win, too. The last few sentences in this were on point. However, my thing is that the Grammys are showing racial bias because they side-step Hip-Hop any chance they get to. Even Hip-Hop's Grammys Golden Child, Em, couldn't win Album of the Year when he had literally NO competition (MMLP), and the only Hip-Hop artists who won Album of the year made albums with huge RnB and/or Pop influences (Lauryn Hill, Outkast). Hip-Hop artists protesting the Grammys is important. Sure, alternative award shows would be nice, but people shouldn't just shrug their shoulders like "Oh well, that's the way it is" when it comes to this Grammy shit. Things need to change.

    • Anonymous

      White people didn't identify with Paul Wall, so he was swept under the rug.

    • K Dot Dot Dot

      I would strongly disagree with you there, as will almost everyone. "Encore" was literally a piece of shit, while I didn't like the "Relapse" (as much as "MMLP" or "Eminem Show") or "Recovery", they were all significantly better albums. One thing nobody is mentioning in the "white rapper sells a million - gets a grammy" argument is what about Paul Wall? Dude sold a million with "People's Champ", was huge on radio, was everywhere, but didn't grab a Grammy.. Suspect?

    • Anonymous

      ^ 1st replier: You're correct, whoops. Recovery and Relapse are arguably worse albums than Encore, however. And that's still 5 out of 6.

    • Anonymous

      You know who gets sidestepped even more than hip hop?? Metal!!! The guitarist from Slayer (one of the biggest bands in metal) died in 2013 and they didn't even include him during the in memoriam segment at the Grammy's And thats definitely not black music. so i dont think their apathy towards hip hop is a result of race, its a result of any type of "extreme" music

    • Anonymous

      He did NOT win a grammy for Encore!

  • Cwigg

    Great article, but as a hip hop head I could care less about who wins a Grammy. "Mufuckas never loved us"....that line from Drakes "Worst Behavior" couldn't be more relevant. We need to honor our own and leave it at that. But we need to get to a place where honoring a white rapper isn't considered treason. Each genre honored at the Grammy's should be judged by people FROM that genre.

    • Anonymous

      Its not that honoring a white rapper is treason, its that a white rapper should be honored only if his work is stronger or more impactful than the rest of his peers. I agree with the last sentence though.

  • Anonymous

    I personally think the voting should be left up to artist of that specific genre and not just some people sitting around. They got all year to come up with this and yet they continue to get it wrong, across the board(Not Just Hip Hop either). I personally think they should do it that way.

  • Chris Etrata

    Also, race had nothing to do with this. It's more about the grammys selecting rap albums and songs that had the most commerical impact. While K Dot and Macklemore sold the same amount of albums, Macklemore had no. 1 singles.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, let's ignore that Relapse won against Q-Tip and Mos Def, then let's ignore that Recovery beat The Roots. The Renaissance, The Ecstatic, and How I Got Over were all great albums.

    • Anonymous

      The reason relapse and recovery won is because, the nominations for that year were pretty garbage. I mean he was up againt FLO-RIDA one of those years..like wtf? its was some shitty years for hip hop

    • Anonymous

      Indeed relapse and recovery should not have won but i think it was heist's popularity that helped it win.

    • Anonymous

      Race did have something to do with it. The album that was the most commercially successful doesn't always win. When a white rappers wins Rap Album of the Year for every album he's ever put out (Eminem), then you have to take a look at things. I get that Em sells and he's relevant and whatever, but there were SOME times where his shit just wasn't up to par quality-wise with the rest of the field.

  • Anonymous

    The only sensible, intelligent article I've ever fucking seen on this site.

  • Chris Etrata

    To everyone that said that Macklemore should have handed K Dot best rap album, its not that simple. The committee decides on the award and macklemore can't do anything about it. Also, it would be weird for kendrick to get best rap album that had been ascribed to The Heist. Besides, I think Kendrick prefers getting an award for his own album. Anyway, Kendrick doesn't need a grammy. Biggie never had one, tupac never had one, and nas never had one. Eminem, one of my favorite rappers, just happen to have grammy luck.

    • Anonymous

      Mack should've stepped up and refused the award, not given it to Kendrick. Em doesn't have "luck" with the Grammys, c'mon.

  • Troy

    This was intelligently put together, I hope most hip hop fans are of the intellectual standard to properly synthesize what was said here.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck the grammies

  • All of this is true

    But Macklmore should have stood up to the challenge and given Kendrick the Best Rap Album Grammy. Especially since he agrees with everyone else that Kendrick had a better rap album than heist. Remember Macklmore and Ryan won four grammys. If he understood the system of the Grammys, figured before hand that it was likely he would win over Kendrick, then later text Kendrick that it sucks that he "robbed" him, in his own words, then why didn't he just fork up that one win? Because he froze? Because the music got too loud? I don't fully buy into his sincerity.

    • Anonymous

      If Mack gave Kendrick the award, that would have been some seriously patronizing shit. Then again, Mack already was being kind of lame for putting that text up on IG and trying to make himself look great.

  • Anonymous

    Macklemore loves penises, he carries a picture of one just incase he needs to see one.

  • Lil TimmY

    Where is the daily Drake segment? we haven't had one for days it seems.

  • yoyoyo

    i can't believe you guys took the time to write all this up. You act like kendrick's album is the end all be all of hip hop when it's clearly not.

    • Anonymous

      @Leo Major$ Wait, what? How could Killer Mike have ever stood a chance to win against Macklemore? Hip-Hop took care of its own by supporting Kendrick's album pretty well, and the album that, overall, had the biggest buzz within the Hip-Hop community was beaten by an album that was known more for his pop crossover hits rather than its strong content. It doesn't matter if Hip-Hop supports its own when Hip-Hop isn't going to really get an accurate representation in the Grammys.

    • Leo Major$

      It's not about jocking Kendrick. Killer Mike or some other artist could've just as easily won if Hip Hop took care of its own...or if the Grammys were more than just a popularity contest.