Drake has won his first Grammy in four years despite not submitting any of his music for the 2023 awards.
The OVO hitmaker’s victory came in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category thanks to his appearance on Future‘s “Wait For U,” which also features Tems.
The I Never Liked You track, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified triple platinum, beat out Kendrick Lamar’s “Die Hard,” DJ Khaled’s “Beautiful,” Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” and Latto’s “Big Energy (Live).”
It prevented King Kendrick from doing a clean sweep of the rap categories, with the Compton native winning Best Rap Album (Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers), Best Rap Song (“The Heart Part 5”) and Best Rap Performance (“The Heart Part 5”).
Although he didn’t submit any solo material for consideration, Drake actually had four nominations on the night. “Wait For U” was also up for Best Rap Song, as was his Jack Harlow collaboration “Churchill Downs.”
Drizzy also had a horse in the Album of the Year race thanks to his co-writing credit on “Heated” from Beyoncé’sRenaissance album.
The Toronto native’s last Grammys win came in 2019 when “God’s Plan” took home Best Rap Song. He was also nominated in four other categories that year including Album of the Year (Scorpion), Song of the Year (“God’s Plan”), Record of the Year (“God’s Plan”) and Best Rap Performance (“Nice For What,” “Sicko Mode”).
Drake has now won five Grammys in his career, with Take Care winning Best Rap Album in 2013 and “Hotline Bling” winning both Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance in 2017.
Drake’s solo material was noticeably absent from the 2023 Grammys ballots, despite topping the Billboard 200 with his house-inspired seventh album Honestly, Nevermind and the Billboard Hot 100 with his 21 Savage-assisted “Jimmy Cooks.”
His decision continued a trend of snubbing the Recording Academy having previously withdrawn his music from the 64th Annual Grammy Awards — after he had been nominated for Best Rap Album (Certified Lover Boy) and Best Rap Performance (“Way 2 Sexy”).
In November 2020, Drake criticized the Recording Academy for failing to nominate anything from The Weeknd‘s After Hours album.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exists now and the ones that come after,” he wrote on Instagram.
“It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won’t change their ways. The other day I said @theweeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”