Both Eminem and Jay-Z took home trophies at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards this year. Eminem won Best Rap Solo Performance for “Not Afraid,” while Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz won Best Rap Group Performance for “On To The Next One.” A consolidation of both awards into one category of Best Rap Performance ensures that won’t happen again. The merging of the Best Rap Performance award was one of over 30 changes enacted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences on Wednesday.
R&B and a handful of international genres will see the most change, as the amount of R&B awards were cut in half. The Academy eliminated many of the gender distinctions in the R&B categories, opting to award the best album, song, R&B performance and traditional R&B performance instead of separating those four categories by male and female.
The Grammy Awards came under fire this year, after music executive turned advertising expert, Steve Stoute took out a full page ad in the New York Times denouncing the selection process. The new process holds record executives more accountable and includes a provision to phase out consistently unsupported categories. Academy President Neil Portnow said the changes were the result of a two-year review of the awards process. In March, Stoute and Portnow agreed to work together to increase diversity in the selection process. Stoute told the Times the current overhaul was “a step in the right direction, but still a Band-Aid on the problem.”