With the 56th annual Grammy Awards airing tonight (January 26), Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle recently spoke with XXL about two Hip Hop artists up for awards for the first time in their careers.

Macklemore, as half of a duo alongside producer Ryan Lewis, is nominated in categories like Album of the Year, Best Rap Artist, and Best New Artist. Kendrick Lamar is nominated for the same set of categories, but, unlike his Seattle counterpart, isn’t in the running for Song of the Year.

“But just in terms of the Grammy’s, I think both of those dude made great albums,” Nipsey Hussle said. “I think their impact is undeniable in 2013. I feel like it could go either way. It’s more about preference to me. I think they both made incredible albums with huge records. So it’s really just, whoever that committee is that votes, it’s really up to their opinion.” Whether Nipsey was speaking to the Album of the Year or Best Rap Album category is unclear.

The Crenshaw rapper added that both artists have a claim to the honors given the albums they released in The Heist and good kid, m.A.A.d. city respectively. “I wouldn’t feel like it was a steal if Kendrick got it, I wouldn’t feel like it was a steal if Macklemore got it ‘cause they both was impactful for different reasons. Macklemore being independent shifted the culture, and being so successful as an independent. And then Kendrick coming out the West after such a long drought and delivering an album that was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, had records that was big on radio. They both have their reasons to be recognized. I’m curious to see how it goes. And they both from the West so I’m rooting for both of them.”

HipHopDX recently reported that an anonymous source present at the Grammy Rap selection committee claims the group originally considered leaving Macklemore and Ryan Lewis off the list due to the duo’s overlap within the Pop community. “It’s not that they don’t think he’s a rapper,” the person said of the rap committee’s decision. “It’s just that when you’re trying to protect categories and someone has become popular, it should be judged as much…Where does their music exist? Who are their fans?”

In an interview with The Source earlier this month, the Seattle rapper himself admitted that he thinks the Best Rap Album award should be given to Kendrick Lamar. “In terms of [that category], I think it should go to Kendrick,” he said. “He’s family. TDE is family, and I understand why Hip-Hop would feel like Kendrick got robbed [if he didn’t win]. I’m not trying to compare albums; I think you can make an argument for both. With that being said, I am a huge supporter of what Kendrick does. And because of that, I would love to win in a different category. We obviously had massive success on commercial radio, and I think that, in ways, The Heist was a bigger album, but Kendrick has a better rap album.”

RELATED: Nipsey Hussle Recalls Shining Shoes At Age 11