The artist has also withdrawn his nom in the Best Rap Performance category for his song ‘Way 2 Sexy’ featuring Future and Young Thug.
According to Variety, Drake’s motivation for the move is not presently clear but some have speculated that it has something to do with him being named in the lawsuits around the Astroworld Festival tragedy in which 10 people died during a Travis Scott performance that had also featured a guest appearance from Drake.
The two rap categories will now proceed with just four nominees in each, with J. Cole, Nas, Tyler the Creator and Kanye West battling it out for Best Rap Album glory. The remaining contenders in the Best Rap Performance category are Baby Keem Featuring Kendrick Lamar with ‘Family Ties’, Cardi B with ‘Up’, J. Cole Featuring 21 Savage & Morray with ‘M Y . L I F E’ and Megan Thee Stallion with ‘Thot S***’.
Given that voting for the 2022 Grammys is already underway, it is highly unusual for an artist to withdraw their nominations at this stage, especially as the nomination submissions process mandates that an artist’s music must be put forward by a representative. If a performer doesn’t want to be included for whatever reason, their label simply would not submit their work.
Whatever Drake’s reason for deciding to withdraw from the annual music event, it’s not the first time the rapper has taken issue with the awards show.
The ‘God’s Plan’ singer previously showed solidarity with his fellow performer The Weeknd — who was famously snubbed from being nominated for the 2021 awards, despite having one of the top albums and singles of 2020 — and called for the Grammys to be replaced with “something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”
“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 artists that exist now and the ones that come after,” he wrote in a post uploaded to his Instagram story.
The Weeknd went on to announce that he would be boycotting the awards show from now on.
In 2019, he also made reference to the irrelevant of the Grammys as he accepted his award for Best Rap Song. “We play an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” he said. “You already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if they’re singing in your hometown. You’re already winning, you don’t need this right here.” His speech was cut short as the awards show producers switched off his mic before he could go any further.
Meanwhile, the Best Rap Song category is also down a nominee after Marilyn Manson was removed from the list of contenders for his work on ‘Jail’ from Kanye West’s 2021 release Donda.
Manson’s nomination in the first place drew plenty of criticism, due to the ongoing investigation into the singer’s alleged pattern of sexual abuse against several of his former partners.
However, it does not seem that Manson’s alleged misdeeds are the reason for his Grammys removal as he is still nominated in the Album of the Year category for his contribution to West’s album.