While hip-hop artists and fans debate over who should have been nominated for the 2023 Grammy Awards, a video has resurfaced starring Grammy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. explaining how artists win Grammys.
The video is from entertainment journalist and Twitter user @OleleSalvador who filmed Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, at a private dinner in Accra, Ghana, explaining to industry professionals how artists win Grammy Awards.
“First, we have to understand the only way to win is to have the membership of the Academy vote for you,” he detailed. “In order to be a member of the Academy you have to be a professional working in music in the United States, for now, United States. Hopefully, we can grow that.”
Harvey went on to explain that members listen to music that gets submitted for nominations and they evaluate them on the quality of the art.
“Not the sales, not the streams, not how many fans, not how many followers, but purely on the opinion,” he stated. “And it’s very hard, as you y’all know because it’s subjective.”
“It’s just the opinion of the membership in that particular year,” he continued. “That’s how you win a Grammy. That’s it.”
“The voters vote. There’s no committee. There’s no journalists. There’s no labels,” he added. “It’s music professionals voting on their peers.”
Harvey’s explanation may still not sit well with artists in the hip-hop community.
The Grammy Awards have always had a rocky relationship when it comes to honoring rap. From not airing their major rap categories in primetime to glaring omissions in the nominations themselves to disgraceful wins like Macklemore winning a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar in 2014. This year was no different.
On Tuesday (Nov. 15), the Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 2023 Grammy Awards. While it was previously known that Nicki Minaj’s chart-topping hit “Super Freaky Girl,” would not compete in this year’s Best Rap Song category, the Queens, N.Y. rapper herself was totally snubbed and didn’t garner any nominations.
Artists like Denzel Curry blasted the Grammy Awards for its nominations in the rap categories, including Best Rap Album. In a series of tweets, the Florida rhymer felt that his album Melt My Eyez See Your Future and others should have been up for awards.
“But For The Rap Album Category I can literally Name you 10 other albums that were actually good congrats to kdot and push but all that other shit come on bruh…,” he tweeted. “This shit bout money at the end of the day so if that’s what it comes down to I’m going get my bread up.”
“My Album literally tied with one of the albums that was nominated for a Grammy and I still got robbed [.] All my homies that came out with Top Notch solid albums this Year Got Robbed,” he continued. “They don’t care about the culture[,] they only care about building the majors.”
Denzel went on to name several hip-hop artists who should have been nominated before concluding, “The Scammy Nominations.”
It seems no matter how hard the Grammy Awards try to get it right, they always seem to get it wrong.