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The artist was nominated for best rap performance for his song “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Young Thug and Future, and best rap album for Certified Lover Boy.
A source close to the situation tells THR that the Recording Academy received a request from Drake and his management to remove his nominations from the final-round ballot. Variety was first to report the news.
Though it is unclear why the four-time Grammy winner and his management withdrew the nominations, the decision follows the artist speaking out against the Recording Academy following The Weeknd’s high-profile snubs last year.
“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,” Drake wrote on Instagram shortly after the nominations for the 2021 ceremony were announced. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways.” (Despite The Weeknd having announced plans at the time to boycott the Grammy Awards moving forward, he still secured three Grammy nominations for the 2022 ceremony.)
Drake has also voiced frustration over his own previous nominations and wins. The artist reportedly declined to submit his mixtape More Life for consideration for the 2018 Grammys and complained about the Recording Academy only recognizing him as a rap artist when his hits at the time were in the pop genre. His single “Hotline Bling” was nominated and won for best rap song and best rap/sung collaboration at the 2017 ceremony.
“I’m a Black artist, I’m apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” Drake said in a February 2017 interview with Britain’s DJ Semtex. “The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black.”
Added Drake: “I won two awards, but I don’t even want them because it feels weird to me.”
It’s worth noting that despite the two nominations, Drake was once again shut out of the major categories.
While revealing the nominations for the 2022 show last Tuesday, the Recording Academy also announced that it was expanding the field of nominees in four general categories from eight to 10 as a way “to make room for more music, more artists and more genres and to embrace the spirit of inclusion.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Drake’s reps for comment.
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