Will Kendrick get that second chance? – @Jidsays
So after Macklemore‘s win in the category of ‘Best Rap Album‘ at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, Hip Hop has dubbed the moment “The Heist of Kendrick Lamar,” a play on the name of the album that earned Macklemore a cool four Grammies and had hip hop in an upheaval this past weekend. To say that Macklemore didn’t deserve this award isn’t right; his album was hip hop enough, successful, and had substance – not the kind of substance that we’re used to in hip hop, but things that are relevant to American culture making him the go-to choice for the Grammy council who are forever careless in their treatment of hip hop.
Kendrick was met with loads of ‘you deserved-its‘ and ‘your gonna get it next times.’ Everyone got behind the TDE honcho and agreed that he should have been the one accepting the award, Macklemore included. But we have to ask ourselves, will Kendrick get another chance?
It’s nice to console him with these well-wishes, but the statistics are against him. Kendrick released the best project of the decade in Good Kid Maad City. He created a masterpiece and a moment, but in today’s ever changing climate so much can happen. Moments like the one we had when GKMC dropped don’t come often. Kendrick was a fresh voice bringing something organic to the mainstream. The story was too good – the underdog going against the grain to resurrect a coast – the hardest part about something like that is to do it twice.
Take a look at some artists with common characteristics of Kendrick Lamar; Lupe Fiasco, Common, and Nas. All reputable artists with bodies of work and talent that remind us of Kendrick in the sense that they look to capture the essence of hip hop, but how many Grammy’s between the three of them? None. Lupe Fiasco‘s masterpiece in Food and Liquor lost out to Ludacris‘ Release Therapy in 2005. Common‘s Be and Finding Forever were both beaten out by G.O.O.D. associate Kanye West. All of these albums were fantastic, but they were ousted by the superstars that came out during those years.
The most similar situation to Kendrick’s GKMC moment that comes to mind is that of Nas. Can you believe that Nas doesn’t have a Grammy? Nas is a revered legend in hip hop with classic tags and and accolades within the culture, but he’s always come up short at the Grammy’s due to a shinier star or better story standing in the way. What really trips me out is that he was nominated for albums such as I Am… and Untitled, but the Grammy’s failed to acknowledge works such as It Was Written and Stillmatic? Not even a nomination? That’s careless and speaks to the lack of knowledge about what’s going on within the culture.
This translates to Kendrick because if you look at the list of artists that he was nominated with, whose to say that he would have gotten it if Macklemore didn’t smash radio this year? GKMC stood by Grammy darlings in Drake, Jay Z, and Kanye West. Are you so sure that he got robbed by Macklemore now? The politics have always bodied the feelings of the fans.
We want to say that there will be a next year, but will there? Who knows if Kendrick will ever create a moment like like he did in October of 2012 again. We’re not going to doubt Kendrick when it comes to putting out amazing music, but we must doubt the Grammy’s ability to award it. Plenty of hip hop greats have come and gone with classics to their name, but no gold trophy to show for it. The Grammy awards have notoriously kept hip hop in it’s peripheral, awarding the best story to be sold or top seller rather than really doing the research to give us a proper showing. The Grammy Award for Best Rap Album is hardly ever congruent with who the best rapper is at the time. No matter how good or impressive we think something is, the radio and charts which are controlled to some extent determine who represents us on that stage.
So we’re throwing these sympathetic wishes around, but will Kendrick really have another chance to get his Grammy? I guess time will tell. What do you think? Drop some comments in the section below.