5 Grammy-Nominated Rappers Share What Recording Academy Can Do To Fix Hip-Hop Problem

Clive Davis, PJ Morton and producer Harmony Samuels also weighed in.
Joi-Marie McKenzie Feb, 13, 2019

The Recording Academy and the hip-hop community have long had a bumpy road, and this year’s Grammy Awards proved to be no different.

Show producer Ken Erlich told the New York Times ahead of music’s biggest night that he had trouble securing rap artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Drake to perform — although the Toronto rapper later showed up to the awards show, winning Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan,” only to say in his acceptance speech that “you don’t need” validation from securing golden trophies.

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Erlich said the situation was disappointing.

“When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad,” Ehrlich told the paper ahead of the show.

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Despite all of the rejection, the Grammys did secure rappers Travis Scott and Cardi B to perform. Still, it’s hard to ignore the growing chasm between the hip-hop community and the Grammy Awards.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

ESSENCE asked five Grammy Award-nominated rappers, along with Clive Davis as well as singers and producers what the Recording Academy could do to improve the relationship and bring the two sides together.

Watch the video above to see what they had to say, or scroll below: