No I.D. Talks Grammy Nominations For JAY-Z's '4:44' & Why 'Urban Culture Is Now Pop Culture'

Ernest Wilson, 2010
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ernest Wilson poses with Best Rap Song award for 'Run This Town' in the press room during the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards held at Staples Center on Jan. 31, 2010 in Los Angeles. 

The producer also received nods for his work on Logic and Vic Mensa's albums.

JAY-Z earned the most Grammy Award nominations earlier this week, which proved two things: the rap legend is still at the top of his game and No I.D., who produced the album in its entirety, still has the Midas Touch. No I.D. was nominated for the coveted producer of the year award for his contributions on Hov's 4:44, as well as Logic and Vic Mensa's latest albums. The producer sat down with The New York Times following the news of his nominations and discussed the recognition as well as his thoughts on hip-hop entering mainstream culture. 

While many artists might have been anxiously awaiting for the unveiling of the 2018 Grammy Award nominees, the nominations were the last thing on No I.D.'s mind. "I wasn't even thinking about the nominations coming. I was passed out and I heard my phone faintly and I knew I had a lot of messages," he told NYT. "I was like oh, I must have been nominated. But I didn't understand the depth of what had happened."

Not only has No I.D. worked with his go-to collaborator JAY-Z, he's also handled production on rap's newer generation including Logic and Vic Mensa. Hip-hop has undoubtedly changed since the celebrated Chicago producer's early days working with music's upper echelon like Usher, Common, JAY-Z and more. Given the influx of new artists and hip-hop becoming more popular over the years, No I.D. believes that "urban culture is now pop culture."

"Sometimes the weather changes, the season changes. We're just in a season where the world loves this culture of music. Now everybody's doing it, and some people have been doing it longer," he offered. "And so they're just better." 

As for his predictions for the Grammy's, No I.D. isn't dwelling on winning a "trophy" instead, he's more concerned with the impression the body of work left on listeners because ultimately, that was the goal. "My opinion is it's not about the trophy. It's really about the music," he said, adding that his goal is to "do some really good art and help people's lives with it. That's the win." 

Read No I.D.'s full New York Times interview here

2018 Grammy Awards