At Sunday night’s Grammys, the Recording Academy almost gave hip-hop the recognition it deserves. Kendrick Lamar and JAY-Z had the highest number of nominations going into the show, with Lamar taking home four of his potential seven, while Jay left with no trophies. While the Grammys have started to give rappers performances and some nominations, they still shy away from the genre — now the most popular genre in the United States — in the major categories.
JAY-Z’s famed 4:44 producer No I.D. spoke on the red carpet before the show about the recent influx of rap and hip-hop nominations, saying that its historical lack of acknowledgement only made the current nominees work harder for their recognition.
“When you do your art and you may think people don’t recognize it or appreciate it, you actually go and try to get better,” No I.D. said. “We kind of have earned a higher spot.”
He also commented on the incredibly honest stories on Jay’s album, which detail infidelity and marriage issues with wife and 20-time Grammy winner Beyoncé. He said he hopes rap continues to “return to a place where we can really express ourselves, and it’s not just metrics that we’re after.”