Drake and The Weeknd’s issues with the Grammys appear to have not been settled yet, as the two megastars have declined to submit their latest albums to the Recording Academy for consideration.
On Friday (Oct. 14), Drake’s chart-topping 2022 release Honestly, Nevermind, and The Weeknd’s Dawn FM were both absent from all of the voting ballots, making 2023 the second consecutive year of the Canadian stars’ boycott of the annual music awards show.
In 2017, Drake voiced his ire with the Grammys after his runaway hit “Hotline Bling” earned nominations for multiple rap awards but was snubbed from other categories, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
“Even though Hotline Bling is not a rap song, the only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category,” the 6 God said at the time. “Maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black, I can’t figure out why. I won two awards but I don’t even want them, because it just feels weird for some reason.”
Despite skipping the awards ceremony, “Hotline Bling” went on to win two gramophones that year, Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Last year, the rapper received Grammy nominations for his single “Way 2 Sexy,” as well as his Certified Lover Boy album, but pulled them from consideration shortly after. While Drake’s gripes with the Grammy Awards date back several years, The Weeknd’s differences with the Recording Academy are a bit more recent.
In 2022, the crooner’s After Hours album received no nominations in the major categories after being hailed as one of the most acclaimed and successful albums of the year. The Weekend was clearly irked by the snub, vowing never to submit his music for Grammy consideration moving forward.
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” the “Can’t Feel My Face” singer said at the time. Yet, The Weeknd would still nab a win that year, as “Hurricane,” his collaboration with Kanye West, took home the Grammy Award for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
Drake and The Weeknd are far from the first artists to voice or display their disdain for the Recording Academy. In the 1980s, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy, Ice-T, and others boycotted the awards show, while Jay-Z mirrored the move a decade later when he skipped out on the 1999 ceremony. This year, Silk Sonic also decided to omit their material from the forthcoming Grammy Awards ballot. Group member Bruno Mars explained the reasoning behind him and Anderson .Paak’s decision.
“We truly put our all on this record, but Silk Sonic would like to gracefully, humbly and most importantly, sexually, bow out of submitting our album this year,” the hitmaker told Rolling Stone. “We hope we can celebrate with everyone on a great year of music and partake in the party. Thank you for letting Silk Sonic thrive.”
The duo’s debut album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, would have been a major contender for numerous awards at next year’s ceremony, most notably the Album of the Year category.