Drake may have put in a surprise appearance to accept the Grammy award for Best Rap Song, but he spent the majority of his speech downplaying the award’s importance for his peers, saying that rapper’s “play in an opinion based sport,” and reminding them that they’ve already won by virtue of selling their music to thousands of fans who show up to concerts and live their lives to the music they create.
He also said that he didn’t expect to win the Grammy for Best Song, which is understandable considering that Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott were all up for the award, without having J. Cole even nominated. The Grammys have come under fire in the past for overlooking rap for its most prestigious awards, including the memorable 2015 scandal after Macklemore took home the Best Rap Album Award over Kendrick Lamar.
Drake made Grammys headlines ahead of the show as well, when the show’s producer Ken Ehrlich revealed that he, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar had all declined to perform at this year’s show. Drake’s appearance to accept the award came as a surprise in light of these circumstances, with many assuming that the Canadian star would skip the ceremony altogether. Considering the light rebukes he delivered to the awards’ importance, it’s likely the Grammys producers wish he’d stayed home.