Tuesday morning saw the release of the list of nominees who will be up for awards when the 59th annual Grammy event goes down in February 2017. Youth was represented by the likes of Chance The Rapper, Lil Yachty and D.R.A.M. while familiar names like Drake and Kanye found themselves nominated multiple times in the Rap category. With the announcement came the usual reactions of fans and critics playing armchair A&R with critique and predictions about who’ll win, who shouldn’t have been nominated and the like, so here’s a quick rundown of key topics we’ll hear over and over again between now and February.
Chance The Rapper and De La Soul take the road less traveled
Chance getting Grammy consideration leaves his major goal for 2016 completed. The fact that he’s up for seven awards total, including three of the four main categories for Rap as well as Best New Artist for all genres, is destiny fulfilled and an exceptional accomplishment for a free album and the first streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination.
The only thing coming close to it in comparison would be De La Soul’s And The Anonymous Nobody…, the project they funded via Kickstarter and went to No. 1 with, wound up making it in for Best Rap Album category as well. Since Tribe’s reunion album missed the cutoff for this year’s awards, seeing their Native Tongue compadre’s in the mix isn’t a bad consolation prize at all. After years of being nonexistent in the new digital landscape, it’s only fitting they utilized an online fundraising platform to raise the money needed to record and release a feature-filled album, eschewing sampling.
Either way, aspiring artists can take comfort in knowing they don’t have the backing of a traditional label in order to win big at awards time. It wouldn’t be bad if they have one of the most influential companies around helping them out, but it’s still not necessary.