Issuing awards to recently deceased artists is about as cliche as cliche gets. That is unless the artist in question has also recently created a project that absolutely deserves the award in question for pushing boundaries and innovating the art form. In the case of The Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, Mac Miller absolutely meets the above criteria with his 2018 project, Swimming.
Now, there are four other albums that could easily meet those criteria as well. Astroworld saw Travis Scott expand and polish his skills as a masterful curator. Daytona was a stripped-down, nitty-gritty return to drug rap dominance for Pusha T. Invasion Of Privacy was a sparkling debut for Cardi B, who became not just an instant icon but made history as one of the most successful women in hip-hop. Victory Lap lived up to its title as the validation of Nipsey Hussle’s decade of grind and music business modernization. If any of these albums win, it would be a fine look for the Grammys and a sign that the awards show is finally moving in the right direction (while rap fans would probably be outspoken in their disapproval anyway).
But Swimming was an opus from Miller, a supremely creative artist who reinvented himself and evolved with every album. If he were still here, it’d be exceedingly difficult for him to top this album with his next. Surprising his fans had become so standard for him it became impossible for him to continue doing simply because it had become expected.