The 60th annual Grammys are in the books. While the Grammys haven’t always been kind to hip-hop, the last two years have turned the tide — nomination-wise anyway. Artists like Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and SZA dropped projects that were out of this world, but they all got eclipsed by Mars in the general music categories.
That said, there were still hip-hop highlights. Logic spoke up for all the people suffering under the Trump administration. Jay-Z won the industry icon award. Cardi B lit up the screen every time we saw her. Oh, and there was a clean sweep among the major hip-hop categories which made us say one word: DAMN.
Here’s how the awards shook out:
Is it possible to steal the show as the opening performer? Kendrick Lamar definitely tried to find out with an electric performance of “XXX” alongside a squadron of soldiers, U2’s Bono and Edge and comedian Dave Chappelle. His TDE peer SZA failed to take home a Grammy, but Top Dawg’s franchise player brought back five for the family.
“Humble” took home awards for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Music Video, while his DAMN. Album won for Best Rap Album. He also won Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty.” with Rihanna. Kendrick didn’t get the nods for Record Of The Year or Album Of The Year, but he still had a great showing.
Jay-Z’s 4:44 received the most Grammy nominations with 8, but Jigga wasn’t able to take any of them home. 4:44 was one of the most well-regarded albums of 2017, but he lost out to tracks and albums that the committee apparently felt were better. The development is microcosmic of his career trajectory. He may not have been the choice for best act every time, but being in the conversation for so long is an incredible feat regardless. That’s exactly why he won the Industry Icon award.
Cardi had a come up for the ages in 2017 but wasn’t quite able to cap it off with Grammy wins. The breakout Bronx rhymer — who let us know she had butterflies everywhere — was nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, but “Bodak Yellow” lost out to Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” for both. If she was disappointed in the results, she didn’t show it in her energetic performance of “Finesse” with Bruno Mars. Between her gorgeous white gown and the colorful outfit she wore for the performance, she had two of the best looks of the night — which is an achievement in itself.
She also echoed the thoughts of many during a comedy skit in which she said “I can’t believe he lives his life like that,” after reading about President Trump ending his nights in bed with a cheeseburger. Same.
Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” was nominated for two Grammys, but didn’t win. Even though he didn’t take home a trophy, his poignant performance of the track — alongside Khalid and Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara — was rewarding in its own right. The trio performed with survivors of attempted suicides and loved ones of people who have died from suicides. Calls to the suicide hotline number increased by 50% after his VMA performance. If that number is raised even .1% after last night’s performance, it will have proved to be an achievement that trumps any trophy.