This year’s Grammy Awards will be without Drake as the Certified Lover Boy has withdrawn himself from music’s most prestigious award show.
Variety is reporting that the Recording Academy has confirmed that Drake and his management has taken himself out of the running of two rap categories including Best Rap Performance (“Way 2 Sexy”) and Best Rap Album (‘Certified Lover Boy’).
The reason for Drake’s withdrawal wasn’t given. Rather than replacing the Toronto rapper’s vacated slot voting will be determined with the four remaining nominees in each respective category. It’s presumed that there isn’t adequate time for a replacement as the voting period is already underway.
Drake’s self-removal is unprecedented but it may have something to do with the Recording Academy’s long history of disrespectful stance toward rap and its exclusion from main categories including Album, Song, or Record of the Year. Certified Lover Boy was not included in any of these aforementioned categories.
Drake called out the Grammys in 2020 when his fellow Toronto counterpart The Weeknd failed to receive a single nomination for his highly successful After Hours album. In 2017, he refused to submit his More Life album for consideration amongst rap’s contentious relationship with the Grammys. That year, Jay-Z was nominated in eight categories for his 4:44 album, and won zero.