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It seems like the biggest story circulating around the GRAMMYS these days is the artists who are not nominated opposed to ones who get this prestigious honor.

There’s a reason for that. The Hip-Hop talent who are eligible to vote simply don’t exercise their rights like an election year where there is no president running.

In an exclusive op-ed with HipHopDX, MC Lyte breaks down the voting criteria spliced with her own personal experience of being an outsider of the GRAMMYS.

I recall the first time I was nominated for a GRAMMY. I was 23 [years old] and had been in the business for six years. To receive such an acknowledgement was amazing. It had only been three years since the GRAMMYs started televising Rap categories—something my peers had fought for. In 1988, that fight included a boycott, which was what everybody saw.

What everybody didn’t see was everything behind the scenes. To get rap recognized, to make the GRAMMYs create a Rap category, to get those awards televised—that took us getting involved in how The Recording Academy treated our music.

Every artist knows what a GRAMMY means. I knew if I was serious about my career, I’d have to learn all I could about how things worked. I joined the Governor’s Board of the Academy’s Los Angeles Chapter. Before long, I understood what it meant to volunteer for a bigger purpose.

Read the rest of the open letter over at HipHopDX and do remember that the voting deadline is in two days on January 16.

If you have a degree of separation from an industry insider, tip their hat to urgency of this matter on hand.

Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/

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