Rap Snubs & Predictions For The 2022 Grammy Awards

Last week, the nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards were announced, and plenty of people are talking about it. With the awards taking place on January 31, 2022, the eligibility period for the 64th award show ran from September 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. As Hip-Hop Heads know, there were a lot of great releases in that window, but they are not necessarily reflected in the nominations.

On the latest episode (#69) of the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded in video and audio below), the Ambrosia For Heads team highlights some of the snubs, especially in the “Best Rap Album” category. Earlier this year, Nas won his first-ever Grammy Award for King’s Disease in that same category. Nas competed against a class of independent releases (which have been a rarity in the past), signaling change and inclusion to some, as Royce 5’9, Jay Electronica, Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist, and D Smoke competed with the Illmatic veteran from an all-independent pool. However, looking ahead to 2022, Nas’ Mass Appeal Records release is the only indie entry in the field. He goes for a back-to-back win against J. Cole’s The Off-Season, Kanye West’s Donda, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, and Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost. While all of those LPs have their merits, 2022’s nominations come as a massive snub to Busta Rhymes and his late-2020 release, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God.

Busta Rhymes’ VMA Performance Is A Drop The Mic Moment

Deemed a classic album by AFH last year, ELE 2 stands as one of the best in the eligibility calendar. Busta’s first ELE volume earned a nomination for the 2000 Grammys. Like his 11 other nominations, B.R. did not win—making 2022 a fitting stage for an arguably overdue trophy. Meanwhile, Busta’s first indie release came through the same EMPIRE channel responsible for two of 2021’s competitors.

Another EMPIRE-distributed artist, Benny The Butcher, was among those snubbed. Benny’s 2020 release Burden Of Proof topped several 2020 year-end lists. Produced by the same Hit-Boy responsible for Nas’ two King’s Disease volumes, the LP marks a Grammy-savvy release from the Griselda Records camp, including appearances by past winners and nominees, including Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Rick Ross, and Gibbs. As Griselda has publicly claimed Grammy wins as a target, the Recording Academy missed the boat embracing Rap and Hip-Hop music of the moment. Another miss comes from 2021, with Evidence’s Unlearning, Vol. 1. The Dilated Peoples MC/producer already has a Grammy trophy for his work alongside Kanye West. The artist publicly submitted his release on socials, something the Grammys have asked of the music community. Meanwhile, Ev’s label, Rhymesayers Entertainment, deserves indie recognition, given that two of its founders, Atmosphere, have twice reached the Top 10 of the pop albums charts since 2008. In a time of reform and suggested change, the Grammy Awards missed more than a few picks.

No MC Has Been Better Than Benny The Butcher The Last 2 Years

What’s The Headline examines these misses while predicting winners and laying down the publication’s picks in each of the Rap/Hip-Hop categories, plus “Album Of The Year,” which includes nominations for Kanye, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, and others. There is a lot of history and subtext to this category and a few others that also get unpacked.

The time codes for episode #69 of the What’s The Headline podcast:

0:00 Intro
6:20The 2022 Grammy nominations have been announced
7:00 The biggest Hip-Hop snubs by the 2022 Grammy nominations
20:58 Certain artists were placed in the wrong Grammy categories
23:20 J. Cole is getting much deserved recognition from the Recording Academy
25:38 The 2022 nominees for Best Rap Performance; AFH’s picks and predictions of the winner
33:12 The 2022 nominees for Best Melodic Rap Performance;
AFH’s picks and predictions of the winner
37:10 The 2022 nominees for Best Rap Song; AFH’s picks and predictions of the winner
41:45 The 2022 nominees for Best Rap Album; AFH’s picks and predictions of the winner
51:40 Kanye West’s
Donda is a contender for the 2022 Album Of The Year Grammy
1:00:10 Kanye West’s extensive history with the Grammy Awards
1:06:38 November was National Hip-Hop Month
1:11:00 The legacy of Young Dolph
1:16:19 New music by Apollo Brown & Stalley, Freddie Gibbs & Jadakiss, Redman & Method Man, and CRIMEAPPLE

Evidence Discusses Starting Over After Dilated Peoples (Video)

AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.

#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast discusses why Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event 2 secured a classic album 30 years into an incredible music career: