Nas Won The Grammys Without Getting An Award

Last night (April 3), the 64th annual Grammy Awards broadcast from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hosted by Trevor Noah, the affair may have gone differently than many Hip-Hop Heads expected. After history of being snubbed by the Grammys, many anticipated that 2022 would celebrate J. Cole, whose The Off-Season content was seeded in all four Rap music categories. However, J. Cole (who did not attend) received no trophies to go with his lone win—from 2020.

In those four categories, Kanye West (alongside JAY-Z, The Weeknd, and Lil Baby), Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, and Tyler, The Creator were the Rap category winners. Kanye grabbed “Best Melodic Rap Performance” and “Best Rap Song,” while Keem and K-Dot were awarded “Best Rap Performance” as Tyler took home “Best Rap Album.” Following Tyler’s critique of his first-ever 2020 win, the Los Angeles, California MC/singer/producer did not attend—neither did Kanye (who was not welcome in 2022) nor Kendrick. The poor genre attendance comes as the Grammys had attempted to retool its image following scandals, personnel moves, and years of criticism.

Rap Snubs & Predictions For The 2022 Grammy Awards

Following 2021’s overdue first win, the Queens, New York MC performed midway into Sunday night. Along with J. Cole, the night’s Rap wins marked noteworthy losses for DMX and Nas. While X joined Biz Markie, Shock G, Young Dolph, and others on screen for the “In Memoriam” tribute, Nas also received his moment later in the evening. For Hip-Hop Heads, the moment arguably stole the show.

As discussed on the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded in video and audio below), the Hip-Hop legend likely sent a cryptic message to the Recording Academy. One of Hip-Hop’s most beloved artists waited 30 years from his debut on wax to get a trophy, and Nasir seemingly performed songs that deserved love in the ’90s, 2000s, and 2020s. In a set that opened with a brief homage to “I Can,” Nas hit the stage with a new hairstyle to perform a medley including 2002’s “Made You Look,” 2001’s “One Mic,” 1994’s “N.Y. State Of Mind,” and last year’s “Rare.” Nas did this with a thorough set backed by a live band, led by Robert Glasper. On a night where some Hip-Hop representation was lacking, Nas stepped up in a big way—showing that he’s been a champion long before the trophy case.

Nas Is In The Second Prime Of His Career

In addition to discussing Nas’ night, What’s The Headline examines Cole’s ongoing snubs, celebrates the Questlove and Silk Sonic wins, and discusses noteworthy new music releases of the last few weeks.

The time codes for episode #79 of the What’s The Headline podcast:

0:00 Intro
1:00 Last thoughts on Will Smith x Chris Rock
4:20 Reviewing the 2022 Grammy Awards for Hip-Hop
9:44 This was one of the most disappointing Grammys for Rap in years
14:37 J. Cole continues to be disrespected
18:00 “Best Rap Performance” – who won and who should have won
26:36 “Best Melodic Rap Performance” – who won and who should have won
30:45 “Best Rap Song” – who won and who should have won
36:54 “Best Rap Album” – who won and who should have won
42:45 How the Grammy Awards show should change in the future
45:50 Nas stole the night with a statement performance
54:00 Discussing new music by Cypress Hill & Black Milk, Elzhi & Georgia Anne Muldrow, Marlon Craft, Phife Dawg, Buddy, and more
58:48 Dreamville is staking its claim as Hip-Hop’s best collective with a new mixtape
1:03:30 Freddie Gibbs and Benny The Butcher are feuding

J. Cole Says Losing A Grammy Was A Win For His Career

AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also has 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: As mentioned in the podcast, the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist, featuring new music from Nas, J. Cole, Lute, Omen, Cozz, EarthGang, JID, Bas, Cypress Hill, Robert Glasper, Elzhi & Georgia Anne Muldrow, Buddy, Denzel Curry, Phife Dawg, Little Brother, Q-Tip, and more: