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Music Sermon: Hip-Hop Vs. The Grammys: 30 Years of Fighting The Power | Vibe

Music Sermon: Hip-Hop Vs. The Grammys: 30 Years of Fighting The Power | Vibe

Will Smith, Hip Hop, Rap, Grammys, African American Entrepreneur, Black Entrepreneur, Black Owned Business, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D, Willoughby Avenue, Wriit,

Rap’s relationship with the Grammys started with a boycott when the Best Rap Song category was introduced 30 years ago, and it’s been rocky ever since.

Hip-hop and the Grammys have beef. The genre has always been marginalized by the Recording Academy, even as it grew into a superpower. This year, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Childish Gambino have reportedly refused to perform, and there are questions whether other luminaries will even attend – the show is no longer a can’t miss. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has been an ongoing issue for three decades. Rap’s relationship with the Grammys started with a boycott the very first year the Best Rap Song category was introduced 30 years ago, and it’s been rocky ever since.

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Erika Alexander, Color Farm Media,, African American Media, Black Media, African American Film, Black Film, African American Cinema, Black Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D, Willoughby Avenue, Wriit,

The year of 1988 was seminal for hip-hop. To those paying attention, the genre was proving its commercial viability through platinum albums and successful tours (even though the tours would soon face a moratorium due to increased violence). It was the year of multiple foundational releases for the young genre, including N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, Run-DMC’s Tougher Than Leather, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Eric B. & Rakim’s Follow the Leader, and Slick Rick’s The Adventures of Slick Rick. It was also the year hip-hop reached beyond the streets and into living rooms across the country with the premiere of Yo! MTV Raps. At the end of such a formative year, it felt appropriate – and triumphant – when National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced a new category for the 1989 Grammy Awards: Best Rap Song. Nominated acts DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince (“Parents Just Don’t Understand”), Salt-N-Pepa (“Push It”), LL Cool J (“Goin’ Back to Cali”), J.J. Fad (“Supersonic”) and Kool Moe Dee (“Wild Wild West”) celebrated along with hip-hop at large. It was a signal that the music business was finally recognizing rap as a real genre, not just rabble-rousers playing with beats.


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