Musicians dream about winning Grammy’s but news broke Monday that Drake has withdrawn both of his 2021 Grammy nominations. Sources told Variety the decision was made by Drake and his management and the Grammy’s honored the request. He was nominated for Best Rap Album, for “Certified Lover Boy,” and for Best Rap Performance for his song “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug). As noted by the outlet, Grammy nominations must be submitted by a representative, usually their record label, so if an artist doesn’t want their music considered, they don’t submit it. So the question on everyone‘s mind is, why did Drake decide to withdraw?
Drake withdrawing the nominations so late in the game, after everything has already been announced is unusual. The rap categories have 5 nominees but there will not be a new nomination to replace him, and it will go on with 4. Which is unfortunate for whoever was the recipient of the sixth most votes.
There is still not a clear reason for Drake and his team‘s decision but two theories are floating around the internet, the first being Astroworld. Drake was a featured guest appearance during Travis Scott’s set and he has been named in several lawsuits filed over the deadly Texas nightmare of a festival. But as noted by Variety, Drake is scheduled to perform with Kanye West at the “Free Larry Hoover” benefit concert in Los Angeles on Thursday, and while Drake has certainly received backlash after the festival, it’s nothing compared to Scott and his girlfriend Kylie Jenner. Scott has stepped out of the public eye completely, and Jenner has barely started sharing images on her Instagram story and hasn’t dared try to sell anything since the festival.
Another theory is that Drake, who has 4 Grammy wins, is simply protesting the Recording Academy. Since someone had to send in the nominations for Drake, there could have been some miscommunication between the rapper and his team if it is a protest. Drake has been very open about his relationship with the award ceremony and last year when The Weeknd was “snubbed” he told people it‘s time for people to stop acting “shocked every year.” “I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exists now and the ones that come after,” he wrote in his Instagram Story.
The Canadian Degrassi star went on to tag The Weeknd and encouraged somebody to start something new. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won’t change their ways. The other day I said @theweeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up overtime and pass on to the generations to come,” he wrote.
Drake has been nominated for a Grammy every year since 2010 except in 2018. His last win was in 2019 when he took home the title of Best Rap Song for “Gods Plan.”