What’s Up With Drake Withdrawing His 2022 Grammy Nominations?

Is he trying to lay low in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy, or simply fed up with the Recording Academy?

Drake speaks onstage during Drake's Till Death Do Us Part rap battle on October 30, 2021 in Long Beach, California.
Drake speaks onstage during Drake's Till Death Do Us Part rap battle on October 30, 2021 in Long Beach, California.
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As recently as Monday, Drake was up for two Grammys at the forthcoming 2022 awards ceremony: Best Rap Album for Certified Lover Boy and Best Rap Performance for “Way 2 Sexy.” But as Variety reports, that’s no longer the case after the rapper inexplicably decided to withdraw his two nominations.

He didn’t offer any explanation, but the publication notes that “the decision was made by Drake and his management and the Grammys honored the request.” But why even bother submitting his work for Grammy consideration in the first place, only to pull out after the nominations have already been announced?

As Variety points out, it’s likely not because he felt snubbed in the major categories like Album of the Year, since it appears he never submitted himself for consideration in those categories to begin with. “While it is uncertain whether he chose not to submit the blockbuster Certified Lover Boy or any songs from it for the big categories — Album, Song or Record of the Year — his absence from any of those categories on even the preliminary ballot distributed to voters, which includes thousands of releases, seems to suggest that he did not,” the article reads. “He clearly did choose to submit — and was nominated — for the two rap categories he has withdrawn.”

It’s possible the rapper is trying to lay low in the wake of his involvement in the Astroworld tragedy that killed 10 people. (Drake, who made a guest appearance during Travis Scott’s headlining set, is named in several lawsuits related to the event.) Perhaps, in his eyes, a potential Grammy win just months after the awful event would appear to be in bad taste?

Drake also has had a rocky relationship with the awards show over the years. Last year, after The Weeknd was snubbed, he called for the Grammys to be replaced with “something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”

“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 exist now and the ones that come after,” he wrote in his Instagram Story. “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.”

But again, that begs the question: Why submit Certified Lover Boy for consideration in the first place if that’s how he feels, instead of waiting until he’s secured a nomination? He’s taken up a spot that could have gone to another deserving artist; instead of replacing him with the artist who got the sixth-most number of votes in preliminary balloting, his two categories will move forward with just four nominees because he waited until after voting had begun to withdraw.

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