Billboard has a super-interesting piece today that looks into the (lacking) representation of rap music at the Grammy Awards. And to get a well-rounded perspective on the topic, they spoke with several hip-hop heavyweights, including the Roots’ Questlove, Jay-Z, and former record executive Steve Stoute.
All three — and the others interviewed — offered interesting insight into why rap still isn’t given the love it deserves by the Grammys. For Stoute, it’s a matter of the Recording Academy not truly appreciating rap as a true artform:
“If (The Recording Academy) understood that, then (rappers) would be scoring technical points,” he said. “They don’t get the technical points.”
As for Jigga — you might remember he once boycotted the awards show — he’s not really that concerned with adding more gold statues to his shelf. For him, it’s all about whether his fans, or “the people,” accept his music or not. “[T]hat’s my real Grammy,” he said. “As long as it connects with an audience in a way.”
Questlove looks at it differently. He said that things could change if he and other members of the hip-hop community got more involved with the Grammys, particularly the Recording Academy. He admitted that he and the Roots aren’t members of the academy, though he promises to make a change there.
“I should definitely come and be more involved in that. It’s taxing time-wise, but you know, I can either sit and complain … or do something about it.”
You can read the entire piece at Billboard, but what do you think? Is Stoute right that rap music isn’t appreciated as a form of art or is Questo on the right track with his thoughts?