Sophia Guerrier – Anchor Staff
This past weekend Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” won Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards Show. Yes, you heard me — Cardi B won. The same one who sang “I don’t dance now, I make money moves.” Before I express my utter disappointment for this very sad news in Hip Hop, I am aware that the Grammys has a long history of getting the rap category wrong, but it never fails to amaze me every time that they do.
Drake stole the night with his unforgettable speech after winning Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan,” (which should not have won either), and he stated the bitter truth. He said, “We’re playing in an opinion based sport … it’s up to people that may not understand …” and stated that artists do not need a Grammy to validate their music.
I am not saying that Drake was referring to Cardi B in his speech, but he was referring to the fact that Rap still remains a category that has been repeatedly disrespected by the Recording Academy.
This year the highest honor of music told the music industry and rap fans around the world that “Invasion of Privacy” was better than nominees “Daytona,” “Swimming,” “Victory Lap” and “Astroworld.” This is outrageous considering that “Invasion of Privacy” contained more elements of pop than it did rap or hip-hop.
Rap is a genre of competition. Since the birth of rap, aspects like flow, lyricism, and MC impact during a live performance have always been championed. In 2019, these elements may have been lost along the way, but they are certainly not dead.
I could go on forever about how every other nominated album was better than “Invasion of Privacy” but to keep it short, Cardi’s album did not contain any of those elements that were previously mentioned. There was no sophisticated lyricism. No complexity or innovation in production, and versatility in her skills as rapper was non existent. There should be an investigation on who is actually voting in the category because Cardi’s album does not reflect the true essence of rap.
Cardi B is the first female rapper to win Best Rap Album which is also a tragedy to many female rappers now and before.
“Room 21” by NoName was the highest critically acclaimed rap album of 2018, female or male, and she received no nominations. Rappers before Cardi B like Eve, Foxy Brown and Lady of Rage were all more deserving to be the first female to win the Best Rap Album accolade in their era.
It is a true shame that the Grammys continue to not acknowledge how significant the rap categories are, and need to revise the criteria for voting in them. If not, the Rap category will never reflect its original culture of high quality, unapologetic, black, substance-filled music.