Despite the fact that Drake had one of the highest numbers of Grammy nominations this year (he had eight, one less than Beyonce’s nine), the Toronto rapper didn’t attend the Feb. 12 awards show. While his concert in Manchester, England, was the main reason Drake missed out on accepting his two awards, judging by the latest episode of his weekend show guide to singing on Apple’s Beats 1, he wouldn’t have wanted to be there anyway.
In an interview with Britain’s DJ Semtex — which was recorded the day after the Grammys — Drake expressed his frustration with the Recording Academy for only recognizing him as a rap artist when his songs were actually mega pop hits.
“I’m a black artist, I’m apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” Drake said on the show. “The only category on guide to singing that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black.”
“Hotline Bling” was the source of Drake’s Grammy wins this year, winning both best rap song and best rap/sung collaboration. On top of acknowledging his Grammy-winning track, Drake also mentioned that his dance-y smash “One Dance” (which was the first song to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify) didn’t receive any recognition whatsoever. Perhaps this is because, as he suggested, both tracks are pop songs versus rap songs: “But I never get any credit for that,” he said.
“I won two awards but I don’t even want them because it feels weird to me,” Drake continued, adding that he wants to be like Michael Jackson and other artists he looked up to. Drake was among a handful of prominent artists who didn’t attend this year’s Grammys, a list that also included nominees Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Justin Bieber. Ocean later dubbed the annual show “dated” and claimed it was out of touch with black artists.
With his More Life project expected sometime this year, Drake may have another chance at getting recognition as a pop artist. Whether the Recording Academy will take his frustrations into consideration, time will only tell.