10 Iconic Hip-Hop Artists Who’ve Never Won A Grammy


Ever because the Recording Academy deemed the style ble sufficient to be acknowledged, there’s been a contentious relationship between rap music and the Grammy awards. While the Academy expanded to incorporate greatest rap album, greatest rap/sung collaboration and greatest rap track as extra classes (some years additionally splitting the awards by gender), most within the hip-hop neighborhood would agree that the Grammys have a protracted historical past of not totally acknowledging the artistry of rap music.

Almost 30 years in the past, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince turned the recipients of the primary rap Grammy in one of the best rap efficiency class in 1989 for his or her hit single “Parents Just Don't Understand.” When they had been knowledgeable that one of the best rap efficiency wouldn’t be televised because of time constraints, the hip-hop neighborhood responded by staging a boycott in protest of the Recording Academy’s resolution. The boycott of the Grammys was led by Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, in addition to rap artists Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Public Enemy.

Expressing his frustration over his award presentation not being televised, Will Smith told Entertainment Tonight, “We don't have the issue with the Grammy as an award or the Grammys as an establishment — we simply had an issue with the 1989 design of the awards present. We selected to boycott. We really feel that it's a slap within the face." Addressing the matter in an official statement on the time, Salt-N-Pepa agreed, "If they don’t need us, we don’t need them.”

As the years handed, the Recording Academy continued to make quite a few mishaps in totally recognizing the good artistry of rap music as a distinguished style, sparking extra boycotts by high-profile artists like Public Enemy, JAY-Z, and 50 Cent. The hip-hop neighborhood felt — and lots of nonetheless really feel — that regardless of its rising business enchantment and important relevance, rap music wasn’t considered being on par with different genres. To add insult to harm, the Academy appeared to make a follow of not airing hip-hop artists profitable their awards on the televised broadcast, and never together with the works of rap artists within the Big Four main classes.

Even in 2018, as hip-hop has lengthy been cemented as the preferred and worthwhile mainstream style, rap was nonetheless unable to realize any traction within the main classes. JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar, though each nominated for track, report, and album of the yr, had been each shut out. The solely three hip-hop acts to win in one of the best new artist class have been Arrested Development in 1993, Lauryn Hill in 1999, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in 2014, whereas the one two album of the yr winners from the hip-hop world are Ms. Hill in 1999, for debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Outkast in 2004 for his or her Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double LP. No rapper has ever received both track or report of the yr. 

When you peruse the listing of rappers who’ve by no means received a Grammy in any class, it’s a who’s who of a few of the most notable MCs in hip-hop historical past — together with Run-DMC, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, Foxy Brown, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and lots of others. In honor of the 30-year anniversary of the primary Grammy award introduced to rap music, right here’s a listing of 10 iconic hip-hop artists who by no means received a Grammy.

1. Snoop Dogg

Without query, Snoop Dogg is likely one of the most identifiable rappers throughout the globe, and a fixture of popular culture. A solidified legend in hip-hop, Snoop has launched critically acclaimed and commercially profitable albums since his blockbuster 1993 debut Doggystyle, together with basic singles like "Gin & Juice," “Beautiful” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Just final yr, Uncle Snoop was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

With all this and extra in his favor, a Grammy is the one accolade that has eluded the West Coast icon. He’s been nominated for an astounding 16 Grammys, in a number of classes, inserting him in second behind R&B vocalist Brian McKnight amongst recording artists for probably the most nominations with out taking residence the coveted gramophone. Snoop’s Zero-16 Grammy report stays one of many nice mysteries of the Recording Academy.

2. Nas

Although Nas has obtained an Emmy for producing, directing, and scoring the music for the ESPN documentary, Survival 1, he has the second-most nominations of any rapper to have by no means received a Grammy. His 1994 debut album Illmatic continues to be thought-about the holy grail of hip-hop LPs, whereas his basic 1996 single “If I Ruled The World,” from sophomore business breakout It Was Written, earned him his first Grammy nomination for greatest rap solo efficiency. Throughout his numerous 12-album discography, the “One Mic” MC has charted 10 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, however even with 13 nominations below his belt, Nas continues to be sans Grammy.

three. 2Pac

As one probably the most revered and iconic artists in trendy music historical past, the rationale behind Tupac Shakur by no means a receiving a Grammy is kind of puzzling. A famous person of ‘90s West Coast hip-hop, Tupac gave the world a few of its most recognizable hip-hop anthems, whereas LPs like Me Against The World, All Eyez On Me, and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory are nonetheless held as classics by followers and critics. During his lifetime, nonetheless, he was solely nominated twice for a Grammy — each in 1996 — for greatest rap solo efficiency (“Dear Mama,” dropping to Coolio’s “Gangsta's Paradise”) and greatest rap album (Me Against The World, falling brief to Naughty By Nature’s Poverty’s Paradise). Posthumously, Shakur can be nominated 4 extra instances, however his identify was by no means known as because the winner.

four. The Notorious B.I.G.

It’s unbelievable (pun supposed) that Biggie Smalls, extra formally referred to as The Notorious B.I.G., by no means obtained a Grammy. As an instrumental determine within the renaissance of ‘90s New York hip-hop, B.I.G. turned one of many largest stars of the period, and his legacy nonetheless reverberates inside standard music. Although his catalogue is just not as intensive as his contemporaries because of his premature loss of life in 1997, he reached legendary standing together with his basic mid-'90s albums Ready To Die and Life After Death. Like Tupac, he misplaced greatest rap efficiency to Coolio in 1996 after being nominated for his “Big Poppa,” and in 1998, posthumously misplaced in greatest rap efficiency by a duo or group and greatest rap album — each to his former collaborator, label head, and pal, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

5. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has been probably the most standard rappers on the scene since she debuted in 2008, reworking from a MyArea sensation right into a full-fledged hip-hop icon. She is the primary feminine artist to register 100 entries on the Billboard Hot 100, together with crossover smashes like “Moment four Life, “Super Bass,”  and “Starships,” whereas her her albums Pink Friday and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded each reached primary on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her spectacular accomplishments however, the “Barbie Tingz” rapper has been nominated for a Grammy 10 instances, however has but to come back away with any trophies. The shutout will proceed via 2019, as Minaj obtained no nominations this yr for 2018’s Queen LP or any of its accompanying singles.

6. DMX

In 1998, DMX did the unthinkable by releasing two multi-platinum albums inside the identical calendar yr. Both LPs, It’s Dark Is and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, debuted at primary on the Billboard 200 albums chart, every promoting over 600,000 models in its first week of launch. Amazingly, this feat didn’t garner DMX any Grammy nominations. It could possibly be argued that X’s uncooked, aggressive model of MCing perhaps didn’t bode nicely with the Recording Academy, who had a protracted monitor report of preferring extra pop-oriented rappers as nominees and winners. His highest charting Hot 100 hit, “Party Up (Up In Here),” earned him a Grammy nomination for greatest rap solo efficiency in 2001, however finally misplaced out to Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady.”

7. Busta Rhymes

With an electrical persona and supreme lyrical dexterity, Busta Rhymes is certainly one of most beloved veteran MCs in hip-hop. Debuting in 1991 as member of the Leaders of the New School, he then launched a particularly profitable solo profession within the late ‘90s with hits like "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check" (1996) “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” (1997) and “What’s It Gonna Be?!” that includes Janet Jackson (1999), every receiving Grammy noms for greatest rap efficiency. Throughout his storied profession, Busta has charted seven songs within the high 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. But with smash hit singles, acclaimed albums, and legendary movies to his credit score — in addition to a formidable 12 Grammy nominations to this point — Busta is but to stroll away with the coveted prize.

eight. J. Cole

J. Cole is likely one of the most extremely regarded MCs at the moment, however not like his famous person contemporaries — specifically Kendrick Lamar and Drake — he has but to take residence a Grammy. In 2011, he earned a greatest new artist nomination, and in 2014, his was nominated for greatest rap album for 2014 Forest Hills Drive. But when the 2019 Grammy nominations had been introduced, followers and critics alike had been shocked that J. Cole’s well-received Ok.O.D. album didn’t make the lower. Of all of the rap artists who had been neglected for this yr’s Grammys, J. Cole is arguably certainly one of this yr’s most evident omissions.

9. Ice Cube

Today, most individuals affiliate Ice Cube together with his appearing, producing, and directing of hit movies, and even because the face of professional basketball league, the BIG three. But none of that may be doable with out him rising to stardom as one of many biggest MCs to ever grace the stage. Cube’s work with N.W.A has earned him enshrinement within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and as a solo artist, from the late ‘80s into the early ‘90s, Cube was the crème de la crème of MCs — dropping basic, sociopolitically well timed albums like AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, and The Predator. Amazingly, the “It Was A Good Day” rapper has by no means been nominated for a single Grammy in his whole profession.

10.  A Tribe Called Quest

A Tribe Called Quest will without end be etched in stone as one of many preeminent teams in hip-hop historical past. The artistic ingenuity of Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed, Jarobi, and Q-Tip spawned one probably the most lauded catalogues in hip-hop, significantly their much-beloved first three LPs, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990), The Low End Theory (1991), and Midnight Marauders (1993). The outfit’s use of jazz samples, minimalist manufacturing, and infectious hooks made Tribe probably the most distinctive acts throughout the Golden Era of hip-hop. Interestingly, they weren’t nominated by the Recording Academy for any of these initiatives — although they lastly obtained noms for greatest rap album for Beats, Rhymes, and Life in 1996 and for The Love Movement in 1998.

We Got It From Here… Thank You four Your Service, the group’s remaining album, was launched in 2016, following the loss of life of Phife from diabetic problems at 45 years outdated. The challenge was celebrated by critics and constant followers, however when the nominations for the Grammys had been introduced in 2017, the Tribe’s identify was not talked about. After being neglected by the Academy as soon as once more, an exasperated Q-Tip took to social media to air out his grievances with your entire course of.

10 Iconic Hip-Hop Artists Who've Never Won A Grammy