The world of social media — as well as key players in the world of rap music — continue to be outraged by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ big sweep of the rap categories at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. It’s a controversy that has openly raised questions of racial bias — or at least ignorance of key African-American artists who dominate the world or rap music.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won Grammys Sunday for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for “Thrift Shop;” plus Best Rap Album for “The Heist.”
The key issues: Whether Macklemore is more of a pop star than pure rapper — and if Grammy voters, who may not have paid adequate attention to the rap categories, may have voted for Macklemore (who is white) without proper thought.
Many observers believe Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid Maad City” should have won best rap album — or Kanye West’s “New Slaves” would have been a better choice for best rap song.
Grammy voters do not vote in every category (they can vote in only nine categories), but are supposed to zero-in on music genres they know best.
An added irritant to some music world players: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were featured on the cover of the 2014 Grammy voters’ guide.
After beating out Jay-Z, Drake, Kanye West and Lamar for the best rap album award, Macklemore said, “It is a beautiful time in hip-hop music where people are pushing the comfort zone of the listener, of the art. If you look at the list of the people that were nominated…everybody in their own way pushed people out of their comfort zone. With that being said, I think that we gratefully humbly are one of those five people. We should be there. I came up on hip-hop music, this is the foundation, it’s beats and rhymes, that’s what it is first and foremost.”