Anytime I hear the Grammy Awards would be coming up I just hiss. As a matter of fact, Eminem’s line in The Real Slim Shady track “You think I give a damn about a Grammy? Half of you critics can’t even stomach me, let alone stand me” comes to mind. I hope I got the lyrics right though.
The irony is that Eminem is the reason why I don’t look forward to the Grammys, not because I don’t like him. Eminem has to be up there amongst the best rappers to ever hold a mic.
So my beef with the most respected music awards on the planet started as far back as the 43rd edition which held in 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. My favourite rapper at the time Earl Simmons aka DMX (Dark Man X or Divine Master of the Unknown or whatever he decides to tag the acronym) was nominated in the best rap single category for his song Party Up and best rap album for And Then There Was X (an amazing body of work). I implore y’all to find that album and listen to it if you haven’t and if you have listen again, you will be surprised it would slug it out with new rap albums.
In the best rap song category Party Up was up against Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady, Common’s The Light, Mystikal’s Shake Ya A** and Nelly’s Country Grammar. I agree it was a tough decision to pick the best of the lot that year but I thought Party Up trumped all these singles. It was a party jam, lyrically on point and the message was clear.
For the best rap album category, it was also a tough call. I mean it had Eminem’s The Marshall Marthers LP, Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001, Nelly’s Country Grammar, Jay Z’s Volume 3: Life and Times of Shawn Carter and And Then There Was X by DMX. For me Nelly’s Country Grammar or Dr Dre’s Chronic edged all these other albums. These were masterpieces. Eminem however won in both categories making it back to back Grammy wins (2000 and 2001).
So I stopped waking up at midnight to follow the Grammy Awards afterwards. I only get interested if I hear Jay Z is in the running to win an award. This is because Jay Z boycotted the Grammy Awards in 1999 because DMX was not nominated the previous year. He however ended the boycott in 2004 when his then girlfriend Beyonce was nominated.
I still don’t understand how any of these DMX albums ; It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, And Then There Was X and Gramp Champ or songs from these albums never won a Grammy.