For the work Kendrick Lamar did on his 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly, he has received a serious amount of well-deserved recognition. The Grammys should prove to continue that trend, as Lamar leads all artists by being nominated for 11 awards, the second most nominations for one night in the event’s history.
While his name will be the one mentioned most frequently throughout the night, by no means does that indicate that he will take home the most hardware. For example, in 2014 he was nominated for seven awards and did not win a single one, which is also a Grammy record. Getting there has not been the problem for Lamar, but being able to clinch is what has been.
This year it should not be too difficult for him to notch wins in the rap category, as his album is revered as the best rap album of the year and instant classic already. What most people are wondering is whether or not he can take any of the awards like Album, Record or Song of the Year while competing against artists from other genres. If he is able to do so, he might be able to approach the record for number of Grammys in one night, which is currently eight.
A hip-hop artist/group has not won album of the year since Outkast did it in 2004 for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Lauryn Hill won in 1999 for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill) and no rapper has ever won album or record of the year, so Lamar will have his hands full. One deficit that hip-hop artists usually face in this category is that their work is not as mainstream as artists they are going up against because a lot of the music is not made to top the charts the way the charts were created. For example, Taylor Swift’s 1989 is also up for the award, and that had seven hit singles and promoted a huge world tour. Her music might be known by more people and has already proven its success in a variety of ways To Pimp a Butterfly did not.
In his album, Lamar takes on a lot of issues that people don’t necessarily think about or are afraid to talk about, along with complex ideas even the biggest of fans may still not catch or understand. Those little things that Kendrick worked so hard to add on to the album may get overlooked, as tends to happen in rap music, which is unfortunate to somebody who appreciates hip-hop more than other genres. Lamar has already made history, not only in music, but in this country and even farther. Whether or not he continue that by bringing home some hardware is out of my control. If he is able to break some barrier for hip-hop music, however, I am very excited to hear what he has to say about it.