Per Variety, the Certified Lover Boy withdrew his nominations for Best Rap Album (Certified Lover Boy) and Best Rap Performance (“Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug) on Monday—though it’s unclear why. A rep for the Recording Academy confirmed the decision was made at the behest of Drake and his management team with the Grammys honoring it almost immediately. The unprecedented move comes just as ballots were posted for voting members.
The two categories will now move forward with only four nominees; namely: Baby Keem, J. Cole, Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion for Best Rap Performance, while Best Rap Album nominations will now include just J. Cole’s Off Season, Tyler the Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost, Nas’ King’s Disease, and Kanye West’s Donda. A rep for Drake has yet to comment on the matter, leading many to speculate why he would change course so abruptly.
The “What’s Next” rapper could be feeling the pressure from the mounting lawsuits stemming from the Astroworld tragedy last month, as, being the surprise guest at the event, he’s now also named in several suits. Drizzy hasn’t performed since; however, it doesn’t appear he’s shying away from the stage as he’s set to perform with Kanye West at the upcoming “Free Larry Hoover” benefit concert in Los Angeles this Thursday.
The 6 Gawd also previously sided with The Weeknd last year after blasting the Recording Academy for its refusal to recognize the “Blinding Lights” artist for any awards during the 2021 season. Prior to that, Drake echoed similar sentiments about divesting from mainstream awards shows during his speech at the 2019 Grammys, saying in part:
“You’ve already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows—you don’t need this right here. I promise you, you already won.”
The 2022 Grammys will air live Monday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.ET, on CBS and streaming live on Paramount+.