Multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Drake has withdrawn his 2022 Grammy Award nominations for his album Certified Lover Boy, which was up for best rap album, and his song “Way 2 Sexy,” nominated for best rap performance.
A rep for the Recording Academy confirmed the news with Variety. Each category will now only contain four nominees. Best Rap Performance will include “Family Ties” by Baby Keem Featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Up” by Cardi B, “MY LIFE” by J.Cole Featuring 21 Savage & Morray, and “Thot S***” by Megan Thee Stallion.
Best Rap Album will now be between, The Off-Season by J. Cole, King’s Disease II by Nas, Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler, the Creator, and Donda by Kanye West.
The decision was made by Drake and his management and the Grammys honored the request, according to Variety. There was no mention, at the time, as to why the singer withdrew his name.
Drake is named in the lawsuits surrounding the recent Astroworld tragedy, and there is some thought that his withdrawal is a result of that. Though Drake hasn’t said explicitly why yet and has made no announcement on social media.
Last year, Drake said that the Grammys should be replaced with “something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.” This came after the awards show did not recognize Drake’s friend and countryman, The Weeknd.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exist now and the ones that come after,” Drake posted in an Instagram Story then. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won’t change their ways. The other day I said @theweeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”
The Recording Academy has been busy as of late. Earlier this month, they removed Marilyn Manson’s Best Rap Song nomination for “Jail,” a song he helped co-write on Kanye West’s recent album Donda. Manson is still up for a Grammy for Album of the Year for Donda.
The 64th Annual Grammys Awards ceremony, hosted by Trevor Noah, will broadcast live from Los Angeles on Paramount+ and CBS on Jan. 31.
Photo: Chris McKay / Courtesy Republic Records