Historically speaking, the Grammy’s have always leaned toward presenting the more prevalent act in any particular category. While it may have come as astonishment to many that Macklemore beat Kendrick Lamar head to head in each category they were featured in, it was common knowledge that Macklemore had the greater hand from the beginning. So, does this snub necessarily mean that Kendrick’s 2012/13 was an absolute waste? Of course not. But if he wants Grammy’s, he has to post Macklemore numbers. Yep, Lamar may have to sacrifice his art and sellout. A platinum album evidently isn’t enough for Kendrick Lamar if he does, indeed, care about the Grammy hardware. Let’s explore the two options Lamar has going forward in his career.
Option A, is to endure on the path that has landed him in position as hip hop’s current king. He has successfully balanced the troubling and difficult act of being an emcee hip hop heads respect, and the MTV audience adores. Kendrick Lamar’s album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City“ garnered instant classic praise, and he dropped one of the best verses in recent memory on Big Sean’s “Control.” But, if he remains on that route, he may never contest the mainstream throne that Macklemore currently has in his possession.
With that said, let me present option B. Kendrick Lamar could focus his intention on producing corny number one singles that will put him in the driver’s seat for the Grammy nods. The exposure could catapult Lamar to new statures, possibly a multi-platinum album and be the biggest act not named Beyoncé or Kanye West. But with such desired fame could come at a steep price. Hip hop heads who worship the “gods” J. Dilla and Nas are the swiftest to denounce a rapper who’s gone too far away from the genre. Lupe Fiasco and B.o.B are eminent examples of rappers who lost their way according to hip hop heads. Yes, being the toast of music is a great thing. But hip hop purists hate Macklemore and love Kendrick. I’m sure Macklemore would kill to have the respect and adulation that Lamar has in the hip hop community. If Lamar wants what Macklemore, has, though, has yet to be determined and I’m sure we will find out soon.
Either way it goes, Kendrick Lamar will have some tough decisions to make for 2014/15 and beyond. The glitz and glamour is legacy-cementing, and all the greats such as Kanye West (although he’s dropped mostly hip hop purist approved albums) Jay-Z and Eminem have made the leap and won multiple Grammys. The question remains, though, is if Kendrick Lamar felt a sting from not notching a single Grammy.
If he did, we can expect some radio friendly singles when he’s starting to promote his next album. If not, it means he accepted the Grammys celebrate the music calendar’s success in terms of business (the calendar is usually from October 1st, to September 30th of the next year.) The Grammys never really celebrated art. To further drive home the point, Nas never notched a Grammy win, either. So, if Kendrick Lamar’s opinion is the politically correct statements he made about Macklemore, then we should move on like he did, too.