Whether by accident or design, Drake did not submit his 2017 release “More Life” for Grammy consideration, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety. The failure to submit the album by the late-August deadline also means that no songs from “More Life” will be considered for Grammy song categories. The news was first reported by The Associated Press.
While “More Life” is technically a mixtape, it meets the Grammy-nomination criteria, which was revised in 2016 to allow for free releases; last year, Chance the Rapper’s free album, “Coloring Book,” won Best Rap Album.
In the past, failures to submit were usually clerical errors by a label, but like Frank Ocean’s high-profile abstention last year, where he declined to nominate either of the albums he released, “Blonde” or “Endless,” for Grammy consideration even though, like Drake this year, he seemed to have a strong chance of winning — Drake’s move may be intentional.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” Ocean told the New York Times. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”
Drake, who received eight nominations at this year’s Grammys and won two for “Hotline Bling,” echoed those comments in an interview conducted in February the day after the awards ceremony, which he did not attend, and aired on his OVO radio show on Beats 1. “Even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song, the only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category,” he said. “Maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black, I can’t figure out why.
“I won two awards last night,” he continued. “But but I don’t even want them, because it just feels weird for some reason.”