The 2018 Grammys Reflect The Future Of Hip Hop/R&B Culture In America

By Isha Thorpe

January 26, 2018

The 2018 Grammys is going down in history and we’ve known this from the minute that we learned this year’s nominations.

Hip hop and R&B music is dominating the awards ceremony in a number of different ways. Just take a look at the top categories, for example. For the first time in the Grammys 60-year history, a white male isn’t nominated in the Album Of The Year category. The 2018 Album Of The Year nominees are JAY-Z’s 4:44, Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., Lorde’s Melodrama, and Bruno Mars24K Magic.

Many say that a white man wasn't nominated in 1999, either. But, Garbage was nominated that year. Though Shirley Manson fronted the band, the entire band was nominated and this also included its members Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig.

So, like we said, the first time EVER!

On top of that, rap legend JAY-Z is dominating the show with the most nominations of the night: eight in total! Lamar and Mars trail closely behind with seven and six nominations, respectively. Following them are Khalid, Childish Gambino, No I.D. and SZA with five nominations each.

Did we mention that SZA is also the most nominated female artist this year? Yeah, give her some much-deserved props, real quick.

Moreover; SZA, Lil Uzi Vert and Khalid are three out of the five nominees for Best New Artist, along with Julia Michaels and Alessia Cara.

Oooh, but don't think we're finished just yet with the receipts because the Record Of The Year category includes JAY-Z's "The Story of O.J.," Mars' "24K Magic," Lamar's "HUMBLE.," Gambino's "Redbone" and "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber.

And let's not forget the Song Of The Year category! The four of the five nominees rep hip hop/R&B. They are Logic's “1-800-273-8255,” JAY-Z’s “4:44,” Fonsi's “Despacito,” Mars’ “That’s What I Like,” along with Michaels' “Issues.” 

The truth of the matter is that hip hop/R&B is taking over, not only the Grammys, but America, as a whole. According to Nielsen Music, hip hop/R&B surpassed rock music for the first time ever in 2017 and became the biggest music genre in the United States in terms of overall consumption.

So, the Grammys is simply reflecting the fact that black/brown culture will soon dominate this good old land of the free, home of the brave. Moreover, look at this from a statistical standpoint. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2050, the U.S. will not have a white majority any longer. Fifty-three percent of America’s population will be either multiracial or nonwhite, compared to 40 percent today.

The browning of America is real and hip hop/R&B taking over is proof of this and we suggest you get used to it. The future of America's pop culture is rap, and rhythm and blues. The Grammys shows this fact perfectly and we're excited AF to watch it and see who takes home the awards... for the culture.

Follow Isha Thorpe on Twitter at @IshaThorpe to talk hip hop/R&B and more. 

Photo: Getty Images

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