Drake’s hit “God’s Plan” won the Grammy for best rap song and the rapper offered words of encouragement in his acceptance speech.
“I want to take this opportunity while I’m up here to just talk to all the kids that are watching this, aspiring to do music,” Drake said. “All my peers that make music from their heart that do things pure and tell the truth, I wanna let you know we’re playing in an opinion-based sport not a factual-based sport. So it’s not the NBA where at the end of the year you’re holding a trophy because you made the right decisions or won the games.”
He went on to allude the Recording Academy’s debatable track record with artists of color.
“This is a business where sometimes it’s up to a bunch of people who might not understand what a mixed race kid from Canada has to say or a fly Spanish girl from New York or anybody else, or a brother from Houston right there, my brother Travis [Scott]. But my point is 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 broadcast cut to commercial before Drake finished speaking.
Longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich told The New York Times last week that Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino declined to perform during the event.
“The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world,” Ehrlich said. “When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.”