- Drake (b. Aubrey Drake Graham) is a Canadian rapper and singer.
- He has been nominated for over 50 Grammy Awards.
- Drake has a tumultuous relationship with the Grammys and pulled his music from the 2022 ceremony.
He started from the bottom; now he’s here: Drake stands at the top of the rap world. Drake has it all: numerous records, countless Billboard Hot 100 hits, and countless Gold, Platinum, and Diamond RIAA certifications. He even has multiple Grammy Awards, but compared to the haul of his other accolades, Drake’s Grammy total is surprisingly small.
Despite being nominated for, as of 2023, 51 awards, Drake’s only taken home…four. For someone who has lived as large as Drake has, and for someone who has accomplished so much, to have a Grammy count in the single digits is uncharacteristic for him. Even Drake seems a bit miffed by this paltry amount, as he’s expressed his disappointment with the Grammys on numerous occasions.
So, what did Drake win his Grammys for? And why is it likely that number won’t grow shortly? Let’s find out.
Drake’s 2023 Grammy Nominations
Drake headed into the 2023 Grammys with four nominations…indirectly.
- Best Melodic Rap Performance: Drake scored a Best Melodic Rap Performance nod for his feature on Future’s “Wait For U,” which also features Tems. The song will compete against “Beautiful” (DJ Khaled ft. Future and SZA), “First Class” (Jack Harlow), “Die Hard” (Kendrick Lamar ft. Blxst and Amanda Reifer), and “Big Energy (Live)” (Latto) for the prize.
- Best Rap Song: Again, Drake netted a nomination for a feature. His verse on Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs” earned him a Best Rap Song nod. It got nominated along with “God Did” (DJ Khaled ft. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend, and Fridayyy), “The Heart Part 5” (Kendrick Lamar), “Pushin P” (Gunna and Future ft. Young Thug), and … “Wait For U,” meaning Drake scored two nominations in the same category.
- Album Of The Year: Drake dropped two projects in 2022: Honestly, Nevermind, and Her Loss, his collab album with 21 Savage. The latter missed the cutoff point for the 65th Grammy Awards, and the former… didn’t net any awards. So, how did Drake receive an Album of the Year nod? Well, he has a credit on Beyoncé’s Renaissance. That album is up for Album of the Year at the 2023 ceremony. None of Drake’s work earned him a direct nomination, and there likely is a reason for that.
Drake’s Relationship With The Grammys
Drake and the Grammys don’t usually see eye-to-eye. In 2014, Drake handed out the #HoodGrammys. In 2017, he didn’t submit his album, More Life, for consideration. In 2022, he was nominated for Best Rap Album (Certified Lover Boy) and Best Rap Performance (“Way Too Sexy”), but he withdrew his work from contention for both awards. It was a decision reportedly made by Drake and his management, and the Recording Academy honored his request, per Entertainment Weekly.
Drake’s 2022 move might have been done in solidarity with how the Grammys did his friend, The Weeknd, dirty the year before. The Weeknd’s After Hours was utterly shut out of the nominations, even though his “Blinding Lights” single became the longest-charting song by a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 of all time.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards,” Drake posted to his Instagram story when The Weeknd was snubbed, “and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artists that exist now and the ones that come after.”
“The other day, I said [The Weeknd] was a lock for either Album of the Year along with countless other reasonable assumptions, and it just never goes that way,” he added. “This is a great time for someone to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come.”
Her Loss may score some nominations in the 66th Grammy Awards, but if that’s the case, it might be done to give 21 Savage some flowers. Drake, like Miley Cyrus, said, can buy his own.
Drake’s 5 Grammy Awards
Best Melodic Rap Performance — “Wait For U” Future, featuring Drake & Tems (2023)
In a move that will likely not help Drake’s already fraught relationship with the Grammys, the Melodic Rap Performance category was awarded during the non-televised preshow ceremony. Future and Tems were present to accept the award. Drake was not.
Congrats, Best Melodic Rap Performance winner –
“WAIT FOR U” @1future ft. @Drake & @temsbaby #GRAMMYs
🎶 WATCH NOW https://t.co/PMy5r3LaPU pic.twitter.com/GUSnjDI5aB
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2023
Best Rap Album — Take Care (2013)
Drake’s first Grammy win came in 2013 when his Take Care won Best Rap album. He won over 2 Chainz’s Based on a T.R.U Story, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album. Pt. 1, Nas’s Life is Good, The Roots’ Undun, and Rick Ross’s God Forgives, I Don’t. Drake spoke with Fuse news on the Grammy Awards red carpet, but he wasn’t there in person for the pre-televised presentation of Best Rap Album.
Best Rap/Sung Performance — “Hotline Bling” (2017)
Best Rap Song “Hotline Bling” (2017)
Drake took home two Grammy awards during the 59th Grammys in 2017. However, he wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony.
“Hotline Bling” won Best Rap/Sung Performance, beating Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar’s “Freedom,” DRAM and Lil Yachty’s “Broccoli,” and two Kanye West songs: “Ultralight Beam” (featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin, and The-Dream) and “Famous” (featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz).
“Hotline Bling” also won Best Rap Song, beating Kanye’s “Famous” and “Ultralight Beam,” Chance The Rapper’s “No Problem” (featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz), and “All The Way Up” by Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infrared.
The next night, on an episode of Apple Music’s OVO Sound radio, Drake disputed being pigeonholed in a single category. “I am referred to as a black artist. I’m a black artist,” he said, per Entertainment Weekly. “I’m apparently a rapper even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song. The only category they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I am black. I can’t figure out why.”
“There’s pop obligations they have, and I fluked out,” he said. “I fluked out and got one of the biggest songs of the year that is a pop song, and I’m proud of that. I love the rap world, and I love the rap community… I write pop songs for a reason. I want to be like Michael Jackson. I want to be like the artists that I looked up to. Those are pop songs, but I never get any credit for that.”
Best Rap Song “God’s Plan” (2019)
Drake was on hand when “God’s Plan” won Best Rap Song in 2019. The song defeated “King’s Dead” (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake), “Lucky You” (Eminem ft. Joyner Lucas), “Win” (Jay Rock), and “Sicko Mode” (Travis Scott, Drake, and Swae Lee) to claim the prize.
The presentation was during the broadcast, and Drake, upon winning, called out the Grammys. “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, per CNN. “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.”
“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],” he continued. “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 a commercial before Drake finished speaking. A week before the broadcast, the show’s producer said that Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino declined to perform at the event.
- Best Rap Song (“Best I Ever Had”)
- Best Rap Solo Performance (“Best I Ever Had”)
- Best New Artist
- Best Rap Solo Performance (“Over”)
- Best Rap Performance By Duo or Group (“Fancy” with Swizz Beatz and T.I.)
- Best Rap Album (Thank Me Later)
- Album of the Year (Loud)
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“What’s My Name” with Rihanna)
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“I’m on One” with DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne)
- Best Rap Performance (“Moment 4 Life” with Nicki Minaj)
- Best Rap Performance (“HYFR” with Lil Wayne)
- Best Rap Song (“The Motto” with Lil Wayne)
- Best Rap Album (Take Care)
- Best Rap Album (Nothing Was The Same)
- Best Rap Performance (“Started From The Bottom”)
- Best Rap Song (“Started From The Bottom”)
- Best Rap Song (“F*****’ Problems” with A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar)
- Album of the Year (good kid, m.A.A.d city, as a featured artist)
- Album of the Year (Beyoncé, as a featured artist)
- Best Rap Song (“0 to 100/ The Catch Up”)
- Best Rap Performance (“0 to 100 / The Catch Up”)
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“Tuesday” with ILoveMakonnen)
- Best Rap Song (“Energy”)
- Best Rap Performance (“Back To Back”)
- Best Rap Performance (“Truffle Butter” with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne)
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“Only” with Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown)
- Best Rap Album (If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late)
- Album of the Year (Views)
- Record of the Year (“Work,” with Rihanna)
- Best Rap Album (Views)
- Best Rap Song (“Hotline Bling”)
- Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Hotline Bling”)
- Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Work” with Rihanna)
- Best R&B Song (“Come and See Me” with PartyNextDoor)
- Best Rap Performance (“Pop Style” with The Throne)
- Album of the Year (Scorpion)
- Record of the Year (“God’s Plan”)
- Song of the Year (“God’s Plan”)
- Best Rap Song (“God’s Plan”)
- Best Rap Song (“Sicko Mode” with Travis Scott and Swae Lee)
- Best Rap Performance (“Sicko Mode” with Travis Scott and Swae Lee)
- Best Rap Performance (“Nice For What”)
- Best R&B Song (“No Guidance” with Chris Brown)
- Best Rap Song (“Gold Roses” with Rick Ross)
- Best Rap Song (“Laugh Now Cry Later” with Lil Durk)
- Best Melodic Rap Performance (“Laugh Now Cry Later” with Lil Durk)
- Best Music Video (“Life Is Good” with Future”)
- Album of the Year (Renaissance as a songwriter)
- Best Rap Song (“Churchill Downs” with Jack Harlow)
- Best Rap Song (“Wait For U” with Future and Terms)
- Best Melodic Rap Song (“Wait For U” with Future and Terms)
Will Drake Perform At The 2023 Grammys?
All signs point to “no.” Stranger things have happened, but…one would be wise not to hold their breath.
What’s Next For Drake?
In late January 2023, Drake performed back-to-back shows at the iconic and historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. During the second night, 21 Savage joined Drake on the stage. “I was telling them earlier, but if you guys enjoy that experience, feel free to come see me and my brother this summer,” he said, per HypeBeast, indicating a joint tour in support of Her Loss is happening in the summer of 2023.
Drake hinted that his next album – a possible true solo rap album, his first since 2021’s Certified Lover Boy – might be on the way.
“I deeply appreciate everybody for continuing to support us,” Drake said at the show. “I’ve thought about a bunch of things in life, but at this moment in time, none of those things are stopping making music for you, so I’ll be here for you for a little bit at least. And I hope I can strike up more emotions for you. Maybe this year, I might get bored and make another one; who knows.”
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