Will Kanye West Really Skip The Grammys?

Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The Meadows
If Kanye West is a man of his word, he won't be attending the 2017 Grammys. The rapper made a bold declaration about his stipulations for attending music's biggest night, but he should have checked in with Frank Ocean before making any promises.

During a concert on Saturday, West decided to share his love for Ocean, whose new album, Blonde, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. West told the crowd, "I’ll tell you this right now, if his album is not nominated in no categories, I’m not showing up to the Grammys...as artists, we’ve got to come together to fight the bullshit."

West isn't wrong about Ocean deserving a Grammy nod. The problem with West's promise? We already know that Ocean likely won't receive West's demanded nomination — because Ocean didn't want Grammy consideration in the first place. According to a rep for the Grammys, Ocean did not submit Blonde or his visual album, Endless, for eligibility, which means that it's highly unlikely he will wind up with the nomination West so craves.

Clearly, West has a lot of feelings about the fairness of the awards ceremony (Remember his rant when Beck won Album Of The Year in 2015?) — and I tend to agree that the Grammys don't always recognize the most innovative talents of our time. Still, for someone who spends so much time criticizing the institution, you would think that he would be aware of artists staging what could be their own silent protests.

It's unclear why Ocean declined to make Blonde eligible for a Grammy, but it might be because, like West, Ocean feels the awards show doesn't validate the most artistically valuable music of the year. It could be that Ocean simply doesn't care what awards his album earns as long as it inspires his fans. Heck, it could even be that Ocean wants to make sure Beyoncé wins this round. Who cares if West doesn't sit in the audience at the awards show because of Ocean's lack of nominations? The Blonde mogul made a way bigger statement by declining to participate in the whole shebang.
It's great that West is going to bat for artists he believes deserve recognition, but maybe he should ask those artists their opinion before making grand statements in their honor.

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