With the exception of a few records and albums, the GRAMMYs have never been receptive towards Urban music in the GF. Which is surprising since this particular genre has a had a tremendous impact on our culture. Why do you think it’s hard for R&B and Hip-Hop artists to win in these major categories? Discuss.
Because most voters are older white men.
Besides the voters being old white farts, urban music sometimes lack the live instrumentation that usually wins in ROTY/SOTY. I can’t speak on AOTY.
I think the demographic of voters has something to do with it, but it also has a lot to do with the idea that urban music isn’t as “serious” or “important” or “quality” like other genres. When the album makes and impact, garners attention for its artistry/songwriting/vocal, etc… it CAN happen (Outkast, Lauryn Hill), but often times albums by veterans/more respected “musicians” (I also think that is a keyword here because often times, right or wrong, urban artists, particularly hip hop artists, aren’t looked at as being true musicians) win out in the end. Voters obviously have no problem awarded black artists in the GF categories, but it seems the bias is directed toward urban music specifically.
There are a lot of variables here.
There is a large portion of the voting crowd that don’t “get” urban music. The fact that a good portion of urban music contains sampling and not much live instrumentation plays a factor here. Also, the stuff that do contain live instrumentation (i.e India. Arie, Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, etc.). tend to get looked over altogether because they don’t have the crossover success. Also, take a look at the credits for the proclaimed frontrunner of Album of the Year Beyonce and the actual winner Beck. There are about four times as many people involved in that self-titled album than on Beck’s album. Music elitists tend to look down on that kind of stuff. And I do support the idea that there are not enough supporters in the rap and R&B blocs to speak up and say that these are important genres of music that should be recognized more often.
On another note, it’s not like the stuff Gwen Stefani and Gaga make get any more attention than the urban stuff.