Tekashi 6ix9ine, Kodak Black, and YNW Melly Were All Snubbed From the 2020 Grammy’s — Here’s Why

Rappers Tekashi 6ix9ine, Kodak Black, and YNW Melly all have careers that have been shrouded in controversy since they broke into the music industry.

Even though they all released music which performed better than several of the 2020 Grammy nominees, the rappers were snubbed. Are their legal troubles the reason why?

Kodak Black
Rapper Kodak Black | Scott Dudelson

The success of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s ‘Dummy Boy’

Controversial New York City rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine rose to fame in 2017 after seemingly taking over Instagram with his antics and blatant gang-related activity.

However, his social media fame translated to a successful music career, and 6ix9ine’s second album, Dummy Boy, peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and is certified Platinum.

However, the rapper was arrested only four days before the release date, and so he couldn’t promote it. The album ended up dropping to mostly negative reviews despite having top-charting singles, including “Tati” and “Fefe,” featuring Nicki Minaj.

The success of Kodak Black’s ‘Dying to Live’

In 2015, Florida rapper Kodak Black gained popularity after Drake posted a video of himself dancing to Black’s “Skrt.” XXL Magazine then featured him in their 2016 class, and Black would have continued to soar if he didn’t have so many legal troubles.

On December 14, 2018, Black dropped his second album, Dying to Live, led by the hit single, “Zeze” featuring Travis Scott and Offset after his release from jail in August.

The album reached number one on the Billboard 200, and Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts and RIAA certified it Gold. Despite Black proving that he is an excellent confessional rapper on Dying to Live, critics felt like his lyrics were disingenuous as he refused to take responsibility for his actions resulting in multiple arrests and instead portrayed himself as a victim.

The success of YNW Melly’s ‘We All Shine’

20-year-old YNW Melly rose to fame in 2017 after he released his first EP and a few singles that went viral on YouTube, including “Virtual (Blue Balenciagas)” and “Melly the Menace.”

Melly then broke through with the Kanye West-assisted “Mixed Personalities” which he included on his second album, We All Shine. After getting arrested on January 3, 2019, for possession of marijuana, he decided to release We All Shine two weeks later from behind bars.

Despite the massive single with West, the album only hit number 27 on the Billboard charts. Because of the incredible, and terrifying, storytelling ability Melly showed in 2016 single “Murder on My Mind,” the writing on We All Shine seemed to take a step back from that as it was filled with more melodies.

Why were Tekashi 6ix9ine, Kodak Black, and YNW Melly snubbed from the 2020 Grammy’s?

The Recording Academy members vote on quality alone, not sales or chart positions. Black and Melly both displayed phenomenal talent in their projects, and their albums have a cohesive theme.

However, Dreamville received 2020 Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song despite the entire album only being a compilation with J. Cole and his artists.

6ix9ine’s Dummy Boy is debatable, but Melly and Black both released albums that were worthy of a nomination in a rap category. However, they most likely didn’t receive it because of the controversy surrounding the artists.

Black was recently ordered to serve a four-year sentence stemming from firearm charges and has been in jail since May. Similarly, Melly is sitting behind bars awaiting his trial on the double-murder of his childhood friends.

If Black could have stayed out of jail the last time the judge gave him a warning, there’s no doubt his number one album, Dying to Live, would have earned a 2020 Grammy nomination.

However, the committee doesn’t want to reward these rappers who are embroiled in legal trouble. Watch the 2020 Grammy’s January 26 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.