Why Do Female Rappers Continue to Get Overlooked for Grammy Nominations?

Even though hip hop is the most popular music genre in America, the 2020 Grammy nominations are not completely reflecting this, especially when it comes to women.

For example, rapper Rapsody “explored a lineage of black female icons in a way that is both tender and compelling” on her third album, Eve, yet she didn’t receive a single 2020 Grammy nomination.

Additionally, the Recording Academy failed to see the successful 2019 “hot girl summer” Megan Thee Stallion had and also overlooked her in the rap categories. Why?

Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion | Carmen Mandato

Was Rapsody’s ‘Eve’ snubbed from the 2020 Grammy’s?

North Carolina rapper Rapsody released her debut studio album, Laila’s Wisdom (2017), and earned Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song (“Sassy”) and Best Rap Album.

However, her next album, Eve, released on August 23, 2019, went unnoticed for the 2020 Grammy’s. Rapsody decided to make the album for her heroes, and every song on the Eve is named after 16 influential black women.

Although the album didn’t perform well commercially, she received raving reviews from critics who loved how frank she spoke about the black experience. Pitchfork called Eve “a triumph” where Rapsody “unlocks her full skillset and brings her creativity and ingenuity to the fore.”

Was Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Fever’ snubbed from the 2020 Grammy’s?

Even though Megan Thee Stallion is relatively new to the mainstream hip hop scene, everyone got to know her reasonably quickly due to her viral “hot girl summer” phrase.

The Texas rapper first began making noise after her March 2018 performance at SXSW and signed to 300 Entertainment in November, becoming the first woman on the label.

The singles “Realer,” “Simon Says,” featuring Juicy J, and Da-Baby-assisted “Cash S**t,” which became her first Top 40 hit, all performed well. Fever peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, and critics praised her Southern rap sound and provocative lyrics.

In August, Stallion released the successful single “Hot Girl Summer,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign. It ended up hitting number one, and the ladies earned a 2019 MTV Video Music Award for Best Power Anthem. If she dropped the single with the album, the Nicki Minaj assistance would have gotten Fever noticed by the Grammy’s.

Why were there no women nominated in the 2020 Grammy Rap categories?

It’s unclear why the 2020 Grammy’s overlooked Rapsody, especially after nominating her twice in 2017. Additionally, the subject matter is nothing new to the Recording Academy as they awarded Kendrick Lamar a Grammy for Best Rap Album (To Pimp a Butterfly).

When it comes to Stallion, the Recording Academy may have snubbed her due to her overtly sexual lyrics or felt like Fever lacked a cohesive theme. Regardless, Rapsody’s Eve garnered positive reviews and impact deserving of a nomination, and Stallion has had a phenomenal year in music.

However, female rappers are always underrepresented at award shows because there’s a false narrative going around that there can only be one female rapper. Fans felt like they had to choose between Cardi B or Nicki Minaj when they never have to pick a favorite male rapper.

Until the narrative that only one female rapper can represent all other women is changed, they will always be underrepresented. Watch the 2020 Grammy’s January 26th on CBS at 8 P.M. EST.