It’s a tough category. On one hand you have Jay Z who has enjoyed over 20 years in the rap game and made history by brokering a multi-million rand deal with Samsung that scored him high sales and nine Grammy nominations.
Then you have Drake and Kendrick Lamar who have each had a great year, with their musical offerings, Nothing Was the Same and Good Kid Maad City respectively dominated charts and spawned several hit singles.
Lamar’s was so well received that he was the top contender for the Best Rap Album category. Kanye West may have snagged many a headline for his rants and high-profile relationship to his fiancée, Kim Kardashian, but in truth, his nomination came as a surprise. His album Yeezus has so far failed to reach the one million sales mark and has resulted in only a few hit singles.
Despite the stiff competition in this highly contested category, it was artist and producer duo, Ryan Lewis and Macklemore who stole the show with four wins. They cleaned up the rap section, clinching awards for Best Rap Album, Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.
The only category the duo didn’t snag was Best Rap Song Collaboration, which went to Jay Z and Justin Timberlake for Holy Grail.
It has taken Macklemore over 14 years to be recognised for his music. The 30-year-old rapper has released several EPs with his full debut album, The Language of My World, published in 2005. Macklemore experienced a meltdown in 2008 and was admitted to rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.
Speaking to RollingStone.com, Macklemore said he had to become clean before he could fully conquer the music industry. He managed to beat his addictions in August 2008 and soon partnered with Ryan Lewis who would become his producer and co-owner of their record label. Lewis (25), a professional photographer, is one of the youngest producers to win a Grammy.
Their collaborative effort, The Heist, was released in 2012 and the pair haven’t looked back since. The album has not only become a chart topper but has shone the spotlight on gay rights with the catchy single, Same Love. The song has become an anthem in the gay rights community and in a TV first, 33 same-sex couples tied the knot during a performance of the song at last night’s Grammys.
The award-winning duo were thrilled with their win but the humble Macklemore did say he felt he had “robbed” Kendrick Lamar of the Best Rap Album award. Macklemore later tweeted that he had wanted Lamar to win.
“My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album . . . I’m honored and completely blown away to win anything, much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won in my opinion. And that’s taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it’s proper respect…
“With that being said, thank you to the fans. You’re the reason we were on that stage tonight. And to play Same Love on that platform was a career highlight. The greatest honor of all. That’s what this is about. Progress and art. Thank you.”
See full list of Grammy winners here.