Some Grammy snubs might be more political than others. After learning that A Tribe Called Quest’s final album was shut out entirely from the 2018 Grammy nominations, Q-Tip has accused the institution of exploiting his group. At this year’s ceremony, Tribe delivered a searing performance advocating for resistance with Busta Rhymes. In a series of Instagram videos, Tip says he now feels used by the Grammys. “You get us to get out there and perform last year and close the shit and you don’t get us no fucking nominations?” he says. “Fuck ya’ll Grammy niggas, fuck ya’ll.” Following the 2017 Grammys, where Beyoncé lost to Adele, Solange tweeted about the disparity between the number of black artists who’ve performed at the Grammys and the number of black Album of the Year winners.
Tip suggests that he was asked by legendary producer 9th Wonder to participate in the rap committee voting but declined; Wonder’s artist Rapsody is nominated for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song. “What happened, 9th?” he asks. He also notes that this year’s diversity in the top nominees — there are no white men nominated for Album of the Year — is not enough. “We were the most black, cultured group out. That’s all we stood on. That’s what we represented. This last Tribe album stands with everybody else’s shit that’s up there.”