Barely two years after his controversial loss to Macklemore for Best Rap Album, Kendrick Lamar tops this year’s list of Grammy nominations on the strength of this year’s ambitous, genre-bending epic “To Pimp A Butterfly.” With 11 nods, Lamar’s nominations far outpace the seven nominations of tied runners-up Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. With these accolades, Lamar surpassed Eminem as the hip-hop artist with the most nominations in a single year.
His nominations include “Album of the Year” for “To Pimp A Butterfly,” (which, if you haven’t listened to it yet, just do it. Now.), as well as ”Song of the Year,” ”Best Rap Performance” and “Best Rap Song” for protest anthem “Alright.”
The rap and hip-hop categories have historically been controversial, and this year is no different. Billboard documented the fervor of social media users wondering about Atlanta rapper and singer’s Future’s lack of recognition and Drake’s nomination for the Meek Mill diss track “Back to Back.” Killer Mike weighed in on the lack of nomination for Run The Jewels’s incendiary and acclaimed “RTJ2”:
No Grammy Nom. Ok. That two years of Fuck Shit. Now we gonna Make RTJ even Meaner & Better than Even I expected. #RTJBestRapAlbumSucka— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) December 7, 2015
The academy also recognized two other significant works by artists of color that address contemporary social issues. “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s long-awaited comeback album that deals overtly with the movement for Black Lives and the impact of police violence, received three nominations, including “Record of the Year” for “Really Love.” The cast recording for Broadway smash “Hamilton,” the subversive, pro-immigration musical about Alexander Hamilton from “In The Heights” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated for “Best Musical Theater Album.” It features production from The Roots’ Ahmir Thompson and Tariq Trotter.
The 58th Annual Grammy Awards are set for February 15, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Click here for the full list of nominations.