Following the 2018 GRAMMY Awards nominees announcement, the rap artist with arguably the best social media presence, Vince Staples, took to Twitter to brush off discussion of the awards ceremony and express his thoughts on his acclaimed 2017 album, Big Fish Theory, not receiving any nominations.
Of course, the GRAMMYs are partially a commercial numbers game. As inspiring as it is to see Rapsody and Tyler, The Creator contending for Best Rap Album, units sold and on-demand streams play a big role in helping an artist to make the cut, along with a score of other factors music fans debate over until awards season dies down.
Even so, Vince Staples is right. If his sales aren’t as high as the next artist’s, the committee is less likely to get their ears on his music. Maybe every Camry owned by a GRAMMY voting member should come be furnished with a copy of Big Fish Theory, for educational purposes.
Between his recent NPRinterview with Rodney Carmichael, during which he intimated that he deserves a nomination in near every category, and this morning's Twitter exposé, Staples makes clear that it’s not about the trophy, so much as it is about having Black artists recognized for their art outside the established parameters of what a Black artist can be.
In a now-deleted tweet, Staples even redefined his music: “Son, I Am the art.”
From the evolution of his discography to his arresting live shows, the GRAMMYs may be too antiquated to take serious note of Vince's progression, but the fans and the critics, and most importantly, the artist himself sure aren’t.
As long as Vince Staples knows he’s “the man and myth,” everything will be fine.