Hip-hop has a love-hate relationship with the Grammy Awards. Over 30 years ago, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince became the first rap act to win a Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989. They boycotted the event after learning their award acceptance would not be part of the filmed ceremony. Hip-hop has certainly felt some type of way with the Grammy Awards for decades. Especially when it comes to the rap artists who have been snubbed their whole careers.
Don’t get it twisted, the Grammy Awards have gotten some things right. Some of rap’s biggest artists have been recognized ten-fold. Kanye West now has 24 wins out of 75 nominations. Jay-Z also has a staggering 24 wins with a total of 88 nominations over a nearly 30-year career. Kendrick Lamar is 17-50 when it comes to taking home golden gramophones. Drake has been nominated 55 times and earned five total victories.
However, the Grammy Awards does not always understand the assignment (see the time in 2014, when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist beat out Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city for Best Rap Album). There are other huge rappers who have yet to crack the code. Snoop Dogg, a West Coast legend and one of the most famous rappers of all time, has a huge body of work that includes his classic album, Doggystyle. The Grammys have yet to recognize his talents with an award in 16 times up to bat. Busta Rhymes is another artist in a similar vein as Snoop, with credentials to boot with no hardware to show for it after 12 total nominations. Nicki Minaj is 0-12. These aren’t the only well-deserving rappers who have been snubbed their entire careers.
See a list of rappers who have the most Grammy nominations but have never won an award below.