Kendrick Lamar, Future, Gunna and More Nominated for Best Rap Song at 2023 Grammy Awards
The 2023 Grammy Awards are set for February of next year and now the nominations are in for Best Rap Song.
Among this year's nominees are Jack Harlow's "Churchill Downs" featuring Drake, DJ Khaled's "God Did" featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend and Fridayy, Kendrick Lamar's "The Heart Part 5," Gunna and Future's "Pushin P" featuring Young Thug and Future's "Wait For U" featuring Drake and Tems.
Kendrick's "The Heart Part 5" peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year. Despite not initially being included on Kendrick Lamar's latest album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, which is nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards, Kendrick accompanied the socially conscious track with an absolutely stunning visual immediately upon its release. The widely acclaimed music video for "The Heart Part 5" includes a close-up shot of Kendrick rapping bar for bar as his face morphs into various A-list celebrities such as Kanye West, Will Smith and Kobe Bryant, among others.
As for Future, the can't-miss combination of him and Drake on "Wait For U" landed Pluto his second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified multiplatinum by the RIAA since its release back in April. Featuring a prominent sample from Tems’ 2020 song “Higher," "Wait For U" is undeniably one of the best songs of 2022.
Along with Gunna, another platinum-certified song including Future is up for Best Rap Song at this year's Grammy Awards. Although both Gunna and Young Thug have been in prison on RICO Charges since May, "Pushin P" saw success throughout the entire first half of 2022 with a total of 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching a peak position of No. 7.
DJ Khaled’s "God Did" featuring Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, John Legend and Fridayy not only features standout contributions from some of the biggest names in the music industry, but the 8-minute track peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and left throughout the entire hip-hop community of the opinion that Jay-Z's verse is nothing short of a masterpiece.
While "First Class" has certainly been Jack Harlow's most successful song this year, "Churchill Downs" featuring Drake reached as high as No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and served as a major moment in the Kentucky-bred rapper's career. Linking up with Drizzy was obviously a great look for Harlow and the track made multiple headlines since it originally leaked back in April given that Drake seemingly takes multiple subliminal shots at Pusha T throughout his verse. The official music video for "Churchill Downs" was shot while Jack Harlow and Drake were in attendance at this year’s Kentucky Derby back in May and caused a viral moment when an inebriated Champagne Papi crashed an on-camera interview Harlow was doing with NBC Sports.
Last year, Kanye West and Jay-Z took home Best Rap Song for the Donda album track, "Jail." The win marked Kanye's 24th Grammy win among 75 nominations in his career.
Meanwhile, this year's Grammy Awards has also sparked some controversy. Interestingly, the Grammy Awards committee decided not to put Nicki Minaj's Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single, "Super Freaky Girl," for consideration in the Rap Song category but instead in the Pop Song category.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Recording Academy reportedly deemed Nicki's track, which samples Rick James’ 1981 classic "Super Freak," as a pop single and should be nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Nicki wasn't happy about the Academy's decision and jumped on her Twitter account to deliver an ultimatum that if "Super Freaky Girl" wasn't going to be considered for any rap categories, neither should Latto's "Big Energy."
The Queens, N.Y. rhymer added: "Could you imagine someone telling you not to “complain” about being treated unfairly at your workplace? This is my job. I work very hard. No diff from a 9-5 where you should speak up for yourself if you know you’re a great employee & continue to be purposely sabotaged."
Nicki's reaction to the Grammy submission news also sparked a Twitter beef between her and Latto.
While it's not uncommon for rap artists to be put in the pop category, the Recording Academy has not yet addressed their decision to move Nicki Minaj's song to the pop categories.
The 2023 Grammy Awards will air on Feb. 5, 2023 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.