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Childish Gambino, Drake, Kendrick Lamar Reportedly Turn Down Grammys 2019 Performance

Written by Laura English on February 8, 2019

The Grammy Awards haven’t always seen ‘eye to eye’ with hip hop and this year is following the trend with Childish Gambino, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar reportedly turning down performance slots.

Ken Ehrlich, producer of the annual show, told the New York Times he offered the slots to the three artists — who are all up for nomination — but they all declined.

He said, “The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world.

“When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.”

The New York Times also reported that representatives of the three artists had declined to comment on whether they’d attend the awards at all.

In the 2019 Grammy nominations, Childish Gambino’s This is America received five and Kendrick and Drake came in with seven nominations each.

All three artists are up for the prestigious ‘Record of the Year’ prize.

While both Kendrick Lamar and Childish performed at last year’s Grammys Awards, Drake previously won ‘Best Rap Song’ for ‘Hotline Bling’ in 2017.

He didn’t attend the awards that year and said in an interview with OVO Sound radio show, “Even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song… the only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category.

“Maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black, I can’t figure out why.

“I won two awards but I don’t even want them, because it just feels weird for some reason.”

In the past, the Grammys have been criticised for their representation of both race and gender.

There was a considerably better effort in terms of female representation this year, following last year’s popular hashtag: #GrammysSoMale.

However, Variety reports that despite Ariana Grande promoting the show, she’ll no longer be performing or attending.

Variety says an ‘insider’ told them that Grande was left insulted after producers tried to stipulate which tracks she performed — the insider stated that other artists had not faced the same treatment from producers.

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards kicks off on Monday 11th February at 11am AEST.

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