Just like Frank Ocean.
Kanye West, Drake and Justin Bieber are among some of music’s biggest stars who will be skipping this year’s Grammys, TMZ reports. They join Frank Ocean, who previously said he would not be attending and did not submit either Blonde or Endless for nominations this year, despite both being eligible.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” Ocean told the New York Times last year. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”
West, who is nominated for six awards including Best Rap Album, expressed his own dismay with the Grammys after last year’s show. “I feel the Grammy awarding system is way off and completely out of touch,” he tweeted in February 2016. “You like your black people a certain way also. You wouldn’t have Future perform and that man owned the clubs last summer. Has anyone at the Grammys ever heard ‘March Madness’???”
In the same spiel, he offered to help Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, update the awards: “Neil, please reach out as soon as possible so we can make the Grammys culturally relevant again… First order of business. We the people need to see Future at the Grammys. We need to see Young Thug at the Grammys. Not just me and Jay in a suit.”
West said last October that he would not attend the Grammys if Ocean was not nominated, despite Ocean intentionally taking himself out of the running.
A source told TMZ that Bieber, whose Purpose is nominated for Album of the Year, also believes that the Grammys are irrelevant and that he will be elsewhere that weekend.
Drake, on the other hand, will not be attending because he will be in the midst of his European tour, where Young Thug will be opening. Drake received multiple nominations, including Album of the Year for his critically-reviled album Views. Should he win, West will also be awarded, as he has a production credit on the album.
“If I’m not at the show next year then there is no show,” West said in his 2016 rant about the Grammys. Despite his absence, the show will proceed on February 12 at 8pm EST.