Though they remain the white whale of most popstars and rappers alike, the Grammy Awards have a baffling and illogical history that does little more than undermine their own importance. Though we could continue to wax over Jethro Tull beating out Metallica for the inaugral award for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Album”, or Chris Brown taking home best rap record two years after he skipped the ceremony in favour of domestic abuse, perhaps no singular aspect of the Grammys better encapsulates their continued incompetence than the ‘Best New Artist’ category – even moreso after the announcement that two of this year’s biggest breakout stars can’t compete.
2018 might’ve given us Kanye’s politically-reprehensible headwear choices and the whirlwind romance-slash-heartbreak of Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson, but it also gave us the undeniable crowning of two of the biggest pop forces in years, Post Malone and Cardi B–who have been confirmed as ineligible for the ‘Best New Artist’ award at the upcoming Grammys.
The pair’s exclusion exemplifies the category’s broad out-of-touchness, whether it’s the awards’ illogical rules – ‘Best New Artist’ noms cannot have had any previous nominations (thus nixing Cardi, who garnered two at last year’s ceremonies) – or just general lack of concreteness and consistency when it comes to what exactly a “New Artist” is: a vote at a Grammys meeting reportedly overturned Malone’s eligibility due to the chart success of his previous album, 2016’s Stoney, despite Chance the Rapper garnering a nomination – and a win – in 2017 from within roughly the same criteria.
But as we’ve said, the baffling ineligibility of Cardi and Post despite their 2018 breakouts seems to be the rule, not the exception, when it comes to the ‘Best New Artist’ category, an award who’s legacy seems to be more defined by its snubs than its successes. Look, I understand we can’t all be Nostradamus here, but it takes a certain degree of ignorance to drop the ball with such reliability, whether it’s dismissing Drake or fawning over fun. And if you still need convincing, check out the gallery above, where we’ve broken down this category’s insane history of misfires.