The 5 Biggest Snubs of the 2021 Grammy Nominations

The Recording Academy unveiled the nominations for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. And, like usual, there are plenty of snubs to be mad about.

Like usual, representation of the biggest and best rap albums of the year is a mess (look out for Complex’s Best Albums of the Year list next month for a more accurate reflection of 2020). Unfortunately, posthumous rap albums from Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, and Mac Miller—which were three of the biggest releases of the year—were shut out of the album categories. And, perhaps most surprisingly, the Weeknd was completely shut out of nominations after dominating the year with After Hours.

According to the Recording Academy, this year’s awards would recognize “the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, running from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.” So, what did they leave out. The Complex Music team put together a list of the 5 biggest snubs.

5. Roddy Ricch’s ‘Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial’ left out of album categories

Categories: Album of the Year, Rap Album of the Year

The eligibility period for the 2021 Grammy Awards is September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. Roddy Ricch’s highly acclaimed album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial was released on December 6, 2019, so it was confusing to see that it wasn’t nominated for Album of the Year or Rap Album. Luckily, Roddy Ricch wasn’t completely shut out of this year’s awards ceremony. His Billboard hit “The Box,” which appeared on his debut album, received a nod for Song of the Year, but Roddy’s album should have earned more praise from the Recording Academy. It was a critical and commercial juggernaut, spending four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and it featured one of the year’s biggest hits. Roddy was robbed. 

4. Pop Smoke, Mac Miller, and Juice WRLD posthumous albums snubbed

Categories: Album of the Year, Best Rap Album

It’s disappointing to see that the Recording Academy didn’t honor or acknowledge the works of Pop Smoke, Mac Miller, or Juice WRLD this year. All three late rappers released albums this year that met the guidelines of eligibility, but unfortunately, none one of the albums were nominated in the rap or major categories. Mac Miller’s snub brings up memories of the 2019 Grammys in which his album Swimming lost to Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy for Best Rap Album. But unlike last year, it seems his posthumous project Circles wasn’t even considered, despite having been released in January. What’s also surprising is the disregard for Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD’s posthumous albums. Pop’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon and Juice’s Legends Never Die were each released this summer and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. They’re two of the highest-selling albums this year, and to not acknowledge such a major feat is a big oversight. 

3. Lil Uzi Vert gets zero nominations

Categories: Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album

Returning from hiatus, Lil Uzi Vert promised he was “gonna treat 2020 like 2016,” and he delivered. His critically-acclaimed project Eternal Atake had one of the highest-selling first weeks of 2020, and held a spot among the most successful rap albums all year. And regardless of sales figures, it was acknowledged by many as one of the very best albums from the first half of the year. Somehow, though, he was shut out of all rap categories. No disrespect to D Smoke, but it’s hard to make the argument that an album like Black Habits deserves a nod over a massive commercial and critical success like Eternal Atake.

2. No nominations for Lil Baby’s ‘My Turn’

Categories: Album of the Year, Best Rap Album

Lil Baby’s My Turn has been the highest-selling album in any genre this year, but it was shut out of an overall Album of the Year nomination. Even more shocking, it didn’t even receive a Best Rap Album nomination. Anyone who has paid attention to rap in 2020 knows this was Lil Baby’s year, so it’s shocking to see him shut out of these major awards. He did get two nominations for “The Bigger Picture,” which is well-deserved, but it feels like a consolation prize when you realize nothing from My Turn was even considered for a piece of hardware this year.

1. The Weeknd shut out of all categories

Categories: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Music Video

This one doesn’t make any sense at all. After Hours seemed like the kind of album that would earn the Weeknd more nominations than any other artist this year. After all, the single “Blinding Lights” was one of the biggest hits of the year. After Hours was a massive commercial success, critics loved it, and Abel steadily promoted it in the ways that awards shows usually like. He even put together a nice little “for your consideration” trailer that highlighted the success of his year at the awards deadline. Part of the confusion may have been over whether to nominate this under pop or R&B categories, but even that doesn’t explain why it wasn’t nominated for the all-genre awards. The only explanation I can possibly think of is that the music wasn’t actually submitted by his team for consideration, but that seems very unlikely, especially when you remember he appeared on the cover of the special Grammys Preview edition of Rolling Stone. Again, this makes absolutely no sense. The Weeknd dominated 2020 and he deserves an armful of Grammys. This is a massive snub.