Rob Sheffield on Rap, Hip-Hop's Odd Grammy Past - Rolling Stone
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Rap’s Odd Grammy Past: Hip-Hop at the Show from Run-D.M.C. to Lauryn Hill

After decades, event is finally taking genre seriously in 2018; how artists have fared as performers and nominees, including Will Smith’s 1989 boycott

Rap's Odd Grammy PastRap's Odd Grammy Past

Though they weren't nominated, Run-D.M.C. performed at the 1988 Grammys; 11 years later, Lauryn Hill swept the awards.

David Mcgough/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images; Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

The big story of the 2018 Grammys? The ceremony is finally getting serious about hip-hop. The awards have always had a strange history with rap, going back to the Eighties, when the voters were convinced (along with most of the music industry) that all this rap stuff the kids were into was a fad. For years, hip-hop artists were allowed to play but not to take home trophies. But this year, all major categories are dominated by rap. Album and Record of the Year are both Kendrick Lamar vs. Jay-Z battles, along with surprise nominee Childish Gambino. From MC Hammer to Lauryn Hill to ODB, here’s a timeline of how far hip-hop has come at the ceremony. 

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