A Tribe Called Quest‘s Q-Tip unloaded on the Recording Academy after the legendary hip-hop outfit’s final album, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, did not receive a single Grammy nomination.
The rapper and producer posted a series of videos on Instagram in which he not only touted the album but criticized the Academy for not recognizing it especially after they tapped Tribe to close out the 59th Grammys in February after the death of founding member Phife Dawg.
“Y’all fuckin busted y’all ass to try and get us out there and perform! You think a nigga wanted to fuckin’ go out there and perform after I lost my man? We closed y’all show and we don’t get no fucking nominations? The last Tribe album? My man is gone! We been doing this shit for fucking years!”
Q-Tip insisted repeatedly that he meant no disrespect to the artists that were nominated, but he did take aim at the Grammys’ perceived lack of diversity in its winners and nominees throughout history, even though this year’s nominations are relatively diverse. “Y’all think it’s some sort of caveat because this is the first time that no white man was nominated in no major categories and shit? We were the most black cultured group out. That’s all we stood on. That’s what we represented. This fuckin’ album we just dropped. This the last Tribe album. It stands with everyone else’s shit that’s up there.”
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Despite releasing six critically acclaimed records, A Tribe Called Quest has only been nominated for three Grammys: Twice for Best Rap Album, for Beats, Rhymes and Life and The Love Movement, and most recently in 2012 for Best Long Form Music Video for their documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.
In one of his final videos, Q-Tip positioned Tribe alongside other artists who were famously snubbed or ignored by the Grammys. “Y’all ain’t even give Bob Marley a fuckin’ Grammy. Marvin [Gaye] only got one. Jimi [Hendrix] ain’t got none.” He even urged the Academy to learn from the Kennedy Center, which is set to award LL Cool J the presidential honor in December, making him the first rapper ever to receive the prize (Q-Tip was named the Kennedy Center’s first artistic director for hip-hop culture in 2016).