It was a night of historic wins and snubs at the Grammys, but none as shocking as Kendrick Lamar’s almost complete shutout from all but one category, and Childish Gambino’s no-show despite his numerous trophies.
Here’s a quick rundown of rap at the 2019 Grammys.
Childish Gambino nabs three Grammys, including Record of the Year
Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, made history last night—and he wasn’t even in attendance. Childish Gambino’s “This is America” became the first rap song to win Record of the Year and Song of the Year, beating out tracks like Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” and Drake’s “God’s Plan.”
The rapper-actor, who reportedly turned down an invitation to perform at the prestigious ceremony, also nabbed awards for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Music Video.
Revisit “This is America” below:
Cardi B wins Best Rap Album
Despite being up against rap heavyweights like Travis Scott and Pusha T, Cardi B snagged a win for her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. Bardi made history by being the first solo female rapper to win Best Rap Album, as well as the first woman to receive an award in the category since Lauryn Hill, who won as part of the Fugees in 1997.
Understandably, she got a little emotional when she took the stage to accept the award, alongside her husband Offset. “The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed,” she joked.
Earlier in the night, Cardi performed “Money” on a plush, lip-shaped sofa stage set, bathed in purple lighting.
Travis Scott performs “No Bystanders,” “Stop Trying to Be God” with James Blake
Travis Scott might have walked away from last night’s ceremony empty-handed, but at least he had a damn good time during his performance of “Stop Trying to Be God” with James Blake and Philip Bailey, and “No Bystanders.”
The rapper, who was up for Best Rap Performance, Song and Album, created his own mosh pit up onstage while he performed in a cage. He soon climbed out, though, and bodysurfed the makeshift crowd.
— Opinionated Me (@opinion8dmecom) February 11, 2019
Post Malone and Red Hot Chili Peppers perform together
Post Malone kicked off the performance solo, strumming a guitar and delivering an acoustic rendition of “Stay.” The stage went dark for a moment, then Post emerged from from a smoke-filled entryway, singing his Grammy-nominated hit “Rockstar.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers then joined the rapper up on stage to perform “Dark Necessities,” with Posty on vocals and guitar. Towards the end, the artists turned the dial up to 11 and rocked out.
Watch their performance here.
Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak tie for Best Rap Performance
The 2019 Grammys were almost a complete shutout for Kendrick Lamar, despite his eight nominations. The critically acclaimed rapper, who sat out this year’s ceremony, only received an award for “King’s Dead” in Best Rap Performance, an honor he shares with Anderson .Paak’s “Bubblin’” due to a rare tie.
Revisit “King’s Dead” below:
Drake turns up to accept Best Rap Song
Drake’s Best Rap Song win for “God’s Plan” wasn’t all that shocking, but his appearance on the telecast was. He was rumored to not be attending the event, much like his peers Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar, but surprised the crowd when he took to the stage.
But Drizzy used the occasion to take the Grammys down a peg with his acceptance speech. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word,” he said. “If you are a hero in your hometown, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need [a Grammy], I promise you, you already won.”
But it seems like the Grammys had the last laugh, when they zoomed out halfway during his speech and cut to commercial. Yikes.
Watch Drake’s acceptance speech here via Billboard: