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Kanye West, Baby Keem & Lil Nas X Almost Missed Out On Major Grammy Nominations

Hip Hop’s presence was felt when the nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards were announced on Tuesday (November 23).

Kanye West, Lil Nas X and Doja Cat — who was the second most-nominated artist with eight nods — all earned a spot in the prestigious Album of the Year race, while Baby Keem and Saweetie are among those up for Best New Artist.

In the rap categories, Hip Hop heavyweights Kanye, Drake, Nas, J. Cole and Tyler, The Creator will duke it out for Best Rap Album, while JAY-Z, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, NBA YoungBoy and the late DMX are among those in contention for the Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Melodic Rap Performance awards.

JAY-Z’s three nods — Album of the Year, Best Rap Song (twice) — courtesy of his guest spots on Kanye West’s Donda and DMX’s Exodus take him past Quincy Jones to become the most nominated artist in Grammys history with 83.

However, some of these Grammy nominations wouldn’t have happened if not for a last-minute change made by the Recording Academy.

According to The New York Times, the Grammys made a surprise decision to expand the number of nominees in four major categories just a day before they were announced. Kanye West’s Donda and Taylor Swift’s Evermore were the two late additions to the Album of the Year category as the number of nominees were increased from eight to 10.

Kanye, who has yet to win the coveted award despite multiple nominations in the past, spoke about his Album of the Year ambitions during his recent Drink Champs interview.

“I feel like this year, nobody should even put their album in the category of Album of the Year, so I can finally have Album of the Year,” he said. “‘Cause you don’t want to be the person that beat Donda for Album of the Year.

“I made Watch The Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the same year and neither of them got nominated for Album of the Year!”

Elsewhere, Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and ABBA’s “I Still Have Faith In You” were tacked onto the Record of the Year category, while Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More” collab snuck into the Song of the Year race alongside Brandi Carlile’s “Right On Time.”

Baby Keem, whose debut album The Melodic Blue peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 while spawning the “Family Ties” hit with Kendrick Lamar, was one of two last-minute additions to the Best New Artist category, joining a list that already included the likes of Saweetie, The Kid Laroi and FINNEAS.

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The New York Times said they had obtained an earlier list of nominees, allowing them to see which artists were added in the four major categories amid the Grammys’ last-minute expansion. The Recording Academy called the move a way to “make room for more music, more artists and more genres, and to embrace the spirit of inclusion.”

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards take place on January 31, 2022.

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