It's the moment that every music fan has been waiting for: the 2018 GRAMMY nominations are finally here! While the unveiling of the categories typically cause a stir, this year is a surprising but well-deserved display of all of the best talent in the industry—and a majority of them happen to be black.
Since the GRAMMYs' inception, there has notably been more artists who come from pop or country backgrounds that get recognized. And unfortunately, many other artists (who happen to be people of color) are often left in the dark. But the 2018 nods are a refreshing look at what both fans and critics have been enjoying over the past year, which is mainly hip-hop and R&B. Jay-Z leads the pack with a total of of eight nominations for his stellar 4:44 album, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year ("The Story of O.J.") and Song of the Year ("4:44"). Kendrick Lamar isn't too far behind his fellow rap god, scoring seven nods for one of the best albums of the year—DAMN. He got recognized for Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Humble."
Another highlight is SZA, who became the most-nominated female with five nods for her acclaimed CTRL debut album. These three artists all released the year's greatest works, and them being black just makes things even sweeter. But it doesn't end there! Jay-Z, Lamar and Childish Gambino all lead in in two of the coveted Big Four categories: Album of the Year and Record of the Year. 6lack, The Weeknd, Migos, Cardi B, Daniel Caesar, Big Sean, Goldlink, Lil Uzi Vert, Khalid, Rapsody and more also received nominations in their respective categories.
But what makes the 2018 GRAMMY nods so significant is that the first time in 19 years, there isn't a white man nominated for Album of the Year. If that's not a telling sign of the impact of these artists, then what else could you ask for? In a troubling year for black people whose frustration levels rose in a a post-Trump era where we continued to fight for equality, it is rewarding to see a musically political awards show such as the GRAMMYs place our worth in the forefront. We deserve it.
Below, throw it back to a good kid, m.A.A.d city-era Kendrick Lamar tells Fuse about bringing hope to his city at Coachella 2012: