Macklemore & Ryan Lewis has garnered seven nominations at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Some of the nods are for their works in the rap field. However, it has now been revealed that the duo was initially considered not suitable to compete with other artists in the rap-related categories.
An unnamed source told the Associated Press that Grammy rap committee thought the music of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis shouldn't qualify in the genre because of their success on mainstream radio and their appeal in the pop world. A general committee vote eventually decided that the duo stayed in the rap categories.
"It's not that they don't think he's a rapper," the source said of the rap committee's decision. "It's just that when you're trying to protect categories and someone has become popular, it should be judged as much... Where does their music exist? Who are their fans?"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' manager Zach Quillen has reacted to the rap category debate. "If you strip away being influenced by the popularity or by who their fans are or by the amount of radio traction their songs got ... and just dissect musically what it is, there's no question it's a hip-hop album; they're hip-hop songs," he said.
"When you start to look at other things (that) is when people's judgment got cloudy. It's what they look like, the demographic, the fan base, it's the popularity, it's the radio," he added.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is up for Best New Artist at the Grammys, which will be held on Sunday, January 26 in Los Angeles. Additionally, their acclaimed album "The Heist" is nominated for Best Rap Album and the prestigious Album of the Year.