Although Jay-Z and Kanye West won Best Rap Performance for “Otis” off their Watch the Throne album (and West took home several solo trophies), both rappers were noticeably absent from this year’s Grammy Awards. Their decision to skip the award show didn't come as a huge surprise, however, as Jay-Z decided to pass on attendance last year as well.
West himself grabbed seven Grammy nominations this year, winning three of them before the telecast even aired (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song for “All Of The Lights” and Best Rap Album for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). But there is speculation from fans and industry alike that he may have felt snubbed by not snagging a place in the coveted Album of the Year category alongside nominees Adele, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Bruno Mars.
Though diaper duties might be calling Jay-Z, whose daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born on January 7, the rapper has a long history of discontent with the Grammys. He was absent from the ceremony last year, and has been criticizing the show for a decade.
“I am boycotting the Grammys because too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked,” he said in 2002. “Rappers deserve more attention from the Grammy committee and from the whole world. If it's got a gun everybody knows about it; but if we go on a world tour, no one knows.”
Are the two merely suffering from realness, or just feeling themselves a bit too much to go and accept their honors in person?
The 54th Grammy Awards will be remembered as a story of two women with towering, timeless voices — Adele and Whitney Houston — one representing youthful triumph and boundless possibility, the other a reminder of fresh tragedy and a life unraveled.
Adele, the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter, took home six awards including album, record and song of the year, a trophy bounty that puts a gold-plating on a commercial and critical success story that has dramatically defied the grim gravities of today's economically-challenged recording industry.
Adele's other victory came when she stepped to the microphone and sang a robust version of her hit "Rolling in the Deep," which suggests that she is past the career scare of throat surgery that came just after Halloween and kept her mute through New Year's Day. It was her first public performance since the operation.