Earlier today, I wrote about The Weeknd calling out the Recording Academy for the zero Grammy nominations he received yesterday. He’s not the only one who was wondering why their name was absent from the Best R&B Album category. Justin Bieber is mad that he didn’t receive a single R&B Grammy nomination for his album Changes. Unlike The Weeknd, Justin Bieber received several Grammy nominations yesterday. However, they’re not the ones he wanted.
Justin’s Grammy nomination haul from yesterday includes the following:
Best Pop Solo Performance, for “Yummy”
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, for “Intentions” (Ft. Quavo)
Best Pop Vocal Album, for Changes
Best Country Duo/Group Performance, for “10,000 Hours” (with Dan + Shay)
“10,000 Hours” is a country song, and it doesn’t appear on his album Changes (because technically, I think most people consider it to be a Dan + Shay song featuring the voice of Justin Bieber), so we’re not counting that one here. The nominations that managed to bother Justin Bieber the most were the ones in the Best Pop category. Because, just like another certain Ontario-born Canadian with Grammy issues, Justin Bieber thinks he was put in the wrong category. Back in 2017, Drake called out the Grammys when he won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling,” a song that is 100% not a rap song. Drake alluded that institutionalized racism was the reason why he was pushed into the rap category. Justin didn’t imply there was a race-based reason for why he was shuffled into the pop category. He only explained that he specifically and intentionally set out to make an R&B album with Changes, so he’s not sure why it wasn’t considered as much.
Here’s “Intentions,” which is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and not Best R&B Duo/Group Performance. I’ll allow you to judge for yourself as to whether or not this is a Pop song or an R&B song:
The head of the Grammys, Harvey Mason Jr., hasn’t responded to Justin’s statement about being R&B over Pop, but he did tell Variety that they’re not just arbitrarily assigning categories to people and that all the albums are studied as much as possible:
“All the records get the fairest of fair shakes. We listen to all the music — even an album, you’re listening to almost the whole album, it takes I don’t know how many hours. It’s a long, arduous process and people take pride in it. The people in that room care: there’s no agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this person’ or that person. It’s about, ‘Let’s try and find excellence.’
Also, you have to remember that committee can’t vote on something that’s not there. They get a list of the 20 top vote-getters from the general voting field, and at that point they listen and talk about who to push forward as the final eight. So it’s really a two-step process.”
Justin has acknowledged that, as a white artist, he’s benefitted greatly from Black culture. And maybe this is his way of asking if he’s too white to get an R&B Grammy nomination. To his point, the other Black culture-appropriating Justin (Timberlake) has also never been nominated in an R&B category. All I know is that if the Grammys think Justin is too white, they’re not wrong when it comes to the song “Yummy.” Never has a music video featured so much white sandwich bread and vegetable Jell-O salads.