“Even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song, the only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category,” he told BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex during an hour-long interview with OVO Sound Radio. “Maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black, I can’t figure out why. I won two awards but I don’t even want them, because it just feels weird for some reason.”
His comments followed other criticisms of the Grammys on race issues, which grew after Adele beat Beyoncé for Album of the Year. Critics said the Recording Academy routinely undervalues R&B and hip-hop artists, particularly if they are black. Drake — who didn’t attend the Grammys this year — said he writes pop songs but never gets recognized in pop categories.
“I want to be like Michael Jackson. I want to be like artists that I looked up to. Those are pop songs, but I never get any credit for that,” he said.
Grammys president Neil Portnow has said he doesn’t think the awards have a race problem.
Listen to the full interview below.
Correction: The original version of this story misstated where Semtex works. It’s BBC1 Xtra, not Beats 1.