Kanye West is outraged Frank Ocean is ineligible to win a Grammy, and uses Lady Gaga to justify his reasons.
If Frank Ocean wanted to win a Grammy, he should have submitted to the Recording Academy ahead of the deadline, but he didn't... and now he can't win Album of the Year like he could have. Kanye West is a huge supporter of Ocean's recent album Blonde, and demands the Grammys bend the rules for him like they did Lady Gaga. If they don't, he's not appearing.
During his show in Oakland, CA this weekend, Kanye revealed the news, using Gaga as an example of how the Recording Academy can do what they want.
“[Gaga] wasn’t nominated for Best New Artist, right?” he begins. “But they wanted her to perform at the show; they wanted her to open. So the Grammys secretly changed something about the nominations in order to nominate her, in order for her to perform in the show. Now, Frank Ocean, on the other hand, is very vocal that his album wasn’t nominated for the Grammys, right? Since he’s vocal, no one wants to say nothing about it. No one wants to do nothing about it. And I’m saying this to y’all, because a lot of people try to make a scene, like, ‘I’m so self-centered.’ But the album I listened to the most this year is Frank Ocean’s album. And I’ll tell you this right now: If his album’s not nominated in no categories, I’m not showing up to the Grammys.”
— UTOR (@utorlive) October 23, 2016
Some background, because this is complicated — and Kanye has a point. Gaga’s debut album, The Fame, earned her five nominations at the Grammy Awards in 2010, which is where she performed with Elton John at the start of the ceremony and took home Grammys for Best Dance Recording (for “Poker Face”) and Best Electronic/Dance Album. The Fame was released in the United States on October 28, 2008, and then reissued as The Fame Monster in 2009, with eight additional songs brought into its mix. The Fame Monster wound up getting nominated at the 2011 Grammys. Her lack of a Best New Artist nomination in 2010 forced the Recording Academy to go back to the drawing board on those eligibility rules, too.
Basically, the Grammys made it a priority to honor Gaga’s work, and that lone nomination at the 2009 Grammys that kept her from a Best New Artist nomination in 2010 prompted a revision of the eligibility criteria for the Best New Artist category.
Rules are made to be broken.