Too much controversy. This Sunday, April 3, Kanye West will not perform in Las Vegas on the Grammy Awards stage , even though the American rapper is competing in five of the award categories, including best album for his album Donda.

The cause? A “worrying online behavior”, we explained by telephone to the members of his team, during the month of March. This decision is not insignificant, it follows the many controversies that have surrounded the musician for many months. Banned from Instagram for 24 hours for racist remarks towards Grammys host Trevor Noah, he is accused of harassing his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.

He not only multiplied the attacks against her on the social network, he also broke into their daughter’s birthday without her consent, sampled her voice in a new song and sent a truckload of flowers. in front of her house.

It’s nothing cute. Kim Kardashian, who had urged justice to pronounce their divorce in order to be able to “raise her children peacefully”, now shares her life with another man, comedian Pete Davidson. Kanye West’s threats against the latter are not lacking, as evidenced by an image from one of his last clips in which he kills and buries the Saturday Night Live comedian .

In addition to his support for Donald Trump and his statements on slavery, Kanye West has also had a contentious relationship with the Grammy Awards for a long time. In 2005, already, he had complained about not having won the prize for the best album for Late Registration . And in 2015, he asked that Beck give his to Beyoncé, as an echo of the time he did the same on the MTV Video Music Awards stage opposite Taylor Swift.

Polemicists in the running

This season, the Grammys are saying no. They probably want to protect themselves from any slippage. But now, this decision does not erase the other controversies of the year. Starting with the appointment of Marilyn Manson who contributed to Kanye West’s latest record.

Targeted by an arrest warrant since 2019 after an altercation with a videographer, the singer is the subject of serious accusations of sexual assault. While actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Esmé Bianco have publicly denounced cases of harassment, rape, repeated violence or even sadistic sexual abuse, several complaints have been filed.

The direction of the Grammy Awards to explain “not to examine the history of people” or “their criminal record”. “What we will control are our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” said ceremony director Harvey Mason Jr.

For his part, the American comedian Louis CK, who admitted in 2017 the accusations of exhibitionism against him, is nominated in the category of the best comedy album. Dave Chappelle , also a comedian, is in the best audiobook category.

Stand-up star in the United States, he made transphobic remarks in his last show on Netflix, thereby triggering major protests against the complacency of the streaming platform determined not to withdraw the one-man -show of its catalog. While trans employees at the company have been suspended after openly speaking out against the comedian, Netflix has ordered new shows from Dave Chappelle .

L’absence de Drake

Conversely, Drake asked that his name be removed from the lists. The Canadian rapper is not under fire for any charges. No explanation was given by the artist, whose last album Certified Lover Boy was a real tidal wave. It sold 613,000 copies in its first week and over 153 million streams in 24 hours, but was only nominated in two “rap” categories. Certified Lover Boy has not been cited in any of the so-called “generalist” categories, by far the most prominent.

This dispute is not a first. Drake has already clashed with the Record Academy in the past, which he accuses of snubbing him, and confining him because of his skin color. “It’s a sector that sometimes depends on a small group of people who don’t understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada can have to say,” he said when he received his only award of the evening at the Grammys. Awards in 2019. A major artist of his generation, he has so far only won four trophies.

His withdrawal request is not a whim. Other black artists, like Frank Ocean and Jay-Z, have also lambasted Grammy picks in recent years, accusing them of ignoring non-white musicians. In 2021, The Weeknd compared the institution to an organization of “corrupt”, specifying to boycott the ceremony for good. Herbie Hancock is the last black musician to have, for example, won the title of the album of the year. It was in 2008.

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