The 2022 Grammys are over, but the show continues to make headlines for lackluster ratings, for banning Kanye West, and for snubs and mistakes during the In Memoriam segment.
The brother of late rapper Drakeo the Ruler is taking the Grammys to task for leaving the slain hip-hop star out of the In Memoriam tribute to music industry insiders who died over the past year.
Drakeo was fatally stabbed in December at a music festival in Los Angeles. In a statement to TMZ, his brother Ralfy the Plug blasted the Recording Academy for leaving the rapper out of its tribute.
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“On behalf of Drakeo The Ruler, Ketchy The Great and The Stinc Team, it comes off as a spit in the face disregarding the facts that we’ve created an entire movement that generated the momentum for underground emerging L.A. artists to have a platform,” the statement said.
While he acknowledged the support from fans, he accused the music industry of trying to “erase” rappers.
“Let alone the reality that we lost my brother, Drakeo The Ruler, the poster child for systematic prejudices against rappers by law enforcement using lyrics against our culture and violating what they call our constitutional rights of freedom of speech — The First Amendment. Leaving Drakeo out of their tribute and by not giving him any acknowledgment of his existence sums up exactly what we feel the industry has been trying to do. Erase us,” he added.
The Grammys were also criticized for labeling Virgil Abloh as a “Hip Hop Fashion Designer” in the In Memoriam segment. Fans immediately called out the Recording Academy saying Abloh was much more than a designer who worked with hip-hop artists. He was Louis Vuitton artistic director and founded the label Off-White. Abloh died at age 41 in November after battling cancer.
The 2022 Grammys aired on Sunday, April 03 on CBS. The Recording Academy and CBS have not publicly responded to the various controversies.
Drakeo was stabbed backstage at the Once Upon a Time in LA festival in December 2021. The festival line-up included Drakeo, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, YG, George Clinton, Al Green, and other artists.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Drakeo was attacked by “a group of people” after 8:30 p.m. local time. The all-day festival was scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., but was halted after the stabbing.