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Top 20 Hip-Hop Songs, Albums and Artists You Wouldn’t Believe Were Nominated for Grammys

Which came first, the Grammys not caring about rap or rap not caring about the Grammys?

There’s a case to be made for both answers, but everyone can agree the relationship between music’s most polarizing genre and music’s most prestigious award show has been unhealthy since 1989, the year the Grammys decided rap was important enough to give its artists its own category (Best Rap Performance).

But the better question to ask about rap and the Grammys is do the people who decide the nominations actually listen to the genre? Judging by the show’s history of nominees, the answer is yes, but perhaps only on the radio.

Regardless of what type of music it is, the Grammys seem to care about star power, hit records, and well, perhaps last of all… artistry. And it’s rare we get all three of these qualities to show up in one nomination, so what’s left is a history of head-scratching nominations and winners.

To this day, you can still get a Flava Flav-like “WOW” from someone who doesn’t know the black guy who starred in “Men In Black” is the same guy who won the first rap Grammy… ever.

Below are 20 more rap Grammy nominees (and winners) that will, in the words of Eve — the 2002 winner for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration — “blow ya mind.”

Wait till you get to number one. Then you’ll really see what we mean.

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