On Sunday, Drake shocked fans with a surprise appearance at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards to accept his trophy for Best Rap Song for his viral hit, “God’s Plan.”
For the last few years, several big named stars have avoided the biggest night in music due to a host of different reasons. Between frustration over past snubs and the overall detest of all award shows, superstars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna have rarely shown their faces.
However, for Drake, according to a 2017 interview with British DJ Semtex, his lack of support for the Academy Awards is over its lack of support for the culture.
“They don’t air the other rap awards on TV,” Drake said, at the time. “I am apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” he said at the time. “The only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category.”
Now, fast forward two years later – after having skipped out on the last five ceremonial events- Drake made an appearance on this year’s show to accept his third Grammy. However, during his acceptance speech, in which he encouraged aspiring artists to seek validation elsewhere, he was cut short.
To “the kids watching, those aspiring to do music, and all my peers that make music from their heart, that do things pure and tell the truth” he said. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown,” Drake continued. “If there is people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you, you already won.”
But then, just as he went to continue his speech, Grammy producers cut to commercial, in what many fans believed to be a deliberate attempt to silence the rapper. As fans took to Twitter to highlight and make light of the alleged shady effort, Grammy reps clarified the entire ordeal.
“During Drake’s speech, there was a natural pause, and at that moment the producers did assume that he was done and then cut to commercial,” said Sunshine Sachs’ Michael Samonte. “However the producers did speak with Drake following his speech and did offer him to come back on stage to finish whatever his thoughts were. But Drake said he was happy with what he said and didn’t have anything to add.”