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Jan. 29 2010 - 1:19 pm | 4,321 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

Kanye West Conspicuously Absent from Grammy Performer Roster

Kanye West at the Vanity Fair kickoff part for...

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Grammy Awards producers have to know that there is no possible way they can replicate the magic of last year’s performance featuring hip-hop royalty T.I., Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Kanye West – which was punctuated by a phenomenal, spotlight-stealing hook sung by a nine months-pregnant M.I.A. But that won’t stop the show’s organizers from at least trying, and it is doing so by announcing that Lil Wayne, Eminem and Drake will perform their hit “Forever” at the show.

What’s missing from that equation? West has a prominent role in “Forever” – but is conspicuously absent from the lineup. Grammy representatives haven’t yet clued us in on why West isn’t included on the list.

The Grammy nominations themselves were a stern rebuke of West, after his lash-out at Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, since his phenomenal album “808s and Heartbreaks” didn’t get any nods – which is unbelievable considering each of his last albums has not only been nominated for several awards, but all of them actually won the trophy for best rap album. Now, after releasing his most subtle and mature album, he gets no love. What else could be the reason except for an extended fallout from the Taylor Swift fiasco?

In addition to being part of the hip-hop all-star performance last year, West also gave one of the most stirring Grammy Awards performances in recent memory the previous year when, not long after losing his mother, he performed “Hey Mama” to an eager and supportive audience. Now, they’re just as eager to distance themselves from him.

Lil Wayne, though still a golden boy in the hip-hop world, isn’t likely to perform much for the rest of the year, since he’ll be required to report to jail for felony gun charges. One of last year’s hip-hop headliners, T.I., just finished his stint in lockdown, also on weapons charges.

But Kanye is simply on a love lockdown instituted by Grammy producers, and much of the hip-hop community. It just so happens that Kanye’s first line in his portion of “Forever” is “Mr. West is in the building.” How ironic, then, that it appears he won’t be.


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    I'm a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focusing on pop and politics, race and culture, and where Gen-Yers fit into it all. My writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, WashingtonPost.com, the San Francisco Chronicle and People magazine. Among other things, I'm Oregon-born, hip-hop-addicted, and weirdly optimistic that the journalism business will stay alive.

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