Tyler, The Creator Wins Best Rap Album: See Other Past Winners From The Last 20 Years

Congratulations to Tyler, The Creator, who won his second ever Best Rap Album Grammy for his album 'Call Me If You Get Lost.'

Tyler The Creator
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Image Credit: Nikolas Liepins/Shutterstock

Hip-hop reigns supreme. The genre — which continues to dominate the culture and the charts, per Billboard – will get its accolades at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Though the Recording Academy has had a complicated history regarding hip-hop, the award show will spotlight a handful of performers when it hands out the Best Rap Album award.

The Grammys announced in 1995 that they were creating the Best Rap Album category, six years after The Recording Academy created the Best Rap Performance Grammy. Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff won the inaugural Best Rap Performance Grammy in 1989 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” but they led a boycott of the ceremony after the Grammys said they wouldn’t air the Best Rap Performance category over broadcast time constraints. “We don’t have the problem with the Grammy as an award or the Grammys as an institution. We just had a problem with the 1989 design of the awards show,” Will said in a 1989 interview with Entertainment Tonight. “We chose to boycott. We feel that it’s a slap in the face.”

Naughty By Nature at the 1993 MTV VMAs (Dave Lewis/Shutterstock)

In 1996, at the 38th Grammy Awards, Naughty By Nature won the first Best Rap Album award for Poverty’s Paradise. The album beat out Skee-Lo’s I Wish, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s E.1999 Eternal, and 2Pac’s Me Against the World. The following year, Lauryn Hill became the first female artist to win in the category when she, as part of Fugees, won Best Rap Album for The Score. That year, A Tribe Called Quest (Beats, Rhymes and Life), 2Pac (All Eyez On Me), LL Cool J (Mr. Smith), and Coolio (Gangsta’s Paradise) were all nominated.

Ahead of the 2022 ceremony, Eminem reigns with the most wins (6) in the category. Kanye West (4) is close behind. Only Outkast and Kendrick Lamar have won Best Rap Album more than once. The Roots have the most nominations without a win (five), while Jay-Z has the record for most nominations overall, with eleven. Cardi has the distinction of being the first solo female rapper to win Best Rap Album. She claimed the crown in 2019 with Invasion of Privacy.

This Year’s Nominees 

That multi-Best Rap Album winners club could get a new member following the 64th Grammy Awards. Nas’s King’s Disease II is nominated, as is Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost. Both performers have won in the past. J. Cole could win his first Best Rap Album Grammy with The Off-Season. Kanye West’s Donda is also nominated. Drake’s Certified Lover Boy was also nominated, but he withdrew all his nominations in December 2021. He has yet to explain why, but judging by his past comments about the Grammys, it’s not hard to guess the reason behind this move.

Tyler, The Creator was named as the winner for the Best Rap Album category at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST on Sunday April 3. Tyler beat out J. Cole, Nas, and Kanye West who were also nominated. This marks Tyler’s second Grammy win of his career. Tyler wasn’t at the premiere ceremony to accept his award and therefore did not give a speech. Tyler did tweet out his appreciation: “thanks wow yeah,” and he later gave an impromptu acceptance speech on Instagram Live. The award was the only one that Tyler was up for for the evening, make it an extra special win! Congrats, Tyler!

All Recent Best Rap Album Grammy Winners 

Here’s a quick rundown of the last two decades’ worth of winners:

2022: Tyler, The Creator, ‘CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST’

  • J. Cole’s The Off-Season
  • Nas, The King’s Disease II
  • Kanye West, Donda
Tyler was named the winner of the Best Rap Album for the 2022 ceremony. (Nikolas Liepins/Shutterstock)

2021: Nas, ‘The King’s Disease’

Nas’s thirteenth studio album took the crown during the 63rd Grammy Awards. The album beat out:

  • D Smoke’s Black Habits,
  • Jay Electronica’s A Written Testimony,
  • Royce Da 5’9″ s The Allegory.
  • Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist’s Alfredo

2020: Tyler, The Creator, ‘Igor’

Tyler, The Creator accepts the Best Rap Album award at the 62nd Grammys (Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

Other nominees:

  • Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III
  • Meek Mill’s Championships
  • 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was
  • Cordae’s The Lost Boy

2019: Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy

Other nominees:

  • Mac Miller’s Swimming
  • Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap
  • Pusha T’s Daytona
  • Travis Scott’s Astroworld.

2018: Kendrick Lamar, ‘Damn’

Kendrick picked up his second Album of The Year award when Damn beat out Jay-Z’s 4:44 to claim the prize.

Other nominees:

  • Migos’ Culture,
  • Rapsody, Laila’s Wisdom
  • Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy.
  • Jay-Z, 4:44

2017: Chance The Rapper, ‘Coloring Book’

Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book made history when it won the Best Rap Album award in 2017. It was already the first mixtape to chart on the Billboard 200 solely on streams, and it was the first streaming-only album ever to win a Grammy.

Other nominees:

  • De La Soul, and the Anonymous Nobody…
  • DJ Khaled,  Major Key
  • Drake, Views,
  • ScHoolboy Q, Blank Face LP,
  • Kanye West, The Life of Pablo.

2016: Kendrick Lamar, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

Other nominees:

  • J.Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  • Dr. Dre, Compton
  • Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  • Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
Cardi B accepts the award for best rap album for “Invasion of Privacy” as Offset looks on at the 61st annual Grammy Awards (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

2015: Eminem, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2’

Other nominees:

  • Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
  • Common, Nobody’s Smiling
  • Childish Gambino, Because the Internet
  • Wiz Khalifa, Blacc Hollywood
  • ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, ‘The Heist’

Perhaps the most controversial win in the category’s short life, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s The Heist took home the Best Rap Album award, beating Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar. Macklemore even apologized to Kendrick via a text (“You got robbed. I wanted you to win. It’s weird, and it sucks that I robbed you”), which Drake called out for being “wack as f-ck.”

“This is how the world works: He made a brand of music that appealed to more people than me, Hov, Kanye, and Kendrick,” Drake said, per Rolling Stone. “Whether people wanna say it’s racial, or whether it’s just the fact that he tapped into something we can’t tap into. That’s just how the cards fall. Own your shit.”

Other nominees:

  • Drake, Nothing Was The Same
  • Jay-Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
  • Kendrick Lamar, Good Kidd, M.A.A.D. City
  • Kanye West, Yeezus

2013: Drake, ‘Take Care’

Other nominees:

  • 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story
  • Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
  • Nas, Life Is Good
  • Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
  • The Roots, Undun

2012: Kanye West, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’

Other nominees:

  • Lupe Fiasco, Lasers
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne
  • Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday
  • Lil Wayne, Tha Carter IV

2011: Eminem, ‘Recovery’

Other nominees:

  • B.o.B., B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
  • Drake, Thank Me Later
  • Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
  • The Roots, How I Got Over

2010: Eminem, ‘Relapse’

Other nominees:

  • Common, Universal Mind Control
  • Flo Rida, R.O.O.T.S.
  • Mos Def, The Ecstatic
  • Q-Tip, The Renaissance

2009: Lil Wayne, ‘Tha Carter III’

Other nominees:

  • Jay-Z, American Gangster
  • Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool
  • Nas, Nas/Untitled
  • T.I., Paper Trail

2008: Kanye West, ‘Graduation’

Kanye West accepts the award for best rap album for Graduation (Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock)

Other nominees:

  • Common, Finding Forever
  • Jay-Z, Kingdom Come
  • Nas, Hip-Hop Is Dead
  • T.I., T.I. vs. T.I.P.

2007: Ludacris, ‘Release Therapy’

Other nominees:

  • Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor
  • Pharrell, In my Mind
  • The Roots, Game Theory
  • T.I., King

2006: Kanye West, ‘Late Registration’

Other nominees:

  • 50 Cent, The Massacre
  • Common, Be
  • Missy Elliott, The Cookbook
  • Eminem, Encore

2005: Kanye West, ‘The College Dropout’

Other nominees:

  • Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs
  • Jay-Z, The Black Album
  • LL Cool J, The DEFinition
  • Nelly, Suit
Eminem accepts the Grammy for best rap album for “The Marshall Mathers LP” at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards (Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock)

2004: Outkast, ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’

Other nominees:

  • 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Trying’
  • Missy Elliott, Under Construction
  • Jay-Z, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse
  • The Roots, Phrenology

2003: Eminem, ‘The Eminem Show’

Other nominees:

  • Ludacris, Word of Mouf
  • Mystikal, Tarantula
  • Nelly, Nellyville
  • Petey Pablo, Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry

2002: Outkast, ‘Stankonia’

Other nominees:

  • Eve, Scorpion
  • Ja Rule, Pain Is Love
  • Jay-Z, The Blueprint
  • Ludacris, Back for the First Time

2001: Eminem, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’

Other nominees:

  • DMX, …And Then There Was X
  • Dr. Dre, 2001
  • Jay-Z, Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter
  • Nelly, Country Grammar

2000: Eminem, ‘The Slim Shady LP’

Other nominees:

  • Busta Rhymes, E.L.E.: The Final World Front
  • Missy Elliot, Da Real World
  • Nas, I Am…
  • The Roots, Things Fall Apart

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