Grammy Award for Best Rap Song: Winners List From 2000 To Today

The 2022 Grammys have just announced the winner of Best Rap Song. Find out who won, as well as the winners of the past two decades.

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Image Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock

Hip-hop is of the biggest and most dominant genres in music within the last half-century, and some of the minds behind rap’s biggest songs get their flowers at the annual Grammy Awards. First held in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards (aka those golden turntables that winners take home), the Grammy Awards have changed and evolved with the times, now celebrating “honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position,” per the Grammy website.

With that said, the Grammys haven’t always been great when it comes to hip-hop. The Recording Academy debuted the Best Rap Performance award in 1989 and the Best Rap Album category in 1996 – many years after the genre burst out on the scene. The Grammys unveiled the Best Rap Song category for the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004. Eminem won that inaugural award for “Lose Yourself,” as did the song’s writers – Luis Restro and Jeff Bass.

The Best Rap Song award is a songwriters award, one that recognizes the many hands that go into making a hit.

This Year’s Nominees

At first glance, the Best Rap Song category is a roll call of some of the biggest names in hip-hop. “Bath Salts,” by DMX featuring Jay-Z and Nas, is up for the award, as is Saweetie and Doja Cat’s collab, “Best Friend.” Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s “Family Ties” scored a nomination, as did “My Life” by J.Cole, featuring 21 Savage and Morray. Kanye West – who has a record of 6 wins in this category – could add to his total if his and Jay-Z’s “Jail” wins the Grammy.

Complete List of nominees:

  • DMX featuring Jay-Z and Nas, “Bath Salts” (Shawn Carter, Kasseem Dean, Michael Forno, Nasir Jones, and Earl)
  • Saweetie featuring Doja Cat, “Best Friend” (Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Randall Avery Hammers, Diamonté Harper, Asia Smith, Theron Thomas, and Rocco Valdes)
  • Baby Keem featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Family Ties” (Roshwita Larisha Bacha, Hykeem Carter, Tobias Dekker, Colin Franken, Jasper Harris, Kendrick Lamar, Ronald Latour, and Dominik Patrzek)
  • Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, “Jail” (Dwayne Abernathy, Jr., Shawn Carter, Raul Cubina, Michael Dean, Charles M. Njapa, Sean Solymar, Kanye West, and Mark Williams)
  • J. Cole featuring 21 Savage and Morray, “My Life” (Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph and Jermaine Cole)

Recent Winners Of The  Grammy Award for Best Rap Song

2022: Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, “Jail”


Other Nominees:

  • DMX featuring Jay-Z and Nas, “Bath Salts” (Shawn Carter, Kasseem Dean, Michael Forno, Nasir Jones, and Earl)
  • Saweetie featuring Doja Cat, “Best Friend” (Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Randall Avery Hammers, Diamonté Harper, Asia Smith, Theron Thomas, and Rocco Valdes)
  • Baby Keem featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Family Ties” (Roshwita Larisha Bacha, Hykeem Carter, Tobias Dekker, Colin Franken, Jasper Harris, Kendrick Lamar, Ronald Latour, and Dominik Patrzek)
  • J. Cole featuring 21 Savage and Morray, “My Life” (Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph and Jermaine Cole)

2021: Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé, “Savage (Remix)”

Megan Thee Stallion, winner of the awards for best rap song and best rap performance for “Savage Remix” and best new artist poses in the press room at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards (Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock)
  • Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe & Anthony White

Other Nominees:

  • Lil Baby, “The Bigger Picture” (Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew & Rai’shaun Williams
  • Roddy Ricch, “The Box” (Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore)
  • Drake ft. Lil Durk, “Laugh Now Cry Later” Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ronald LaTour & Ryan Martinez)
  • DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar” (Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro IV & Rodrick Moore)

2020: 21 Savage ft. J. Cole, “A Lot”

  • YBN Cordae featuring Chance the Rapper, “Bad Idea” (Chancelor Bennett, Cordae Dunston, Uforo Ebong & Daniel Hackett)
  • Rick Ross featuring Drake, “Gold Roses” (Noel Cadastre, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Khristopher Riddick-Tynes, William Leonard Roberts II, Joshua Quinton Scruggs, Leon Thomas III & Ozan Yildirim)
  • Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy, “Racks In The Middle (Ermias Asghedom, Dustin James Corbett, Greg Allen Davis, Chauncey Hollis, Jr. & Rodrick Moore”
  • DaBaby, “Suge” (Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, JetsonMade & Pooh Beatz)

2019: Drake, “God’s Plan”

  • Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake “King’s Dead” (Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny McKinzie, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn & Michael Williams II)
  • Eminem featuring Joyner Lucas, “Lucky You” (R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet)
  • Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee, “Sicko Mode” (Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young)
  • Jay Rock, “Win” (K. Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson)

2018: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE”

  • Cardi B, “Bodack Yellow” (Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Belcalis Almanzar & J White – “Bodak Yellow”)
  • Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels and Big Boi, “Chase Me”) (Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer
  • Rapsody, “Sassy” (E. Gabouer & M. Evans)
  • Jay-Z, “The Story of O.J.” (Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson)
Kendrick Lamar accepts the award for best rap album for “Damn” at the 60th annual Grammy Awards (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

2017: Drake, “Hotline Bling”

  • Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared, “All The Way Up (Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano)
  • Kanye West featuring Rihanna, “Famous” (Chancellor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young)
  • Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, “No Problem” (Chancellor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps)
  • Kanye West featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream, “Ultralight Beam” (Chancellor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young)

2016: Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

  • Kanye West Featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, and Paul McCartney, “All Day” (Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans, and Cydel Young)
  • Drake, “Energy” (Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels and Phillip Thomas)
  • Common and John Legend, “Glory” (Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith, and John Stephens)
  • Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen” (Tony Fadd and Willie J. Maxwell)
Kendrick Lamar accepts the award for best rap album for “To Pimp A Butterfly” at the 58th annual Grammy Awards (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

2015: Kendrick Lamar, “i”

  • Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda” (Ernest Clark, Jamal Jones, Onika Maraj, Marcos Palacios and J. Solone Myvett)
  • Kanye West featuring Charlie Wilson, “Bound 2” (Mike Dean, Malik Jones, Che Pope, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson, and Cydel Young)
  • Wiz Khalifa, “We Dem Boyz” (Noel Fisher and Cameron Thomaz)
  • Drake, “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” (A. Feeney, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, P. Jefferies, Matthew Samuels, and Noah Shebib)

2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz, “Thrift Shop”

  • ASAP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar, “F-ckin’ Problems” (Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers, and Noah Shebib)
  • Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail” (Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake, and Ernest Wilson)
  • Kanye West, “New Slaves” (Christopher Breaux, Benjamin Bronfman, Mike Dean, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Che Smith, Kanye West, and Cydel Young)
  • Drake, “Started from the Bottom” (William Coleman, Aubrey Graham, and Noah Shebib)

2013: Jay-Z and Kanye West, “N—– In Paris”

  • Nas, “Daughters” (Nasir Jones and Ernest Wilson)
  • Wale featuring Miguel, “Lotus Flower Bomb” (Olubowale Akintimehin, S. Joseph Dew, Jerrin Howard, Walker Johnson, and Miguel Jontel Pimentel)
  • Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz, “Mercy” (Sean Anderson, Tauheed Epps, Stephan Taft, James Thomas, Terrence Thornton, and Kanye West)
  • Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga, “The Motto”) (Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Graham, and Michael Stevenson)
  • Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars, “Young, Wild & Free” (Calvin Broadus, Chris Brody Brown, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Peter Hernandez, and Cameron Thomaz)
Drake at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards (Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

2012: Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie, “All of the Lights”

  • Wiz Khalifa, “Black and Yellow”) (Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen and Cameron Thomaz)
  • Dre, Eminem, and Skylar Grey, “I Need A Doctor” (Andre Young, Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey, and Marshall Mathers)
  • Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, “Look At Me Now”) (Chris Brown, Wesley Pentz, Jean Baptiste, Ryan Buendia, Dwayne Carter, Trevor Smith, Nick van de Wall, Afrojack
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West, “Otis” (Shawn Carter and Kanye West)
  • Lupe Fiasco, “The Show Goes On” (Dustin William Brower, Jonathon Keith Brown, Daniel Johnson, Kane and Wasalu Muhammad Jaco)

2011: Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”

  • Eminem featuring Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie” (Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey and Marshall Mathers)
  • Eminem, “Not Afraid” (Matthew Burnett, Jordan Evans, Marshall Mathers, Luis Resto & Matthew Samuels)
  • B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, “Nothin’ On You” (Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars, and Bobby Simmons Jr.)
  • Jay-Z & Swizz Beats, “On to the Next One” (Shawn Carter, J. Chaton, and K. Dean)

2010: Jay-Z ft. Rihanna and Kanye West, “Run This Town”

  • Drake, “Best I Ever Had: (Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Drake Graham & Matthew Samuels)
  • Kid Cudi, “Day ‘n’ Nite” (S. Mescudi and O. Omishore)
  • I. featuring Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone” (Clifford Harris and Justin Timberlake)
  • Jay-Z, “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune”) (Shawn Carter and Ernest Wilson)

2009: Lil Wayne ft. Static Major, “Lollipop”

  • Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, “Low” (Tramar Dillard and Faheem Najm)
  • Snoop Dogg, “Sexual Eruption” (C. Broadus, S. Lovejoy and D. Stewart)
  • Lupe Fiasco featuring Soundtrak, “Superstar” (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco)
  • I. featuring Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West & M.I.A., “Swagga Like Us” (Mathangi Arulpragasam, Dwayne Carter, Shawn Carter, Clifford Harris, Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Wesley Pentz, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer and Kanye West)
Kanye West accepts the award for best rap album for Graduation at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards (Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock)

2008: Kanye West ft. T-Pain, “Good Life”

  • 50 Cent ft. Justin Timberlake, “Ayo Technology” (Curtis Jackson, Nathaniel Hills, Timothy Mosley, and Justin Timberlake)
  • I., “Big Things Poppin’ (Do It)” (Clifford Harris and Byron Thomas)
  • Kanye West, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” (Aldrin Davis and Kanye West)
  • Soulja Boy, “Crank That” (Soulja Boy)

2007: Ludacris ft. Pharrell, “Money Maker”

  • Yung Joc, “It’s Goin’ Down” (Chadron Moore and Jasiel Robinson)
  • Lupe Fiasco, “Kick, Push” (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco)
  • Chamillionaire, “Ridin'” (Hakeem Seriki, Juan Salinas, Oscar Salinas, Anthony Henderson)
  • I. “What You Know” (Adrian Davis and Clifford Harris)

2006: Kanye West, “Diamonds from Sierra Leonne”

  • 50 Cent featuring Olivia, “Candy Shop” (50 Cent and Scott Storch)
  • The Back Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (William Adams, Printz Board, Stacy Ferguson, and George Pajon Jr.)
  • The Game featuring 50 Cent, “Hate It Or Love It” (Jayceon Taylor and 50 Cent)
  • Missy Elliott featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop, “Lose Control” (Missy Elliott, Ciara Harris, and Isaac Freeman)
Kanye West and his mother, Donda, hold his three awards backstage at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles ( REED SAXON/AP/Shutterstock)

2005: Kanye West, “Jesus Walks”

  • Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, “Drop It Like It’s Hot”) (Calvin Broadus, Chad Hugo, Scott Thomas, and Pharrell Williams)
  • The Black Eyed Peas, “Hey Mama” (Will Adams and Anthony Henry)
  • The Black Eyed Peas, “Let’s Get It Started” (Will Adams, Mike Fratantuno, Jaime Gomez, George Pajon, Jr., Allan Pineda, and Terence Yoshiaki)
  • Jay-Z – “99 Problems” (Shawn Carter and Rick Rubin)

2004: Eminem, “Lose Yourself”

  • Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, “Beautiful” (Calvin Broadus, Chad Hugo, and Pharrell Williams)
  • Jay-Z and Pharrell, “Excuse Me Miss” (Shawn Carter, Chad Hugo, and Pharrell Williams)
  • 50 Cent, “In da Club” (Mike Elizondo, C. Jackson, and A. Young)
  • Missy Elliott, “Work It” (Missy Elliott and Tim Mosley)

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