It’s been the case for many years: Much of the best music out there, rap music especially, will never be commercially available. Instead, free mixtapes and SoundCloud-only tracks are where so much action happens. And now, one of music’s most slow-to-react institutions will finally allow itself to recognize the greatness of some of this music. Mixtapes can win Grammys now.
This morning the great Chicago rap blogger Andrew Barber tweeted a new change in the Grammys rulebook, which now says that recordings, to be eligible for Grammys, will have to be available “as stand-alone purchases or streams” between the usual dates. That “or streams” part is both new and crucial.
Streaming only projects are now available for Grammy consideration. I've been working on this for three years. 🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/FE088E5asE
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) June 16, 2016
This probably doesn’t mean that Doughboyz Cashout will walk out of next February’s ceremony with an armload of statuettes, but it does mean that something like Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book, one of 2016’s best albums, now has a chance to make some real noise. And that is a great thing.