It seems to happen every summer. The game loses a talent before their time. Last year, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington took his life at the age 41. The news sent ripples shock throughout the community, especially considering how Linkin Park’s presence had occasionally blended into the hip-hop realm. Naturally, the sudden tragedy left the band, including fellow vocalist Mike Shinoda, in mourning. Now, on the one year anniversary his death, the entire band has taken to Instagram to pay homage to their “brother.”
“To our brother Chester,” begins the letter, posted alongside a picture Chester at work. “It has been a year since your passing—a surreal rotation grief, heartbreak, refusal, and recognition. And yet it sill feels like you are close by, surrounding us with your memory and your light. Your one–a-kind spirit has authored an indelible imprint on our hearts—our jokes, our joy, and our tenderness. Eternally grateful for the love, life, and creative passion you shared with us and the world. We miss you more than words can express.”
The letter is signed by the entire band, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson. All things considered, it’s nice to see his memory live on. Should you consider yourself a fan, head over to the band’s IG page and show your support. Rest in peace Chester Bennington.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards, which is being held at Madison Square Garden, will air this Sunday, January 28th. Hip-hop artists absolutely dominated the nominations this year, which is a reflection how big the genre has become. In 1989, the Grammys introduced the first hip-hop category, Best Rap Performance. DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince won the award, but the rappers boycotted the event because the ceremony wouldn’t air the rap category. It was a time where critics were split. Several heavyweights believed rap to be a fad, while many others perceived the growth and potential within the genre as the next big thing. It took another decade before a rapper would win Album the Year, and then another decade for the Academy to nominate the genre realistically. For almost 30 years, well-favored rock and pop songs took home the most coveted awards while rap records that were far more popular on the charts weren’t even nominated.
SZA, Kendrick, Jay-Z, Khalid and Childish Gambino are set to change the game. This year’s Grammy nods feature rappers heavily, while no solo white male rock artists were nominated in any the ceremony’s biggest categories. Jay leads all nominees with eight nods, Kendrick follows with seven nods, and SZA and Khalid are tied with five nods each. The Album the Year category features three rappers pitted against Bruno Mars and Lorde. The Record the Year category features the same three rappers, Jay, Gambino, and Kendrick. In the Song the Year category, Logic is the only white male to be nominated, for his suicide awareness record “1-800-273-8255.” He’s up against Jay, Bruno, and the Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber for their “Despacito” collaboration.
As hip-hop became more popular, its artist started to define the Grammy ceremony. When Will Smith boycotted the ceremony, they didn’t even want rappers on television. Fast forward to 2018, and now rappers are the stars the show. Throughout the years, hip-hop has fered us some timeless moments for the culture during music’s most important night. These are the top 15 most epic hip-hop moments in Grammy history.