The Grammys are making big changes to next year’s voting process. And some of hip-hop’s rising stars will likely benefit from them.
This week, the Recording Academy announced it will establish a review committee for nominees in the Rap category. The addition is intended to level the playing field for up-and-coming artists who might get overlooked in a sea of big-name acts. The Academy will also create review committees for the Contemporary Instrumental and New Age awards.
“For Rap, and the other categories to a degree, a lot of their argument was kind of similar—it was going more to big-name folks and felt like more of a popularity contest,” Bill Freimuth, the Academy’s senior vice president of awards, told Variety. “That’s not to say that someone who’s very famous can’t put out a fantastic track or album, but maybe some younger up-and-coming folks deserve that spotlight.”
The Academy also announced it will stop using paper ballots and move to online voting, in an effort to improve voter convenience as well as prevent fraudulent or invalid ballots. It’s also a way for the Academy to keep up with the times, as it’s been frequently criticized for being out of touch in recent years.
You can check out the full list of changes at the Grammys official website.
The 60th annual Grammy Award nominations will be announced Nov. 28. The awards show is set to air Jan. 28, 2018 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.