When Grammy nominations were rolled out earlier this week, the late Pop Smoke earned his first with the infectious “Dior” being picked as part of the Best Rap Song category. For Pop’s manager Steven Victor, the nom is a bittersweet moment, as he believes the Recording Academy made a huge mistake when snubbing Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon.
“I think the Grammys is cap, bro,” Victor explained in a feature with GQ. “No disrespect, but who is D Smoke? This is an artist—I’m not saying he started a genre, because he didn’t start drill music— but [Pop] bought drill music to the forefront and made it mainstream. He had a huge impact. Forget about whether he passed away, his impact was felt way before that.”
Victor details how Pop has the second highest-selling album behind Lil Baby’s My Turn and the story of Hip Hop in 2020 can’t be told without Pop, whose debut has remained in the Billboard 200 top 5 for 20 weeks now. The Victor Victor boss believes Pop should’ve received noms in Best New Artist and Album of the Year categories as well.
“This is his only chance to get nominated for these awards,” he said. “So to me, the Grammys is cap. “I don’t know who’s making these decisions. He should’ve been nominated for “Dior” in more than one category, he should’ve been nominated for Best New Artist, he should’ve been nominated for Album of the Year, and he should’ve been nominated for Rap Album of the Year.”
Victor continued to declare, “He should’ve swept the whole thing. It doesn’t make any sense. That kid was incredibly talented, he gave his life to his music, and you can’t at least nominate him?”
Regardless of his feelings about the Grammys, Victor wanted those nominations for Pop’s mother and Pop himself, who often spoke about winning a Grammy Award being one of his goals.
“Especially for his mother,” he said. “Because it’s an acknowledgment. It’s history, right? Regardless of what I want to say about the Grammys, calling them cap and all this other stuff, the fact remains that it’s historical. [Pop] wanted to win a Grammy, because he knew what it meant for his career and his legacy.”
He went on to accuse the Recording Academy of “trolling” with their “far-left” selections of Freddie Gibbs, Nas, Jay Electronica, D Smoke and Royce Da 5’9 in the Best Rap Album category. Journalist Gary Suarez floated the theory of the Recording Academy mistakenly voting for D Smoke instead of Pop.
NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY: did Grammy voters accidentally vote for D Smoke when they meant to vote for Pop Smoke?
— I’m Gravy #CABBAGES (@noyokono) November 24, 2020
“They didn’t include any albums that had commercial success,” Victor stated. “I’m not saying that’s the criteria for the Grammys. Lil Baby and Pop Smoke, those were culturally impactful records. You look at the songs from Pop Smoke, they were super relevant with what was going on in our community earlier this year.”
In the stacked Best Rap Song category, 2019’s “Dior” will compete against Big Sean and Nipsey Hussle’s “Deep Reverance,” Jack Harlow’s “WHATS POPPIN,” Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture,” DaBaby’s “Bop” and Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce’s “Savage.”
Pop Smoke was killed during a February 19 home invasion in Los Angeles. His Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon debut album dropped in July and four singles are still holding chart position on the Billboard Hot 100.