Whereas Kraft admits he’s involved in regards to the potential for the album vs. single designation to lead to two classes with the identical 5 nominees, the change makes an excessive amount of sense to not occur. In actual fact, he says, Reid had been asking why the advisory committee hadn’t pushed for this sooner. He wasn’t the one one, both. “Some individuals, like Kardi, mentioned, ‘That is 20 years overdue,’” Kraft remembers.
“CARAS doesn’t transfer quick. We’ve been advocating to them for years,” he tells us. “Straight up, it’s irritating being the go-between between CARAS and the rap neighborhood. It takes a very long time, however they’re balancing numerous pursuits and making an attempt to do one of the best they will whereas balancing numerous these pursuits. It’s not like a rubber stamp course of the place one particular person can log off on it. It’s committee after committee.”
In actuality, the difficulty’s been mentioned for years, most lately at a 2018 summit for CARAS and members of the Canadian rap neighborhood. Holding issues up, Kraft says, was the Academy’s insistence at including consumption (i.e. gross sales) as a part of the nomination standards; in keeping with Kraft, the push got here after Nav had been nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Yr in 2017, however not within the rap class. CARAS initially needed consumption to account for 50 p.c, with the opposite half coming from trade judges, whereas the committee argued for 25, saying that whereas the 50 p.c formulation would possibly work for the pop and rock classes, it will render the rap award overly predictable. “It doesn’t make sense to advocate for the creation of a second class when the primary class was damaged,” he explains.
After a two-year trial run at 50 p.c, the factors was decreased to 25 p.c for 2021, which Kraft factors out led to a few first-time nominees within the class: Reprid, TOBi, and bbno$ & Yung Gravy. “Which is the way it ought to be. It’s only a higher look. We’re not making an attempt to simply rejoice recognition. As a result of recognition doesn’t essentially equate to high quality.”
“In the event you hearken to the 5 information, Eric Reprid, Nav, TOBi, they couldn’t sound any extra totally different. The sphere may be very numerous, which implies the jurors did an OK job,” says Higgins of this yr’s nominees. “As a result of TOBi’s document sounds nothing like 88GLAM’s.”
And the hope is, with two classes, it’d give the Junos twice the chance to spotlight much more of that variety. “Whereas it’s necessary to acknowledge excellence—which is the mandate of the Junos—it’s additionally necessary to rejoice the standard up-and-comers who don’t essentially have the huge groups behind them but, and the business success consequently,” says Kraft. “To have the ability to say, I’m a Juno Award nominee, if you happen to use that proper, can create much more curiosity.”
The artists we spoke to agreed. “I really feel just like the splitting of the class into two can be tremendous useful for rap and hip-hop as a complete in Canada,” Reprid tells us. “As one of many quickest rising genres, it will positively make sense to shed some extra mild on a few of the nice acts that reside up north.”
“There’s a lot variety in rap music right now, artists are branching out and making their very own types. It’s good to rejoice that we’re not simply all making the identical sounds. I need to see extra rappers’ names come out of town although, for actual,” says TOBi. “We’re principally identified for our producers and singers proper now, so I’d like to get that shine on the rappers too.”