Drake criticizes Grammys, says he doesn’t want awards

Music star Drake, who recently won two Grammy Awards in rap categories for his song “Hotline Bling,” is chafing at being pigeonholed as a rapper and says the award-winning single is a pop song.

In an Ovo Sound Radio interview recorded Feb. 13, the day after the Grammys, and released Saturday, Drake says that despite being a mix of black, Jewish and Canadian, “I am referred to as a black artist. Like last night at that awards show, I’m a black artist…I’m apparently a rapper even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song. The only category that they can manage to fit me in is a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black. I can’t figure out why.”

Assuring that, “I love the rap world and I love the rap community,” Drake — who was performing in Manchester, England, that night and did not attend the ceremony — explained, “I write pop songs for a reason. I want to be like Michael Jackson, I want to be like artists that I looked up to.” He said both “Hotline Bling” and another hit from last year, “One Dance,” “are pop songs, but I never get any credit for that.”

The 30-year-old artist, born Aubrey Drake Graham, won the 2012 Best Rap Album Grammy for “Take Care” and now the 2016 awards for best rap/sung performance and, with “Hotline Bling” co-writer Paul Jefferies, for best rap song. “I don’t even want them [the awards], because it just feels weird for some reason,” he told DJ Semtex, host of the radio show originating from Drake’s Ovo Sound label. “It just doesn’t feel right to me. I feel, like, almost alienated, or you’re trying to purposely alienate me by making me win [for] rap…putting me in that category because it’s the only place you can figure out where to put me.”

He added, “When you ask me do I feel like [it’s] racism… yeah, I feel it. I notice it going on…”