It was recently announced that the upcoming Grammy Awards have been postponed, which has left us with more time to speculate who some of the most prestigious trophies – including the one for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical – will go to. Nominees include Jack Antonoff, Rogét Chahayed, Mike Elizondo, Ricky Reed, as well as our latest digital cover story star, Hit-Boy.
During an interview with HNHH, the 34-year-old reflected on receiving the news of his first-ever Grammy nomination, calling it a “super special occasion.”
“I definitely didn’t know anything about the politics or any of the ins and outs of the Grammys. I had went one time before. This was two years before “N****s in Paris” won. I went to see Lil Wayne and Eminem perform “Drop the World” and that’s the song I produced with Chase N. Cashe. That was my first time, so I just was in there peeping the whole vibe.”
The California-born record producer revealed that by his second appearance at the show, he “had leveled up,” before explaining that a record’s commercial success doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s guaranteed to take home a Grammy.
“So, you can’t call it, but we won. It’s crazy because the year before I won with Nipsey Hussle for “Racks in the Middle,” I was there for “Sicko Mode” for my production on that and we lost. Way more commercial success from the song, but it didn’t win the trophy. It’s all a balance.”
He went on to point out that “Slide” vocalist H.E.R. “won a Grammy last year for like Song of the Year or something, and the video only had, not even a million views on it on YouTube for a song that she won for.”
“We got so piped up to it’s about the YouTube numbers and Spotify – all that can be finessed. They can dump some money into Spotify ads and dump some money into YouTube playlists to make the views look crazy. What is the music really saying? What is the music really doing?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hit-Boy shared that he actually turned off the Grammy nomination broadcast before his name was announced, and was surprised when texts of congratulation began flowing in from his loved ones.
“I had just watched them announce that King’s Disease II was nominated,” he recalled. “Which is big because we had just won last year. So, going back-to-back at the Grammy’s with Nas is unbelievable for real. A lot of people were feeling like, ‘Man, you should have gotten Producer of the Year last year at the Grammy’s too.’ I wasn’t nominated, but this year I am.”
After seeing Nas’ August 2021 release get its nod, Hit-Boy had had enough. “I was like, ‘Cool, I’m straight.’ I didn’t even think about the fact that they were announcing Producer of the Year. People started calling me, texting me, hitting me like, ‘Yo, you nominated for Producer of the Year!’ I was like, ‘Man, that’s unbelievable!'”
The “Sicko Mode” producer says that taking home the prize would feel “amazing,” especially knowing that inspirations like Pharrell, Rick Rubin, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, and Babyface are previous winners.
“Motherf*****s be enamoured over jewelry and money and all that type of shit. I feel like a Grammy, that’s something you can just have in your family that symbolizes greatness,” he said when asked if the Grammy will provide him with a form of validation that praise from colleagues simply can’t.
Hit-Boy continued, “My people was locked in. My family, my son, whatever, is going to be able to look and be like, ‘Yeah, my pops was really doing it.’ Most of these people kids aren’t about to inherit their jewelry and shit. My son is going to be able to have that on the mantle forever. That’s just how I look at it.”
Last, but certainly not least, the Fontana-born creative shared his feelings on being the only Black person to be nominated for Producer of the Year. “It’s just something that stuck out to me. A lot of us don’t get that opportunity. To even be talked about and ranked amongst people that are doing great things. Most of the people probably had bigger commercial radio records.”
“I don’t know if they had as much value and as much whatever as me, but everybody is in their own world and doing what they’re supposed to do. It ain’t even a thing where I’m trying to make it a Black thing or whatever the case is. It just was a fact.”