Grammy Awards 2024: Killer Mike sweeps rap awards, more Atlanta winners

Atlanta artists 21 Savage and Playboi Carti performed during the show

“Atlanta, it’s a sweep. You can’t tell me God ain’t good.”

That’s what Killer Mike said during his acceptance speech for winning the Grammy for best rap album, beating chart-toppers like Drake, 21 Savage, Metro Boomin and Travis Scott. He won all three of the awards he was nominated for during the ceremony’s pre-show held at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The official live televised ceremony from the Arena began at 8 p.m.

Following the win, the name of his album on Spotify now reads “Michael (Rap Album of the Year).”

Before the live telecast even began, Killer Mike was detained at the arena, with video from the Hollywood Reporter’s Chris Gardner showing the rapper being led away in handcuffs. The issue was soon resolved, with Killer Mike attributing it to “over zealous security” in a text to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The 48-year-old Atlanta rapper and activist also took home the awards for best rap performance and best rap song for “Scientists & Engineers.” On X, the Recording Academy accidentally announced that Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World” won for best rap song. “Scientists & Engineers” features R&B singer Eryn Allen Kane and fellow Atlanta rappers Future and André 3000.

Released last June, “Michael” was Killer Mike’s first solo album in over a decade. The 14-track album featured Future, André 3000, CeeLo Green, Young Thug, 2 Chainz and more. In 2003, he won his first Grammy award as a featured artist on OutKast’s “The Whole World.”

Killer Mike is also one of the artists in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s hip-hop documentary “The South Got Something to Say.” When he learned of his Grammy nominations last year, the rapper told The AJC: “I feel like I’ve done Atlanta proud. I’ve done hip-hop proud, I’ve done the Dungeon Family proud, and I did the West Side of Atlanta proud.”

Also during the pre-show, longtime Atlanta resident Theron Thomas won the Grammy for songwriter of the year, non-classical — his first award. Thomas has writing credits for songs like “Told Ya” by Chlöe and Missy Elliott, “Been Thinking” by Tyla and “All My Life” by Lil Durk and J. Cole.

Lil Durk also became a first-time Grammy winner Sunday night. The Chicago native and Atlanta resident won best melodic rap performance for “All My Life.” Larkin Poe, the Atlanta-bred, Nashville-based duo, won best contemporary blues album for “Blood Harmony.”

Atlanta gospel rapper Lecrae won the award for best contemporary Christian music album for “Church Clothes 4.” His duet with the Georgia-born Tasha Cobbs Leonard, “Your Power,” took home the Grammy for best contemporary Christian music performance/song.

During the show, not many Atlanta artists performed. Playboi Carti, who was barely recognizable while wearing a Black hoodie and mask, took the stage for Travis Scott’s “Fein.”

Atlanta’s 21 Savage performed alongside Brandy and Burna Boy for the latter’s hit single “Sittin’ on Top of the World.”

Janelle Monáe, a part-time Atlanta resident, didn’t get the biggest award of the night. Her “Age of Pleasure” lost to Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” for album of the year.