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Worcester rapper Joyner Lucas nominated for two Grammys

Eminem (left) and Joyner Lucas. Lucas, a Worcester native, has been nominated for two Grammys, including Best Rap Video for his viral hit, “I’m Not a Racist.”
Eminem (left) and Joyner Lucas. Lucas, a Worcester native, has been nominated for two Grammys, including Best Rap Video for his viral hit, “I’m Not a Racist.” (Christopher Polk and Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Joyner Lucas might need to amend the lyrics to his verse in “Lucky You” if he wins one of two categories at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

“All my life I want a Grammy,” Lucas raps on the track featured on “Kamikaze,” Eminem’s tenth studio album, released this summer. “But I’ll probably never get it.”

In February, that could change.

The Worcester native and hip-hop artist has been nominated for Grammys in two categories: Best Rap Video for his viral hit “I’m Not Racist,” which has been viewed on YouTube more than 104 million times; and Best Rap Song for his appearance alongside the Detroit rapper on “Lucky You.”

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The news of the nominations, which were announced Friday, left the 30-year-old rapper stunned, as he celebrated yet another milestone during his ascension to the forefront of the national rap scene, and once again stepped beyond his humble beginnings as a recording artist from Central Mass.

“Is this real?,” Lucas tweeted Saturday, after finding out his music video, which tackled racism in America and the current political climate, was listed as a Grammy contender. “I still feel like someone is playing a trick on me.”

Lucas, who graduated from South High Community School, had a similar reaction in November last year, when “I’m Not Racist” started racking up views by the millions in the matter of a few days.

“Bro what’s happening right now?,” Lucas said on Twitter at the time.

The video features a white man with a beard who is wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat sitting in an empty room across from a black man. As the three-minute video progresses, the pair deliver rap verses written and performed by Lucas about systemic racism and other topics.

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In the category for Best Rap Video, Lucas is facing competition from Childish Gambino, Janelle Monáe, The Carters, and Tierra Whack.

For “Lucky You,” Lucas and Eminem — real name Marshall Mathers — are up against Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and several others.

The Grammys will announce the winners for each category live on Feb. 10, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.