Kanye West’s “Follow God” won top gospel song at the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The awards, which are in their 34th year, are being presented virtually for the second year in a row. Winners will be announced Tuesday (June 22) through Thursday on @ASCAP and @ASCAPUrban social media.
“Follow God,” which West co-wrote with Bryant “XCELENCE” Bell and Jahmal “BoogzDaBeast” Gwin, reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song is from West’s ninth studio album Jesus Is King, which topped the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album. It was West’s first Grammy win in eight years.
Chris Brown’s “No Guidance” (featuring Drake) won for both top hip-hop/R&B song and top rap song. The awards were presented to writers Anderson “Vinylz” Hernandez, Che Ecru, Joshua “J-Louis” Huizar, Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels and Noah “40” Shebib. “No Guidance” reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It received a Grammy nomination for best R&B song.
Lil Baby is ASCAP songwriter of the year for such hit songs as “Baby,” “The Bigger Picture,” “Emotionally Scarred” and “For the Night.” Lil Baby’s last two albums — the 2020 solo project My Turn and the 2021 collab with Lil Durk, The Voice of the Heroes — have entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1.
On Wednesday, @ASCAP will premiere an exclusive Lil Baby performance of “The Bigger Picture” at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on @ASCAP YouTube; a link to the premiere will be posted on @ASCAP social media.
Universal Music Publishing Group receives publisher of the year for their writers’ success with songs including “Blinding Lights” (The Weeknd), “Rockstar” (DaBaby, Roddy Rich) and “Laugh Now Cry Later” (Drake, Lil Durk).
As previously announced, songwriter-producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz and rapper and DJ D-Nice will receive ASCAP’s Voice of the Culture Award. The award celebrates the music stars for creating Verzuz and Club Quarantine, respectively, virtual events that became touchstones of empowerment for the community during the pandemic.
Immediately following the award presentation Tuesday (June 21) at noon ET/9 a.m. PT, the trio will participate in a special 2021 ASCAP Experience conversation, “Voices of the Culture: How Swizz Beatz, Timbaland & D-Nice United the World Through Music.” Fans can RSVP for the discussion at ASCAPexperience.com/schedule.
The ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards wrap up Thursday with an in memoriam segment celebrating the life and legacy of rapper DMX; an @ASCAPUrban Real Sounds Deconstructed session with jetsonmade; and a tour of the SoSo Def studio led by producer Jermaine Dupri. Both jetsonmade and Dupri are 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Award winners. D-Nice will close out the festivities with an afterparty, a special edition of Club Quarantine on Instagram Live, on @dnice beginning at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
A complete list of winners can be found at ASCAP.com/rsawards21.