We’re just a week away from the biggest night in music!
Nah, not the Detox album release party. The annual Grammy Awards!
Yeah, I can feel your excitement radiating from behind the keyboard.
These days, the most entertaining part about award shows is the Twitter banter. Follow your boy @etbowser next week and watch me go in. You should expect nothing less.
In the meantime, I’ve taken a look at this year’s nominees and decided to weigh in ahead of time. I’ve only focused on the most important categories (i.e., the ones I care about) so if you want my predictions on exciting categories like “Best Music Heard In Walgreens’ Hygiene Aisle,” you’re just going to have to wait until Sunday to get my sage wisdom.
For now, let’s focus on the biggies. Baby-bay-bay.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Get Lucky – Daft Punk featuring Pharrell
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Royals – Lorde
Locked Out Of Heaven – Bruno Mars
Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell and T.I.
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “Royals”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Royals”
Edd said: This is the one category that’s a complete no-brainer. No song resonated with audiences both young and old like “Royals.” It was ever-present, universally loved, controversy free, and had pretty much every Billboard chart in the cobra clutch. Lorde is the queen.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Blessed Unrest – Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar
The Heist – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Red – Taylor Swift
WHAT SHOULD WIN: good kid, m.A.A.d city
WHAT WILL WIN: Red
Edd said: In terms of quality, this is a two-album race between good kid, m.A.A.d city and R.A.M. Kendrick pulls ahead of Daft Punk because of his vivid depiction of inner-city life. It’s personal, honest and downright real. But Taylor Swift is America’s sweetheart so she wins. I hope you’re ready for another of her oh-so-sincere “I can’t believe I won again, tee hee” speeches. I’m annoyed already.
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
Love & War – Tamar Braxton
Best of Me – Anthony Hamilton
Nakamarra – Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip
How Many Drinks? – Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar
Something – Snarky Puppy Featuring Lalah Hathaway
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “Love & War”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Best of Me”
Edd said: Who threw that horrible Miguel song in the mix? Minus that one, this is a pretty strong list of contenders. Remember, this category is about performance, and nothing here matches Tamar’s passion. However, the committees tend to like more understated performances, so Hamilton likely wins this. Snarky Puppy could pull off and upset too.
BEST R&B SONG
Best Of Me, performed by Anthony Hamilton: Anthony Hamilton & Jairus Mozee
Love And War, performed by Tamar Braxton: Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick
Only One, performed by PJ Morton: PJ Morton
Pusher Love Girl, performed by Justin Timberlake: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake
Without Me, performed by Fantasia, Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott: Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “Best Of Me”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Best Of Me”
Edd said: This category is all about songwriting and either it’s been a weak year for songwriting or the committee just drew names out of a hat. “Without Me” is by far my favorite on the list but the lyrics but the rat in ratchet. “Fake s*** will kill you/boy I know the real you” -Shakespeare, it ain’t. Same goes for JT’s track and Tamar’s too. PJ’s “Only One” is a straight-up snoozer, so I’m giving this one to Anthony. I think the committee will too.
BEST R&B ALBUM
R&B Divas – Faith Evans
Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys
Love In The Future – John Legend
Better – Chrisette Michele
Three Kings – TGT
WHAT SHOULD WIN: Better
WHAT WILL WIN: Love In The Future
Edd said: Chrisette’s album is far and away the best album nominated here. It’s not even close. But we know the Grammy overlords never let silly things like quality determine their selections. John Legend’s album was uneven but solid and he was more visible than the other nominees so he wins.
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Started From The Bottom – Drake
Berzerk – Eminem
Tom Ford – Jay Z
Swimming Pools (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Thrift Shop”
Edd said: I just don’t get the Macklemore craze. Yeah, “Thrift Shop” has a solid message but I can’t get past the goofy production, stilted lyrics and HORRIBLE third-grade hook to embrace it. But I expect Macklemore to be this year’s Grammy golden boy, so everyone else is irrelevant.
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
Power Trip – J. Cole Featuring Miguel
Part II (On The Run) – Jay Z Featuring Beyonce
Holy Grail – Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Now Or Never – Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
Remember You – Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “Holy Grail”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Now Or Never”
Edd said: Well, the Grammy gurus have to give Kendrick something, lest they look like out-of-touch fossils. So why not give him the award for the worst song on his album – and a bonus cut at that! If you didn’t cop the album from Best Buy you probably don’t even recognize the track. And you ain’t missing much. Most of the nominees here are pretty weak anyway. “Power Trip” is overrated. “Remember You” and “Part II” lean too heavily on great hooks and production; the lyrics are just so-so. “Holy Grail” should win by default.
BEST RAP SONG
F***in’ Problems, performed by ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar: Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib
Holy Grail, performed by Jay Z and Justin Timberlake: Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake & Ernest Wilson
New Slaves, performed by Kanye West: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, Kanye West & Cydel Young
Started From The Bottom, performed by Drake: W. Coleman, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters
Thrift Shop, performed by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz: Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis
WHAT SHOULD WIN: “New Slaves”
WHAT WILL WIN: “Thrift Shop”
Edd said: Good lord, looks like Ye’s entire JV basketball squad wrote “New Slaves.” I’m not a huge fan of that track, but again, we’re talking about songwriting, and it’s the only track here that has an ounce of substance and originality. Was Em’s “Rap God” released too late to qualify? It seems to be a glaring omission. Again, I’m sure Macklemore wins this just because it’s Macklemore, but a Drake win wouldn’t surprise me either.
And speaking of the hip hop Charmin bear…
BEST RAP ALBUM
Nothing Was The Same – Drake
Magna Carta…Holy Grail – Jay Z
good kid, m.A.A.d. city – Kendrick Lamar
The Heist – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Yeezus – Kanye West
WHAT SHOULD WIN: good kid, m.A.A.d. city
WHAT WILL WIN: Nothing Was The Same
Edd said: Macklemore’s singles may have been shoved down our throats, but I can’t see anyone with a functioning pair of ears cosigning the entire album. So I’ll go with another mediocre album that produced hit singles – Nothing Was The Same. Face facts, Drake was placed upon hip-hop’s golden pedestal this year so he’s walking out with at least one Grammy. It’s a shame it will be at Kendrick’s expense.
OK, it’s your turn. Who do you think will win big this year?