Special

56th Grammy Awards Nominees: My Thoughts

Well, the Grammy Awards nomination special was on, so you know what that means. Pretty soon, the big names in music will gather to celebrate the best in the industry (or the most popular). The reception to the nominees were very mixed. People accepted the nominations, some people were pissed off that certain artists were snubbed. The thing about the Grammys is that they have a notorious history when it comes to nominations and giving out awards. Sometimes they get it right, other times they don’t. When Rihanna has 7 Grammys and Lil Wayne has 4 Grammys while Nas and Tupac have zero, it makes you sort of question their credibility. Let’s look at some of the nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

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 & Ryan Lewis
Red — Taylor Swift

Record Of The Year:
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Royals” — Lorde
“Locked Out Of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams

Song Of The Year:
“Just Give Me A Reason” — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
“Locked Out Of Heaven” — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
“Roar” — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
“Royals” — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
“Same Love” — Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)

Best New Artist:
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Solo Performance:
“Brave” — Sara Bareilles
“Royals” — Lorde
“When I Was Your Man” — Bruno Mars
“Roar” — Katy Perry
“Mirrors” — Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
“Just Give Me A Reason” — Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
“Stay” — Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
“Suit & Tie” — Justin Timberlake & Jay Z

Best Pop Vocal Album:
“Paradise” — Lana Del Rey
“Pure Heroine” — Lorde
“Unorthodox Jukebox” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke
“The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience” — Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Instrumental Album:
“Steppin’ Out” — Herb Alpert
“The Beat” — Boney James
“Handpicked” — Earl Klugh
“Summer Horns” — Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
“Hacienda” — Jeff Lorber Fusion

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
“Viva Duets” — Tony Bennett & Various Artists
“To Be Loved” — Michael Bublé
“The Standards” — Gloria Estefan
“Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” — Cee Lo Green
“Now” — Dionne Warwick

Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Settle — Disclosure
18 Months — Calvin Harris
Atmosphere — Kaskade
A Color Map Of The Sun — Pretty Lights

Best Dance Recording:
“Need U (100%)” — Duke Dumont Featuring A*M*E & MNEK
“Sweet Nothing” — Calvin Harris Featuring Florence Welch
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“This Is What It Feels Like” — Armin Van Buuren Featuring Trevor Guthrie
“Clarity” — Zedd Featuring Foxes

Best Rock Performance:
“Always Alright” — Alabama Shakes
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” — David Bowie
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Kashmir” (Live) — Led Zeppelin
“My God Is The Sun” — Queens Of The Stone Age
“I’m Shakin'” — Jack White

Best Rock Album:
“13” — Black Sabbath
“The Next Day” — David Bowie
“Mechanical Bull” — Kings Of Leon
“Celebration Day” — Led Zeppelin
“…Like Clockwork” — Queens Of The Stone Age
“Psychedelic Pill” — Neil Young With Crazy Horse

Best Metal Performance:
“T.N.T.” — Anthrax
“God Is Dead?” — Black Sabbath
“The Enemy Inside” — Dream Theater
“In Due Time” — Killswitch Engage
“Room 24” — Volbeat Featuring King Diamond

Best Rock Song:
“Ain’t Messin ‘Round” — Gary Clark Jr., songwriter (Gary Clark Jr.)
“Cut Me Some Slack” — Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear, songwriters (Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear)
“Doom And Gloom” — Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, songwriters (The Rolling Stones)
“God Is Dead?” — Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne, songwriters (Black Sabbath)
“Panic Station” — Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)

Best Alternative Music Album:
“The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You” — Neko Case
“Trouble Will Find Me” — The National
“Hesitation Marks” — Nine Inch Nails
“Lonerism” — Tame Impala
“Modern Vampires Of The City” — Vampire Weekend

Best R&B Performance:
“Love And War” — Tamar Braxton
“Best Of Me” — Anthony Hamilton
“Nakamarra” — Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip
“How Many Drinks?” — Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Something” — Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway

Best Urban Contemporary Album:
“Love And War” — Tamar Braxton
“Side Effects Of You” — Fantasia
“One: In The Chamber” — Salaam Remi
“Unapologetic” — Rihanna
“New York: A Love Story” — Mack Wilds

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

Best Traditional R&B Performance:

“Please Come Home — Gary Clark Jr.
“Get It Right” — Fantasia
“Quiet Fire” — Maysa
“Hey Laura” — Gregory Porter
“Yesterday” — Ryan Shaw

Best R&B Song:
“Best Of Me” — Anthony Hamilton & Jairus Mozee, songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
“Love And War” — Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick, songwriters (Tamar Braxton)
“Only One” — PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton Featuring Stevie Wonder)
“Pusher Love Girl” — James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake)
“Without Me” —  Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart, songwriters (Fantasia Featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliot)

Best Rap Performance:
“Started From The Bottom” — Drake
“Berzerk” — Eminem
“Tom Ford” —  Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)” — Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
“Power Trip” — J.Cole Featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)” — Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé
“Holy Grail” — Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake
“Now Or Never” — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You” — Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd

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  & Ryan Lewis
Yeezus — Kanye West

Best Rap Song:
“F***in’ Problems” — Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib, songwriters (ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar)
“Holy Grail” — Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic, songwriters) (Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake)
“New Slaves” — Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Che Smith, Kanye West & Cydell Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters) (Kanye West)
“Started From The Bottom” — W. Coleman, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Bruno Sanfilippo, songwriter) (Drake)
“Thrift Shop” — Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz)

Best Country Solo Performance:
“I Drive Your Truck” — Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy” — Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel” — Darius Rucker
“Mine Would Be You” — Blake Shelton

Best Country Album:
Night Train — Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom — Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park — Kacey Musgraves
Based On A True Story — Blake Shelton
Red — Taylor Swift

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
“From This Valley” — The Civil Wars
“Don’t Rush” — Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill
“Your Side Of The Bed” — Little Big Town
“Highway Don’t Care” — Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
“You Can’t Make Old Friends” — Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton

Best Country Song:
“Begin Again” — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
“I Drive Your Truck” — Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary, songwriters (Lee Brice)
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“Merry Go ‘Round” — Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
“Mine Would Be You” — Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan, songwriters (Blake Shelton)

Some very interesting choices. Right now, Jay Z has the most nominations with 9 while Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Pharrell are right behind him (pause) with 7 nominations. I definitely am happy with some of these nominations, especially Kendrick. He put out one of the best albums in recent time with good kid, m.A.A.d city and he deserves the recognition. It would be nice to see him win at least one award, especially Best Rap Album, which I think he’ll easily win if the Grammy committee aren’t all over Macklemore’s nuts. No disrespect to Macklemore, he put out a good album and also deserves to be recognized, but Kendrick Lamar winning Best Rap Album makes much more sense and is the only way the Grammys can redeem themselves after giving Drake the Best Rap Album award for a mostly R&B album over Nas. I’ll be cool with Macklemore taking home Best Rap Song and Performance for Thrift Shop. One of the biggest snubs to me and probably to a lot of people is Justin Timberlake not getting an Album Of The Year nomination. Seriously, what the fuck? After 7 years of not releasing any new music, he comes back with the biggest album of 2013 with The 20/20 Experience and he doesn’t get an AOTY nomination, yet they gave Taylor Swift a nomination for basically making the same music over and over again. I’m calling bullshit on that. Another big snub is Lorde not getting a Best New Artist nomination. Not only does she have one of the biggest songs of the year, she’s also a critical darling. I understand that not everyone is gonna get nominated, but she deserved a BNA nomination.

Something I also want to address is the reaction to the nominations from the fanbases of teen idol artists, the Bieber fans, the One Direction fans, the Miley fans, etc. All year, they were begging the Grammys on Twitter to give their favorites a nomination. And when they didn’t, they bitched and moaned and cried like babies. Look, you little snot-nosed brats. This is the Grammys, not the Kids Choice Awards or the VMAs. YOU don’t get to vote, people who are part of the Grammy committee do. They reward quality music (most of the time), not popularity or money or Twitter followers. You don’t see Taylor Swift fans acting like this. Well, they’re actually celebrating right now because their idol got a bunch of nominations, including AOTY, and is a Grammy favorite. When Justin Bieber and One Direction actually makes a good record (which will NEVER happen), THEN the Grammys might consider taking them seriously and give them a nomination.

Now, I’m just gonna make couple of predictions for who’ll win what award. It won’t be that easy since the Grammys can be a bit unpredictable with who they choose. Album Of The Year is a tough one. I, personally, want Kendrick to win, but it probably won’t happen looking at the other nominees. They’ll probably give it to either Daft Punk or Taylor Swift. Song Of The Year, I think, will go to Same Love. It’s a song with a message and the Grammys love those type of songs. Record Of The Year will either go to Get Lucky or Royals. Best New  Artist will go to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Justin Timberlake will take Best Pop Solo Performance for Mirrors and Best Pop Vocal Album for The 20/20 Experience. Either Suit & Tie or Get Lucky will take Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Daft Punk will take Best Dance/Electronica Album. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will win Best Rap Song/Performance for Thrift Shop. Kendrick will win Best Rap Album for GKMC. Jay Z will win Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for either Holy Grail or Part II (On The Run). And Taylor Swift will sweep the country field. Those are just some of my predictions. I’m not always correct with these predictions, the only way to know who’ll win is to wait for the actual show to come. To all of the nominees, good luck to you.

Peace!!

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