It’s Macklemore versus Kendrick Lamar at music’s biggest annual event: the Grammy Awards, which will be held on January 26, 2014. Both are nominated in seven categories, tying with Justin Timberlake for the second most nods this year. The leader? Rap legend Jay Z with a whopping nine. Meanwhile, hip-hop newbies Kendrick and Macklemore are pitted against each other in five categories:
1. Best New Artist, along with James Blake, Kacey Musgraves, and Ed Sheeran (who the hell are these people?)
2. Best Rap Performance: Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, Kendrick’s Swimming Pools (Drank), Drake’s Started From the Bottom, Eminem’s Berzerk, and Jay Z’s Tom Ford (why is this awful song nominated? I would’ve preferred Black Skinhead over this)
3. Best Rap Song: F*ckin’ Problems (this is actually A$AP Rocky’s song, but Kendrick is featured), Jay Z’s Holy Grail, Kanye’s New Slaves, Drake’s Started From the Bottom, and Macklemore’s Thrift Shop
4. Best Rap Album: Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail (bad), Kanye’s Yeezus (even worse), Kendrick’s Good Kid, m.a.a.d city, and Macklemore’s The Heist.
5. and finally the year’s most coveted award, Album of the Year: Macklemore’s The Heist, Kendrick’s Good Kid, m.a.a.d city, Taylor Swift’s Red, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, and Sarah Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest
So here are my thoughts on these nominations. First, I’m disappointed that Thrift Shop got the nod over Can’t Hold Us. Sure, Thrift Shop was the hit single that introduced Macklemore to the world–but come on. Can’t Hold Us is so much better. Secondly, there’s a good chance that I projectile vomit on my TV screen if Kanye wins a even a single award. Thirdly, I believe Macklemore holds the advantage over Kendrick in all of these categories. The Heist was an incredible body of work with great production and original ideas. Personally (and I know I’m in the minority on this), I prefer it over Kendrick’s Good Kid, m.a.a.d City. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Grammy’s reward Macklemore for being the one MC who raps against homophobia and substance abuse. I’m expecting him and Ryan Lewis to sweep all of the aforementioned categories, except for maybe Album of the Year; not that they don’t deserve it, but as we’ve seen over the years, the Grammy’s has been slow to acknowledge hip-hop as a dominant genre. Only two hip-hop albums have ever won Album of the Year (Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill). But who knows? Maybe Macklemore or Kendrick will be next to snag the honor. It’s not like their competition is that fierce.
Additionally, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Same Love is nominated for Song of the Year, along with Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason, Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven. Katy Perry’s Roar, and Lorde’s Royals. Although I’ve been focusing this article on rap-related nominations, it’s breakout sensation Lorde who’s getting all of the attention. I’m expecting her to clean house, though we’ll have to wait until January 26 to know for sure. The young starlet received three nominations (though she somehow missed the Best New Artist category), including:
Record of the Year: Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams’ Get Lucky, Imagine Dragons Radioactive (personally, I would love to see this win), Lorde’s Royals, Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven, and Robin Thicke’s controversial and notorious Blurred Lines (this doesn’t stand a chance, simply because of the backlash that would ensue)
Best Pop Solo Performance: Sara Bareilles’ Brave, Lorde’s Royals, Bruno Mars’ When I Was Your Man, Katy Perry’s Roar, and Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors
Best Pop Vocal Album: Lana Del Rey’s Paradise, Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines (again, not a shot in hell), and Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience.
This is just a snapshot of the long nominee list for the 56th Grammy Awards. Check out the other nominees if you’re interested.
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