Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.
It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for R&B and Rap music.
(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)
17. 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 (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
PREDICTION: Many of the winners in this category are generally successful on the R&B survey, and with a former top 5 hit on the Urban airwaves as well as a #2 album, singer Tamar Braxton stands out with her single “Love And War”. It is one smooth track.
18. Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Please Come Home”, Gary Clark, Jr. (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Get It Right”, Fantasia
“Quiet Fire”, Maysa
“Hey Laura”, Gregory Porter
“Yesterday”, Ryan Shaw
PREDICTION: A few of these acts really don’t have a lot of coverage out on social media. Fantasia, a prior nominee in this category, has a good shot, but if he isn’t a winner in Best Rock Song, I think Gary Clark, Jr. may take this one with “Please Come Home”.
19. Best R&B Song
“Best Of Me”
Performed by: Anthony Hamilton
Written by: Hamilton & Jairus Mozee
“Love And War”
Performed by: Tamar Braxton
Written by: Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick
Performed by: PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
Written by: Morton
“Pusher Love Girl”
Performed by: Justin Timberlake
Written by: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Performed by: Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
Written by: Barrino, Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart
PREDICTION: Even though he was shut out of the Big Four, a huge shock to many, Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl” was a fan favorite from his album. Hard to believe it didn’t even get an Urban AC servicing. I think it will pull off the trick here.
20. Best Urban Contemporary Album
Love And War, Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You, Fantasia
One: In The Chamber, Salaam Remi
Unapologetic, Rihanna (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds
PREDICTION: This category is probably going to end up being won by a female; I was initially going to pick Rihanna for the win, but I think this is Tamar Braxton‘s year to shine at The GRAMMY’s. Otherwise, this may be some bull you know what.com.
21. Best R&B Album
R&B Divas, Faith Evans
Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Love In The Future, John Legend
Better, Chrisette Michele
Three Kings, TGT
PREDICTION: Both Keys and Legend are prior winners here, so the choice is ultimately between them. However, this is the only award that John Legend is up for and he’s singing “All Of Me” on the show, so be prepared for him to walk away with this one.
22. Best Rap Performance
“Started From The Bottom”, Drake
“Tom Ford”, Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”, Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
PREDICTION: Heavy hitters are a-plenty here, a few of whom could win in bigger categories. However, given the rock field and all the older acts there, the Billy Squier sample and Rick Rubin production on “Berzerk” by Eminem could help secure a win.
23. 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 (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Now Or Never”, Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You”, Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd
PREDICTION: I’m convinced that one of the Jay Z collaborations is going to win here — question is, which one? “Holy Grail” was the hit, but “Part II (On The Run)” packs some marriage power and a potential performance. However, I’m going with “Grail”.
24. Best Rap Song
Performed by: A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Written by: Tauheed Epps, Graham, Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib
Performed by: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Written by: Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Timberlake & Ernest Wilson (sample: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic)
Performed by: Kanye West
Written by: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)
“Started From The Bottom”
Performed by: Drake
Written by: W. Coleman, Graham & Noah Shebib
Performed by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Written by: Haggerty & Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
PREDICTION: Since 2010, either Jay Z or Kanye West have won this particular award, both separately and together. Once again, they’re competing against each other. Yet, this category usually goes to a hit song, so “Holy Grail” is your best best for the win.
25. 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 (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Yeezus, Kanye West
PREDICTION: Best Rap Album hasn’t gone to a newcomer in some time, and it generally goes to an act with a large first-week, which should pit Drake vs. Jay Z. The Canadian rapper won last year for Take Care; I’m guessing that a repeat is in the cards.
Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Dance and Pop categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.