[REVIEW] 2016 Grammy Predictions x Rap

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Kendrick Lamar became the most nominated act for the 2016 Grammys, setting a record for a rap artist in the new millennium. If he doesn’t win any of the Big Four, expect all of the rap Grammy categories to go to him. But if he does win, that leaves these nominations up to a slew of talent that’s never been nominated and/or won before (see 2015 list here).

Best Rap Performance (Category 22)
J. Cole – “Apparently”
Drake – “Back To Back”
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Nicki Minaj (feat. Drake and Lil’ Wayne) – “Truffle Butter”
Kanye West (feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, and Paul McCartney) – “All Day”

Who Should Win: Kanye West (feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, and Paul McCartney) – “All Day”

Who Will Win: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

While each of the songs in this category (with the exception of Fetty Wap) are quite worthy of a win, Kanye’s “All Day” became the unofficial song of the summer even without a proper rollout. But even with Kanye’s 20+ songwriters, it’s not nearly enough to trump Kendrick’s massive “Alright” which should win whether or not he wins in other categories.


Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (Category 23)
Big Sean (feat. Kanye West and John Legend) – “One Man Can Change The World”
Common and John Legend – “Glory”
Jidenna (feat. Roman GianArthur) – “Classic Man”
Kendrick Lamar (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise, and Thundercat) – “These Walls”
Nicki Minaj (feat. Drake, Lil’ Wayne, and Chris Brown) – “Only”

Who Should Win: Nicki Minaj (feat. Drake, Lil’ Wayne, and Chris Brown) – “Only”

Who Will Win: Big Sean (feat. Kanye West and John Legend) – “One Man Can Change The World”

Nicki Minaj’s “Only” became her biggest crossover hit since “Super Bass”. Although Drake and Wayne both outshined her lyrically, the song became massive in its own regard. However, songs like Big Sean’s “One Man Can Change The World” are made for the Grammys, so expect this inspirational song to win the gold over Nicki and Kendrick.


Best Rap Song – Songwriter’s Award – (Category 24)
Kanye West (feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, and Paul McCartney) – “All Day”
Songwriters: Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans, and Cydel Young
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Songwriters: Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears, and Pharrell Williams
Drake – “Energy”
Songwriters: Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels, and Phillip Thomas
Common and John Legend – “Glory”
Songwriters: Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith, and John Stephens
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Songwriters: Tony Fadd and Willie J. Maxwell

Who Should Win: Common and John Legend – “Glory”

Who Will Win: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

Common and John Legend’s duet from the ‘Selma’ film is iconic in its own regard. The song played a pivotal role in the movie’s most memorable scene and vividly paints a picture of freedom through its songwriting. Kendrick’s “Alright”, on the other hand, paints an even stronger portrait of race relations in America today, which gives him a modern-day edge over the competition in this category.


Best Rap Album (Category 25)
J. Cole – ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’
Dr. Dre – ‘Compton’
Drake – ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’
Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’
Nicki Minaj – ‘The Pinkprint’

Who Should Win: Dr. Dre – ‘Compton’

Who Will Win: Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’

Out of all the 2016 rap nominees, this category is the only one in which anyone could win. Nicki is quite unlikely here, which leaves it between the remaining four male artists. Dr. Dre’s response to the #detoxdelay came in the format of ‘Compton’, a soundtrack to the criminally underrated ‘Straight Outta Compton’ film. But given Kendrick’s press and placement at the top of many year-end lists, expect him to shine brightly over the competition here.

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