Predictions at the 2018 60th Annual Grammy Awards

Grammy weekend is finally upon us and it’s back in NYC for the first time in 15 years. It’s a special night for artists and fans, especially those who have been wildly underrepresented in the past. Artists of color and the R&B and hip-hop genres have finally kicked down the blockade and are ready to take home hardware that is rightfully theres. Here are my predictions for the main categories, as well as the ones that are filled with hip-hop/R&B nominations. I’m definitely looking forward to performances from some of the best music has to offer including: Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, SZA, Childish Gambino and more. Make sure to tune in Sunday night at 7:30 P.M. EST.

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Album of the Year:

Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love!
Jay-Z, 4:44
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
Lorde, Melodrama

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On only two occasions in the past has a hip-hop project won Album of the Year at the Grammys: Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998 and Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004. Kendrick Lamar cemented himself as one of the all-time great emcees and his project’s body of work cannot be denied. The organic rise of some tracks has created unprecedented charting from a rapper whose album released in April.

Who should win: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Record of the Year:

Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”
Childish Gambino, “Redbone”
JAY-Z, “The Story of O.J.”
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, “Despacito” Feat. Justin Bieber

“Despacito” had a run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 like no other and something we haven’t seen since Mariah Carey, carrying the torch for over four months. It should clean up here. For me, I haven’t seen an organic record rise like “Redbone” did for Mr. Glover. That song wasn’t made for radio, but could even the boardrooms couldn’t deny its greatness, with some help from appearing in Get Out (Best movie of 2017).

Who should win: Childish Gambino – “Redbone”

Who will win: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee – “Despacito” Feat. Justin Bieber

Song of the Year: 

Bruno Mars , “That’s What I Like”
JAY-Z , “4:44”
Julia Michaels, “Issues”
Logic, “1-800-273-8255” Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, “Despacito” Feat. Justin Bieber

Logic’s suicide hotline record took off after his epic performance at the VMAs back in August. “1-800-273-8255” powered its way up the Billboard Hot 100, eventually topping out in the top 3. Rising stars Khalid and Alessia Cara are nominated for best new artist. I think all that needs to be said is the track probably saved some people’s lives. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website and phone traffic both increased, as the song gained popularity.

Who should win: Logic – “1-800-273-8255” Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Who will win: Logic – “1-800-273-8255” Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Best New Artist: 

Alessia Cara
Julia Michaels
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
SZA

This is as loaded a new artist category as I’ve seen in recent years. All are destined for very successful careers and will find themselves at the Grammys for years to come. The debate here is the hit-maker vs the better body of work. The Canada native owned the Billboard charts with lethal songwriting, but when you compare Cara’s album against SZA’s CTRL, I don’t think it’s really close. Solana should win here, but we’ll see what happens.

Who should win: SZA

Who will win: Alessia Cara

Best Rap Album:

Jay-Z, 4:44
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
Migos, Culture
Rapsody, Laila’s Wisdom
Tyler, the Creator, Flower Boy

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If I got Kung Fu Kenny winning AOTY I guess I have no choice, but to take him here as well. See above for my explanation. I don’t think any projects really came close to what JAY-Z and Kendrick exuded in 2017, but it’s good to see the other first timers get recognition in the category. Each album represents a different lane in hip-hop, which shows how diverse the genre has gotten over time. For a 48-year-old to make a culturally relevant project that dominates music conversation when it drops is just unbelievable, salute to Hov. He really is the blueprint.

Who should win: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Best Rap Song:

Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
Danger Mouse Feat. Run the Jewels & Big Boi, “Chase Me”
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
Rapsody, “Sassy”
Jay-Z, “The Story of O.J.

Who should win: Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Best Rap Performance:

Big Sean, “Bounce Back”
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
Jay-Z, “4:44”
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”

Who should win: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

The Compton native is the heavy favorite to sweep the pair of categories with his cinematic visual for “HUMBLE.” Admittedly, I didn’t love the track when it first came out, but it quickly began to grow on me. It all culminated on the DAMN. Tour at Barclays Center in Brooklyn when he had 20,000 fans in unison screaming the hook. I want to give Cardi B her due here, as well. Arguably, nobody got more out of 2017 than the Bronx native. Who wouldn’t want to see the ‘regular shmegular’ girl from the Bronx grace the MSG stage with a hysterical acceptance speech?

Best Rap/Sung Performance:

6LACK, “PRBLMS”
Goldlink Feat. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy, “Crew”
Jay-Z Feat. Beyoncé, “Family Feud”
Kendrick Lamar Feat. Rihanna, “LOYALTY.”
SZA Feat. Travis Scott, “Love Galore”

Here is a prime chance for Hov to snag a win in a category after leading the Grammys with eight nominations. “Family Feud” has been my go-to record off of the intrepid 4:44. Going toe-to-toe with Kenny and Rihanna won’t be easy, but I believe Hov should get one here.

Who should win: Jay-Z Feat. Beyoncé, “Family Feud”

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar Feat. Rihanna, “LOYALTY.”

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

6LACK, Free 6LACK
Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love!
Khalid, American Teen
SZA, Ctrl
The Weeknd, Starboy

Who should win: SZA, Ctrl

Who will win: Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love!

Best R&B Album:

Daniel Caesar, Freudian
Ledisi, Let Love Rule
Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
PJ Morton, Gumbo
Musiq Soulchild, Feel the Real

Who should win: Bruno Mars, 24K Magic

Who will win: Bruno Mars, 24K Magic

Best Music Video:

Beck, “Up All Night”
Jain, “Makeba”
Jay-Z, “The Story Of O.J.”
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Who should win: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Who will win: Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Best R&B Song:

PJ Morton, “First Began”
Khalid, “Location”
Childish Gambino, “Redbone”
SZA, “Supermodel”
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”

Who should win: Childish Gambino, “Redbone”

Who will win: Childish Gambino, “Redbone”

 

Hip-Hop/R&B Dominate 2018 Grammy Award Nominations

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The 60th GRAMMY Award nominations were released today, sending social media into a frenzy about who got too much love and how their favorite artist was once again snubbed. I’m not going to get too much into that, but speaking more in generality that looking at the noms, hip-hop and R&B are the big winners here.

The genres have been wildly underrepresented in the past and now with hip-hop at music’s forefront, it can no longer be denied as it has become the most popular genre of music to be consumed on the open marketplace. A 48-year-old JAY-Z leads all artists with 8 nominations, including having 4:44 up for Album of The Year.

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

Album of the Year:

• “Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino

4:44 – JAY-Z

DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama – Lorde

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

What’s amazing here? This will be the first time since 1999 that there are no white males represented in the major category. Have no problem with the Academy’s choices, but I believe The Weeknd’s Starboy should have gotten more recognition. Early prediction: Going to ride with Kendrick Lamar, he absolutely dominated 2017, showing he’s one of the all-time greats, while offering up a masterpiece with DAMN.

Record Of The Year:

• “Redbone” – Childish Gambino

• “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

• “The Story Of O.J.” – JAY-Z

• “HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar

• “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

More urban music domination in 2017, and it’s only going to be more powerful as the years go on. I’m honestly surprised to see “The Story Of O.J.” in this category, not even the best record off of 4:44. Talking it over with DG, I guess “Despacito” will have to get some nominations because of just how huge of a record it was this year. Where is Ed Sheeran?!?!?! “Shape Of You” has to get a nomination here. Love the other three choices, would have no problem with them winning too. “Redbone”‘s organic rise was one of the special events to witness in music in 2017.

Best New Artist: (My Favorite Category)

• Alessia Cara

• Khalid

• Lil Uzi Vert

• Julia Michaels

• SZA

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This category has birthed so many superstars over the years, even though most years I disagree with who is really considered a “New Artist” by the Academy. Any of these talented artists could win and I’d think it was fair. This may be the most talented “New Artist” field I’ve seen in a long time. Kehlani should be in the conversation with these artists as well, let’s not forget about her ability. Recent winners of the category include: Chance The Rapper, Adele, John Legend, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Maroon 5.

Outside of SZA (28) the others mentioned are just 24 or younger with Khalid still a teenager. Alessia Cara has shown she can dominate the pop charts, Khalid’s American Teen impressed critics, Lil Uzi Vert is hip-hops’s biggest rockstar, Julia Michaels is one of the most talented writers in music, SZA is the next R&B star to carry the torch for strong-minded women after her CTRL debut. The future is bright.

Best Rap Album:

4:44 – JAY-Z

DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

Culture – Migos

Laila’s Wisdom – Rapsody

Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

Expected to see the top three on this list with Jay, Kenny and Migos. The bottom two is where I have somewhat of an issue. I don’t believe Rapsody’s project was strong enough to make this list in my opinion. Flower Boy, is another story. Definitely needs to be recognized for it’s artistic creativity as Tyler produced all of the 14-track album. I’m cool with him getting his first nomination here, well deserved Ty. If it was up to me I would’ve liked to see Vince Staples’ Big Fish Theory, Big Sean’s I Decided or Logic’s Everybody up there.

Before I sign off I just want to highlight some of the younger artist’s in hip-hop/R&B to get nominations because that should be celebrated. Congrats to Khalid, Cardi B, 6lack, GoldLink, Rapsody, and Daniel Caesar on notching their first nominations. This is a life-long labor of love coming to fruition. The future of the genre is brighter than ever. See everyone at the 60th GRAMMY’s on January 28th. Good luck to the nominees.

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Daily Mix Report Podcast Episode 24 – Featuring Special Guest Emma Day

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The gang returns for another episode with a good friend and fashion expert making her way to the Dungeon, Emma Cunnington. The conversation focuses on two timely topics in the Grammy Awards and Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 fashion show amongst other things.

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Everyone gives their take on a solid Grammy show, what we liked/disliked, favorite performances and speeches. Everything is great until DG questions Beyonce and the hype around her performance, which sparks defense from Emma as a loyal member of the #BeyHive.

Things then lead into the Yeezy Season 5 fashion show, as Emma helps break down the looks and trends from Kanye’s newest creations. Dan once again channels his inner Skip Bayless, questioning West’s genius as a fashion designer. LordTreeSap quickly comes to the defense of his hero, putting DG in his place.

DG Editor Note: Let it be clear that I like Beyonce and I like Kanye West. Not trying to go up against any armies. For Beyonce, it came down to I didn’t like the song choices and the performance wasn’t for me. Still respect her a lot. For Kanye West, it was more of a gripe against what he put out in the show. I get how fashion shows are supposed to make statements and it’s not necessarily represents what the designer is going to retail. That being said, I took the stance of the little guy. There are probably so many no name designers trying to make it and if their show consisted of what Kanye put out, they’d be laughed out of the building and it wouldn’t be considered creative. It just didn’t impress me, that’s all. Kanye is still a risk taker and a musical genius. He has definitely studied up on his fashion. I’m also sure he could care less about my opinion so there’s that.