The 60th Grammy’s top four awards predictions

The 2018 Grammy's are highly anticipated with all of the great rap artists up for awards.

Courtesy of grammy.com

The 2018 Grammy's are highly anticipated with all of the great rap artists up for awards.

Madison McGirr, Web Editor

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Each year, the Grammys highlight the biggest hits and stars in the music industry. 2017 was undoubtedly a year headlined by rap and hip-hop, and the Grammy nominations reflect the music preference of a younger crowd. Since most  nominees are people of color, a change from the usual, the 60th Grammy Awards created quite a stir online. The following details the most important categories from this year’s show, as well as my personal picks for who should walk away with an additional piece to add to his/her trophy case:

 

Record of the year nominations:

  • Redbone by Childish Gambino
  • Despacito by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
  • The Story Of O.J. by JAY-Z
  • HUMBLE. By Kendrick Lamar
  • 24K Magic by Bruno Mars

My pick: The song I’m pulling for is “The Story of O.J.” from JAY-Z’s newest album “4:44.” With the mounting racial tension over the past couple of months, this song encapsulates Shawn Carter’s (JAY-Z) thoughts on fame in the black community. The song uses O.J. Simpson’s famous line “I’m not black, I’m O.J.” to show the hypocrisy of trying to escape racism through fame and money. Carter’s music video used racially stereotyped cartoons to portray African Americans to accentuate his point, stylistically similar to the Censored Eleven cartoons. Using his own experience with investing and saving, Carter makes a point to his listeners that race and the stigmas behind it are inescapable, and expresses the importance of breaking stereotypes used against black men and women. I think the significance of this song speaks louder than any other on the list, especially because of the recent scandal against President Donald Trump for calling various African nations “s**thole countries.” Carter’s message, along with his detailed and powerful music video, carries an importance that deserves to be recognized.

 

 

  • Album of the year nominations:
  • “Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino
  • 4:44 by JAY-Z
  • DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  • Melodrama by Lorde

24K Magic by Bruno Mars

My pick:  Honestly, I was stuck between Kendrick’s “DAMN.” and JAY-Z’s “4:44.” I think what sets “4:44” apart from “DAMN.” are the grossly underrated quality songs, since its initial release was under TIDAL, a music streaming service owned by Carter himself, and the raw emotion expressed in the plethora of personal issues addressed.

Under his single “4:44,” Carter apologizes to women he’s mistreated in his past, taking blame for cheating on his wife, Beyoncé, and other things he’s done to women due to his own ignorance and misguidance. He apologizes to Beyoncé for not being present during her 2011 miscarriage and for being immature during the earlier years of their marriage. He also apologizes to his mother and sister for disappointing them through his actions against women, something I think was mature and set Carter apart as one of the only males to address his wrongdoings to women and take blame. In another single, “Family Feud,” Carter opens up about his infidelity more in-depth and reflects on how his actions not only disappoint him, but will affect his children due to the media documentation of his entire affair. The line “a man that don’t take care of his family can’t be rich” in “Family Feud” encapsulates the whole tone of the album, which is admitting his sins and asking forgiveness. On top of that, Carter had some of his best bars on this album, showing that older rappers can still own the mic. I think this album’s sincerity uncovers in its songwriting and outdid itself with the unfiltered sentiments of Carter’s thoughts, along with catchy tunes and consistent flow.

Song of the year nominations:

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

My pick: While my pick is obviously in favor of JAY-Z, I think I’ve already explained what makes “4:44” a spectacular title track and deserving of this award.  Instead of being repetitive, I’d like to take some time to explain why the over-hyped “1-800-273-8255” by Logic is my last pick for this award.

While I understand the song’s sentiment, being that suicide and depression are common and deserve to be addressed in the mainstream media, Logic’s performance of the song seemed insensitive and insincere. After a basic chorus riff off of suicidal thoughts, Robert Bryson Hall II (Logic) thought it was best to scream the ad lib “Who can relate? (Woo!)” on the track. Not only did it come off as insensitive in it’s loud and rambunctious manner, but it lacked any originality and depth that “4:44” thrived in. While Hall’s music video was powerful, his lyrics weren’t well written. In fact, his new album in general just seemed to disappoint me as a Logic fan, as the only consistently good part about it was the instrumental integration with his beats. Not to mention, in the song “Ink Blot” off of his newest album “Everybody,” the featured rapper Juicy J had the line “Kill yo’ m********** self, n****,” basically negating the point of the song “1-800-273-8255” to begin with. While Hall may understand the essential point that suicide is bad, it’s obvious on this track that he inadvertently supports Juicy J’s line on suicide by leaving it in the song. It’s contradictory, as well as reckless, to his fans who believe he’s ‘the realist in the game,’ when in actuality he adds to the stigma around mental illness later on the album. I really wanted to like this song. While Hall’s intent was clear, the impact was just too outrageous for me to get behind.

Best new artist nomination:

  • Alessia Cara
  • Khalid
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Julia Michaels
  • SZA

My pick: While I’m a fan of all of these artists, I think the award belongs to hip-hop and R&B artist SZA 100 percent. Her debut studio album “Ctrl” seemed to have come out of nowhere in 2017, leaving many shocked by her insane vocal talent backed by quality songwriting and sick beats. While her singles “Garden (Say It Like Dat)” and “The Weekend” got the radio play they deserved, songs that flew under the radar like “Love Galore” that incorporated gospel themes really set this album apart from the competition. Her unique style and voice took the cake on this album, leaving many established artists like Kendrick Lamar in awe. Especially with the lack of powerful black female artists in music today, SZA’s sound is important to recognize so that young women of color have an idol to look up to. Her soulful music definitely leaves you with something to think about through the exploration and  contemplation of the complexities of love and intimacy. I can’t recommend this album enough.

With the Grammy’s diverse picks for the four most mainstream awards, many will be tuning in this Sunday, Jan. 28 to see which artists will be recognized. While I wouldn’t be upset with any of these artists taking home an award, besides Logic, I definitely have my picks established and will be rooting for them in the comfort of my own home with a bowl of popcorn and Twitter ready in the palm of my hand.

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