This year’s race in the Rap field contains some of the biggest (and most controversial) names in the hip-hop scene such as Eminem, Drake, Iggy Azalea, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West. However, Eminem and Drake dominate the field as they are nominated in three out of the four categories. Let’s now take a look at the odds in each of these categories:
Best Rap Performance
- Eminem — Rap God
- Kendrick Lamar — i
- Childish Gambino — 3005
- Drake — 0 to 100/The Catch Up
- Lecrae — All I Need Is You
Betting odds and polls are torn between Eminem’s hit single “Rap God” and Kendrick Lamar’s “i”; thus, creating an intense battle on who will take home the Best Rap Performance award. Both nominees are in for the second year in a row. But on one side, Eminem is a 13-time GRAMMY winner —three of them in the defunct Rap Solo Performance (more than any other artist) and two for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Kendrick Lamar, on the other side, was completely snubbed last year. And he was beaten by another white rapper (Macklemore) in three of the rap categories he was contending. If Lamar loses again this might bring some more controversy to the Academy.
The rest of the nominees don’t seem to have high chances and this include Drake, with “0 to 100/The Catch-Up”, who is contending this category for the fourth year in a row; and first-time nominees Childish Gambino, and gospel/rapper Lecrae with “3005” and “All I Need is You” respectively.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
- Eminem & Rihanna — The Monster
- Kanye West & Charlie Wilson — Bound 2
- ILoveMakkonen & Drake — Tuesday
- Common & Jhené Aiko — Blak Majik
- ScHoolboy Q & BJ The Chicago Kid — Studio
Eminem and Rihanna are the runaway winners here. “The Monster” was a worldwide hit and it was considered one of the best songs of the 2013/2014 period. However, the same pair lost this award in 2011 for “Love the Way You Lie” despite nominations in the general field. But, they don’t have much competition this year. Their biggest thread could be Kanye West and legendary R&B singer, Charlie Wilson for “Bound 2”. The rest of the nominees don’t seem to stand a chance at all against those four other giants.
Best Rap Song
- i by Kendrick Lamar and Rahki (Kendrick Lamar)
- Anaconda by Ernest Clark, Jamal Jones, Nicki Minaj, Marcos Palacios and J. Solone Myvett (Nicki Minaj)
- Bound 2 by Mike Dean, Malik Jones, Che Pope, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson and Cydel Young (Kanye West & Charlie Wilson)
- 0 to 100/The Catch-Up by A. Feeney, Aubrey Graham, A. Hernandez, P. Jefferies, Noah Shebib and M. Samuels (Drake)
- We Dem Boyz by Noel Fisher and Wiz Khalifa (Wiz Khalifa)
Kendrick Lamar may finally have his chance to redeem himself with the GRAMMYs as he is the favourite to take home the Best Rap Song award for “i”, which samples the famous 1973 R&B song, “That Lady” by the Isley Brothers. However, if NARAS voters are feeling nostalgic enough they might reward Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, which samples the 1993 Best Rap Solo Performance winner, “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot. But, the tables could turn and Kanye West —who’s won this category a total of four times more than any other songwriter, may take the prize. With lesser chances we have Wiz Khalifa with “We Dem Boyz” and Drake with “0 to 100/The Catch-Up” who are both looking for their first win in this category out of three previous unlucky nominations.
Best Rap Album
- Eminem — The Marshall Mathers LP 2
- Childish Gambino — Because the Internet
- Common — Nobody’s Smiling
- Iggy Azalea — The New Classic
- Wiz Khalifa — Blacc Hollywood
- Schoolboy Q — Oxymoron
The Rap Album award should be another easy win for Eminem. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is the sequel to his 2000 album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which not only won the Best Rap Album but was also nominated for Album of the Year back in 2001. Eminem is also the biggest winner in this category, with a total of five awards. As a matter of fact, all but two of Eminem’s albums have won this award.
And if this was a critic’s choice award, probably Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet will be the winner. 1-time GRAMMY winner, Common is up with Nobody’s Smiling. There are also three debutantes in this category: Wiz Khalifa for Blacc Hollywood; Iggy Azalea for The New Classic and ScHoolboy Q for Oxymoron. The latter two are contending their very first GRAMMYs.