Posted in 58th GRAMMYs, Rap Field

58th GRAMMYs: Predictions for the Rap field

2015 was a big year for hip-hop as some of the heavyweights in rap music released both commercially and critically successful albums. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Nicki Minaj are expected to dominate this year’s rap field. The question is who will be competing against them? Let’s see the odds:

Best Rap Performance

  1. Kendrick Lamar — Alright
  2. Drake — Energy
  3. Nicki Minaj ft. Drake & Lil Wayne — Truffle Butter
  4. Fetty Wap — Trap Queen
  5. J. Cole — Apparently

As I mentioned above. Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Nicki Minaj could be present in all of the four categories of the rap field. Lamar’s “Alright”, Drake’s “Energy” and Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” (with Drake & Lil Wayne) are locks in this category. Lamar won last year and Drake and Minaj were nominated together in 2012. The fourth favourite here is this year’s breakthrough rap artist, Fetty Wap. If there’s one category that the New Jersey ‘trap’ rapper won’t miss, it is the rap performance for his summer hit “Trap Queen”. The last favourite here is former Best New Artist nominee, J. Cole who is among many other predictor’s list for “Apparently”.

Other likely contenders

  • Big Sean ft. Drake — Blessings
  • Eminem — Phenomenal
  • Ms. Lauryn Hill — I’ve Got Life
  • Rae Sremmurd — No Type
  • Kanye West ft. Theophilus London & Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney – All Day

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  1. Common & John Legend — Glory
  2. Big Sean ft. Kanye West & John Legend — One Man Can Change the World
  3. Kendrick Lamar ft. Bilal & Anna Wise & Thundercat — These Walls
  4. Nicki Minaj ft. Drake & Lil Wayne & Chris Brown — Only
  5. Wale ft. Usher — The Matrimony

John Legend is guaranteed two nominations here for both of the most emotionally-charged rap songs, the Oscar-winning “Glory” with Common and “One Man Can Change the World” with Big Sean and 21-time GRAMMY winner, Kanye West. There is no doubt that both songs will make the cut. The two other sure bets here are Minaj’s “Only” featuring the big names of Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown; and Lamar’s “These Walls” off his GRAMMY-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly. The last nominee is likely to be Wale’s “The Matrimony” featuring Usher who is a regular at the GRAMMYs.

Other likely contenders

  • Chris Brown & Tyga — Ayo
  • Dr. Dre ft. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid — It’s All On Me
  • DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne & Big Sean — How Many Times
  • Meek Mill ft. Chris Brown & Nicki Minaj — All Eyes On You
  • Travi$ Scott ft. The Weeknd — Pray 4 Love

Best Rap Song

  1. Glory — Common, John Legend & Che Smith (Common & John Legend)
  2. Alright — Kendrick Lamar, Mark Spears & Pharrell Williams (Kendrick Lamar)
  3. Energy — Drake & Matthew Sammuels (Drake)
  4. Trap Queen — Fetty Wap
  5. Feeling Myself — Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Hit-Boy, SZA (Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé)

The Oscar/Golden Globe/BET Awards-winning song “Glory” and the Pharrell William-assisted “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar are not only favourites for rap song but also for the song of the year award. So, expect this two battling the rap songwriter’s award. Another two potential nominees from the rap performance category that could also make the cut here are: “Energy” by Drake, who has contested this award for the last three years, and “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, a song that is either praised or thrashed. Looking at the potential nominees, it is a bit rare to have such a small number of songwriters in the race. Furthermore, GRAMMY voters tend to always throw at least one song that was not nominated (or even submitted) in neither of the performances categories. The likely choice here is last year’s nominee, Nicki Minaj for her female masturbation-themed song “Feeling Myself” alongside Queen Bey.

Other likely contenders

  • All Day (Kanye West ft. Theophilus London & Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney)
  • Apparently (J. Cole)
  • For Everybody (Juicy J ft. Wiz Khalifa & R. City)
  • I’m Ya Dogg (Snoop Dogg ft. Kendrick Lamar & Rick Ross)
  • The Matrimony (Wale ft. Usher)

Best Rap Album

  1. Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Drake — If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  3. Nicki Minaj — The Pinkprint
  4. Dr. Dre — Compton
  5. J. Cole — 2014 Forest Hills Drive

As you already know, Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is a favourite in the Album of the Year race. While Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Minaj’s The Pinkprint are among the darkhorses for the top prize. To Pimp… already has two GRAMMY wins as the song  “i” won for best rap performance and song last year. “Anaconda” off The Pinkprint was nominated for best rap song. Drake, on the other hand, has had all of his previous studio albums nominated for this category, winning once for Take Care in 2013. The other certain lock here is Dr. Dre’s epic and ‘final’ album Compton. Dre as a producer and engineer for Eminem’s albums has received this award twice. Finally, we have the 2015 BET Hip Hop Award Album of the Year, 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole, one of the most acclaimed hip-hop albums of the year.

The race for the rap album award is so tight that we might even see a sixth nominee. For that, former nominee Big Sean and newbie Fetty Wap could complete the line-up.

Other likely contenders

  • A$ap Rocky —  At.Long.Last.A$ap
  • Big Sean — Dark Sky Paradise
  • Drake & Future — What A Time To Be Alive
  • Fetty Wap — Fetty Wap
  • Run the Jewels — Run the Jewels 2

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