The nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards were announced back in December. However, I think this is Queen Bey’s year to clean up house with the most wins of the night. She’s nominated in nine categories, including “Record of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” “Best Urban Contemporary Album,” and a few others. I really would like to see Beyoncé take home most of those trophies. I’m also hoping to see a performance from her, considering she maybe the star of the night. Other urban music artists I’m looking forward to seeing are, Drake, Rihanna, ScHoolboy Q, Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, D.R.A.M., and many more.
Interestingly enough, as reported previously, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean was excluded from this year’s nominations list because his team failed to submit his album, Blonde before the deadline in order to be considered (note: his LP was released prior to the cut off period). The project was received with critical acclaim and opened up at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling merely 276,000 units in the first week. But during a recent interview with Billboard, the New Orleans native doesn’t seem bothered by being absent at next month’s ceremony. “That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.” The “people” who he refers to are, African American artists and the politics behind who makes the final decisions. Ocean further explained, “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” he said. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.” This comes as no surprise though, artists like Kanye West and Jay Z have boycotted the awards in the past due to their lack of urban categories and support for Hip-Hop acts.
2016 was an amazing year for the music industry overall with so many artists releasing extraordinary content, no wonder the competition at this year’s Grammy awards is so steep. I think it will be interesting to see if the Grammy voting committee will decide on these factors: content, sales, and/or cultural impact. Albums like Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, which was released for free and featured amazing content, will compete with Drake’s Views, which was clearly more commercially successful but some would argue lacked the quality of Coloring Book. The 23-year-old Chicago native is up for seven nominations in total, one of which being “Best New Artist.” Meanwhile superstars Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West all score eight nods apiece.
Congrats are in order to some of the urban acts such as Ro James, who is nominated for his breakout hit, “Permission” in the “Best R&B Performance” category as well as BJ the Chicago Kid. Artists like Bryson Tiller (“Don’t”), Tory Lanez (“Luv”), Fantasia, Remy Ma & Fat Joe (“All the Way Up”) were certainly not left out of the conversation, as they are also up for nods during music’s biggest night.
Rappers Kanye West and Drake will go toe-to-toe in the “Best Rap Album” slot, but newcomer Chance the Rapper is a fair runner up since he also had a great year in 2016. Elsewhere on the lists are newcomers Desiigner (“Panda”) in the “Best Rap Performance” category and Anderson .Paak (Malibu) in “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” Desiigner, a Brooklyn native had an interesting year after celebrating his chart-topping No. 1 hit on the Billboard 100 chart and signing to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label. In the pop world, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato are all up for grabs, while gospel artists like Shirley Caesar and Kirk Franklin aren’t forgotten in the mix. Furthermore, dancehall legend Bob Marley’s offspring and 7x Grammy winner Ziggy Marley released his self-titled LP last year, and is nominated for “Best Reggae Album.” And if our guess is correct, the Marley’s will take another one for the family at next month’s ceremony.
The heavyweight battle awaiting Beyoncé’s LEMONADE and Adele’s 25 will bring similar arguments. While 25 sold an astonishing 10 Million copies, LEMONADE resonated with audiences across multiple genres so there’s no way you can question its significant impact, particularly amongst women. Both artists will compete in two of the awards’ biggest categories: “Record of the Year” and “Album of the Year.” Who do you think will come off on top in the end? These factors and more are setting this year’s Grammy Award ceremony up to be the most interesting night in the show’s recent history.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 12, 2017 at 8:00 PM (EST). The CBS network will broadcast the show live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Written by Raven Gaines, Prince Cardia & Leo Lysius
Edited by Leo