Grammy Predictions

The 2018 GRAMMY Awards are upon us. For the most part, the consensus believes the Recording Academy finally got the nominations right in the major categories.

It took 60 goddamn years but for the first time in the show's history, no white guys were nominated for "Album of the Year".

To top things off,  new, diverse acts like SZA, Rapsody, Goldlink and 6LACK were nominated for awards as well. In the past, these artists would normally get overlooked in favor of Top 40 artists.

Our writers Just JT and Eyeless gave their predictions for a few categories ahead of the GRAMMYs ceremony.

 Spotify

Spotify

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

Eyeless: If we're factoring in everything - lyrics, vocals, production, and impact - then Redbone should definitely win Record of the Year because of its wholeness as a song. Gambino hit us with this gem of a track and it still gives me the chills. This will be a record that we'll play for our grandkids years from now.

Just JT: Crew by GoldLink, Brent Faiyaz & Sly Glizzy should’ve been considered a nominee but that’s neither here nor there.  Looking at this list, I feel like it’s going to come down to HUMBLE or 24K Magic. Both of these records are phenomenal and made huge impact in 2017.

But if I have to pick, I’ma have to go with 24K Magic. I’m shocked myself seeing that I’m rooting for Kendrick to take majority of the W’s this year. As much as I love hearing HUMBLE, there’s just something about 24K Magic that brings everybody together. Deep down I hope Kendrick takes it, but i’m rolling with Bruno with this one.

Album Of The Year

Awaken, My Love!, Childish Gambino

4:44, JAY-Z

DAMN, Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama, Lorde

24K Magic, Bruno Mars

Just JT: DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. And I say this in my best Florida Evans voice. Everything about this album is perfect; from the rollout to the tracklist to the visuals. Hell even for the tour. DNA & HUMBLE was the soundtrack for NBA Playoffs. Everytime I hear DNA, a basketball highlight reel begins to play in my head.

It makes sense to pick DAMN to win Album of the Year, even though we all know the Grammys are going to fuck it up & probably give Album of the Year to Lorde or Bruno. Moreso Lorde.

Eyeless: This is a really tough decision. All 5 nominees are great bodies of work that are deserving of top honors. Again, I'm gonna have to give the nod to Gambino (and composer Ludwig Göransson) for "Awaken, My Love!" because of the totality of the project. A new aged, funk record with flawless production that really shocked me in a major way.

Also, the Recording Academy have only given two rap projects Album of the Year (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999, and Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004. Awaken, My Love! would make the most sense.

Song Of The Year

Despacito, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

4:44, JAY-Z

Issues, Julia Michaels

1-800-273-8255, Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid

That's What I Like, Bruno Mars

Eyeless: It's gotta be Despacito, right? That song was inescapable all summer. Having an infectious beat, paired with star power like Bieber hopping on the remix, in addition to breaking streaming records across the world, this has all the makings of Song of the Year. (True pick: Crew)

Just JT: Im rolling with That’s What I Like. Again Bruno had a Killer year in 2017. I hear that record everywhere I go and plus the video is real simple but yet fire. (Also my True Pick would be Crew as well.)

 Randy Shrosphire/Getty Images for HBO

Randy Shrosphire/Getty Images for HBO

Best New Artist

• Alessia Cara

• Khalid

• Lil Uzi Vert

• Julia Michaels

• SZA

Just JT: Give it to the First Lady of TDE, SZA. She’s had one hell of a year ever since releasing CTRL. To me, it is a perfect depiction of exploring the minds of millenial women. She’s worked hard and made her presence known in the music industry this year and it’s worked out well for her. Her music is heat and I hope she takes home the W.

Eyeless: Just making it to the awards show with all these nominations is a major win for the First Lady of TDE. It'll be a shame if she doesn't, but I fully expect SZA to take home the GRAMMY for Best New Artist of the past year. She's been around for a minute but it's great to see her get mainstream recognition for her uniquely delivered honesty over RnB records.

Best R&B Performance

Get You, Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis

Distraction, Kehlani

High, Ledisi

That's What I Like, Bruno Mars

The Weekend, SZA

Eyeless: 24K Magic kind of got tucked away in terms of wide-spread recognition for music releases, but the singles from the album have been in steady rotation throughout the country. That's What I Like is a certified hit that is no exception. A mid-tempo groove that doesn't lack in pace or energy. I'm hoping for parity with the winners, but Bruno Mars might sweep the awards he's nominated for.

Just JT:  My true pick for this would be Get You, but since I have to be a realist, I’m also going to roll with That’s What I Like. And yes I would also not be surprised if Bruno was to sweep the awards he’s nominated for.

Best Traditional R&B Performance

Laugh And Move On, The Baylor Project

Redbone, Childish Gambino

What I'm Feelin', Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Hamiltones

All The Way, Ledisi

Still, Mali Music

Just JT: I’m Rolling with Redbone. I can already picture all of us playing this 10-20 years later telling our kids “Y’all don’t know nothing about this.” This is the perfect traditional R&B performance record in this list to me.

Eyeless: Redbone. Gambino's high-pitched and somewhat unintelligible vocals made for a great finished product. A throwback to 70s and 80s soul/funk, or traditionally black music, was such an important pivot for records during a time where everything sounds the same. You can play this song for damn near any age group and there may be some snark about the vocals, but the praise should be universal. It's damn near perfect.

Best R&B Song

First Began, PJ Morton

Location, Khalid

Redbone, Childish Gambino

Supermodel, SZA

That's What I Like, Bruno Mars

Eyeless: You already know...see my previous choice above. Watch the making of Redbone as well. It deserves all the awards.

Just JT: Hmmmmmmmmmm……my true pick is also RedBone but something is telling me that That’s What I Like is going to take the W.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Free 6LACK, 6LACK

Awaken, My Love!, Childish Gambino

American Teen, Khalid

Ctrl, SZA

Starboy, The Weeknd

Just JT: I’ma just go ahead and pick CTRL for the W in this category simply because of more appeal than most of the category. Even though I'm not as big on 6lack as most are, I would feel he deserves to win this one much more. But because of star appeal, Im rolling with the First lady of TDE.

Eyeless: I'm gonna throw a curveball here and select 6LACK here. Reason is because of the wording: "Urban Contemporary." The sounds of hip-hop and RnB have kind of merged to create a new, unofficial type of genre "trapsoul," as of late. A shift in the sonics of music culture closely resembles the definition of this category. Free 6LACK fits the description well and it gives you the best of both worlds, mixing soulful cries and fluid raps without sounding forced.

Best R&B Album

Freudian, Daniel Caesar

Let Love Rule, Ledisi

24K Magic, Bruno Mars

Gumbo, PJ Morton

Feel The Real, Musiq Soulchild

Eyeless: Freudian is a traditionally pure RnB album from front to back. Love makin' melodies that are sure to instantly set the mood. Relatable trials and tribulations about relationships, a staple subject matter of RnB,  are all over the album as well. Soulful harmonies are clearly heard when paired with live instrumentation. Daniel's got a bright future in this industry; this is just Chapter 1 of his career.

Just JT:  My true pick would be Freudian, but I think 24K Magic will get picked strictly because of the appeal. Not taking away from it because 24K is phenomenal.

 Twitter

Twitter

Best Rap Performance

Bounce Back, Big Sean

Bodak Yellow, Cardi B

4:44, JAY-Z

HUMBLE, Kendrick Lamar

Bad And Boujee, Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Eyeless: Hate it or love, but 2017 was the year of Cardi B. Bodak Yellow was a monster of a track in not only the hip-hop world, but it was a mainstream success. Being the crossover hit that it was, Bodak Yellow was more than a hot song of the summer, it was a moment that couldn't be ignored.

It'll be a close call with Bad and Boujee but I think Cardi will have the slight edge.

Just JT: To be frank, it would be so crazy if  Bodak Yellow takes home the W for this category. I definitely would be happy for Cardi forsure. she’s had a hell of a year. But I think HUMBLE is going to take the W in this category.

Best Rap/Sung Performance

PRBLMS, 6LACK

Crew, Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy

Family Feud, JAY-Z Featuring Beyoncé

LOYALTY, Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna

Love Galore, SZA Featuring Travis Scott

Just JT:  “She see Money all Around Me, I look like I’m the Man. But I was down & out Like Last week,,Tell me Where Have you Been..” …..  I speak it out to the Universe that GoldLink will take home the W for this record. If not, then fuck it we RIOT.

Eyeless: CREW BETTER WIN, OR WE FUCKING RIOT. "HEY, NICE TO MEET, I'M YOUNG JEFE, WHO YOU BE?" NUFF SAID.

Best Rap Song

• Bodak Yellow, Cardi B

Chase Me, Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi)

HUMBLE, Kendrick Lamar

Sassy, Rapsody

The Story Of O.J, JAY-Z

Eyeless: Speaking of crossover success, K. Dot achieved gold and platinum status several times with multiple songs DAMN. None were bigger than the Mike WiLL-produced HUMBLE.

Out of the choices in this category, I believe this will be the winner because of how appealing it is sonically. It's far from the complex Kenny that we all know, but he proves his versatility on how he can effortlessly crossover on this one.

Just JT: HUMBLE will win. The crossover success Kendrick had this year was astounding.

Best Rap Album

4:44, JAY-Z

DAMN, Kendrick Lamar

Culture, Migos

Laila's Wisdom, Rapsody

Flower Boy, Tyler, The Creator

Just JT:  If you’ve seen my answer for Album of the Year, then you already know who i’m picking. The CURRENT King of Rap, King Kendrick Lamar with DAMN.

Eyeless: Give it to Jigga Man. The four other nominees will be back in the category in one way or another. The diversity in the selections are incredible. But after JAY-Z gave us SHAWN's CD, 4:44 is wholly deserving of getting the title.

Hip-hop's elder statesman, over impeccable production by No-ID, was as open and honest as he's ever been while giving knowledgeable advice to the youth. Jay could have gone the Magna Carter route again with the expensive raps. He chose otherwise. And the results were great. Bravo HOV, bravo.