Grammy Nominations/Predictions 2017

The Grammys’ newest tradition might just be my favorite: announce all the nominees, early in the day, and basically all at once. It’s a tacit admission that the Grammys, to an extent, know their place, and that we’re ready to yell at them for getting things wrong, we just need to know which names to put in our angry tweets/blogs. We found a plan that works.

The Grammys, too, have found a plan that works: go as popular as possible with the nominees. The Grammys upped their poptimist bend a few years back, and have re-upped on the pop-busters each year since then. This year’s Album of the Year category, for instance, is 4 pop records and one genre lark; compare that to 2013 where you’ve got fun. squaring off against Frank Ocean and Jack White. It’s not a better or worse choice, it’s just a different one, and one that seems (as the Grammys always are, somehow) duller.

Complaining that the Grammys are boring is pretty boring itself, and I’m crap at these predictions anyway, so we’re doing something different. We’re going to play a game called “Entertain Us,” where I’m not going to predict what I think will win, but what would be the most entertaining win.

Click here for the full list of nominees, and as always, the nomination window is from October 1st of last year to September 30th of this one. Let’s play “Entertain Us!”

Album Of The Year
Adele – 25
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Drake – Views
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
I honestly think that Lemonade would be the most entertaining pick here. Interest in the Bieberssiance fell off once everyone realized Purpose wasn’t good outside its singles, and rewarding Drake for Views is just letting him be lazy. Giving it to Adele would be okay, but we already saw this win when it was a surprise with 21, so it’s out. I don’t see Sturgill Simpson winning as all that compelling either, because remember when Beck won and seemed less jazzed than if he’d won free Chipotle for a month? Imagine that, but angrier looking. Beside, do you really want to see the “Beyoncé got robbed” stuff come back?

Record Of The Year
Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Lukas Graham – “7 Years Old”
Rihanna Featuring Drake – “Work”
Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”
Twenty One Pilots by a mile. I just want to see what winning in a major Grammy category and the implicit mainstream approval does to this band.

Song Of The Year
Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”
Lukas Graham – “7 Years”
The dopest story here favors “Formation” but not for the reasons you’d think. I mean, yes it’s powerful and Important, but it’s also like the 8th best song on Lemonade. Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee is the song’s first credited writer, and coming off accusations that his own group didn’t write their stuff (it was a thing), a SOTY Grammy for writing someone else’s song would be the biggest clapback. “7 Years” still sounds like musical afterbirth, though.

Best New Artist
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak
Really, all of these seem like potential “Future of the industry” stories. Kelsea Ballerini is the logical conclusion of T.Swift-meets-bro-country-meets-American Idol-name-generator. .Paak is your style and era-blending polymath. Morris is proof that old-fashioned country can still hack it, while The Chainsmokers point to a future of pop music where songcraft is SEO. But it’s Chance whose already caused an industry shift, bringing the future to us.

Best Alternative Album
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
David Bowie – Blackstar
PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Man, I don’t know. This is a stacked category musically, but they’re all celebrated musicians making mid or late or late late career work. The only way this one makes the telecast is if Bowie gets it, so I guess it’d be entertaining to see who his estate sends up. 

Best Rap Album
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody
DJ Khaled – Major Key
Drake – Views
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
Serious question: what happens to the Grammy if DJ Khaled wins? Like, is he the only one who gets a trophy despite only executive producing and working on most of the tracks, or does everyone who wrote/performed/produced get one? If everyone gets one, is there a tier system where some get a full-sized trophy, others get a keychain sized one, and others get a social media copy, or do you just get a small one with your song’s name? How many does Future get? If there’s just the one trophy, does Khaled keep it, or does it get past around throughout the year? Who pays for shipping, then? Who’s most likely to lose it? Who’s most likely to say they lost it and just keep it? Does this mean YG is technically a Grammy winning artist? I have so many questions.

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes – “Joe” (Live From Austin City Limits)
Beyoncé Featuring Jack White – “Don’t Hurt Yourself”
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Disturbed – “The Sound Of Silence” (Live On Conan)
Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
Imagine if the Grammys just forgot what music was for a category, only you don’t have to imagine it because what the fuck happened here? The best thing that could come from this car crash of a category would be a Beyoncé win, just because all the shouts of “She’s not ever rock!” have to contend with “Don’t Hurt Yourself”‘s use of 1. Jack White, and 2. Led Zeppelin.

Best Rock Song
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Radiohead – “Burn The Witch”
Metallica – “Hardwired”
Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
Highly Suspect – “My Name Is Human”
Twenty One Pilots again because I want Tyler “Two First Names” Joseph to have to reckon with his foray into the soundtrack-industrial complex beating out David Bowie’s final album at something.

Best Rap Performance
Fat Joe & Remy Ma – “All The Way Up”
Desiigner – “Panda”
Chance The Rapper Featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”
ScHoolBoy Q Featuring Kanye West — “THat Part”
Drake Featuring The Throne – “PopStyle”
“Entertain Us” comes down to which win would make for the most amusing story. My gut is to say “No Problem,” because it’s literally a song about waving both your fingers at the music industry. However, I have to go with “PopStyle” in the end because the version nominated is the one with Jay Z and Kanye that Drake used to promote Views before taking it off the album in favor of the Throne-less, inferior version. This was a dumb move, and Drake’s dumb moves getting underscored is one of the greatest things.

Best Rap/Sung Performance
Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”
Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream – “Ultralight Beam”
Kanye West Featuring Rihanna – “Famous”
On “Ultralight Beam,” Chance raps about being told he has to sell an album for it to qualify as a Grammy. He then raps, confrontationally, about still choosing to make an album free and still so undeniable that it takes the fuck over (“There ain’t no part you can’t tweet”), implying that the Grammys couldn’t deny him forever. To make a long story short, they couldn’t. I think that means he won.

Best Rap Song
Fat Joe & Remy Ma – “All The Way Up”
Kanye West Featuring Rihanna – “Famous”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Chance The Rapper Featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”
Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream – “Ultralight Beam”
I mean, there’s the argument for “Ultralight Beam” you just read, and it is the best rap song of this bunch, but I’m gonna vote “Hotline Bling” because it doesn’t feature any actual rapping on it, and the Best Rap Song winner being rap-free is the most Grammys thing possible. 

Best R&B Performance
BJ The Chicago Kid – “Turnin’ Me Up”
Ro James – “Permission”
Musiq Soulchild – “I Do”
Rihanna – “Needed Me”
Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”
Is it weird if I go for “Cranes in the Sky” just because I feel like it winning dramatically ups the odds of a Solange performance at the Grammys?

Best Pop Solo Performance
Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Kelly Clarkson – “Piece By Piece (Idol Version)”
Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”
I have no rooting interesting in this category. I’m gonna throw Adele, just because I’ve neglected the “Adele vs Beyoncé” storyline so far.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey – “Closer”
Lukas Graham – “7 Years”
Rihanna Featuring Drake – “Work”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul – “Cheap Thrills”
Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”
“Cheap Thrills” in retaliation for all the times I’ve heard the Sean Paul-less version by radio stations who don’t believe in fun.

 

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Gallant – Ology
King – We Are King
Anderson .Paak – Malibu
Rihanna – Anti
Is there a way to say “urban contemporary music” without it sounding at least a little like you’re afraid to say “black people?” It’d be fun to see someone like King win this category because Rihanna’s already won it before, and I feel like a Grammy snub is just going to make Anderson .Paak stronger.

Best Rock Album
Blink-182 – California
Cage The Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty
Gojira – Magma
Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor
Weezer – Weezer
This is a video of a Tom DeLonge-having blink-182 announcing their reunion at the 2009 Grammys. This year, a Tom Delonge-less blink-182 have their first Grammy nomination ever for their first record without him. Sad!

The Grammys will air February 12th, 2017, and I will air my grievances at them shortly after.

 

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About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
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