Rap music and the Grammys have always been an unusual mix. The arguable and opinionated nature of rap makes it hard to distinguish the quality from the crap. The music academy that ultimately decides who wins the awards, most likely don’t have their “ears to the streets” when it comes to top-tier hip-hop.
This year’s nominees for rap music are actually pretty … exciting. Best Rap Performance, will come down to either Watch the Throne’s iconic “N****s in Paris” and G.O.O.D. Music’s summer smash hit, “Mercy.” My hip-hop expertise leads me to believe that Jay-Z and Kanye will bring it home because you have undoubtedly screamed “that s**t cray!” this past year.
In the category for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, “Cherry Wine” by Nas featuring the late Amy Winehouse is a strong contender. Winehouse’s voice gives a great backdrop for Nasir’s lyrical excellence.
Best Rap Song (more focused on the production and song writing) will once again come down to “N****s in Paris” and “Mercy”. My educated guess is that “Mercy” will take this one simply because of the elaborate sampling and synthesizing that makes the song so sonically awesome.
It’s time for the real debate. This year’s nominees for Best Rap Album are as competitive as they are unrealistic. There are six nominees (Drake, Take Care; Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt 1; The Roots, Undun; Nas, Life is Good; Rick Ross. God Forgives, I Don’t; 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story) but only two have a legitimate chance. Toronto’s own Drake is nominated for his late 2011 release, Take Care. His only real competition is hip-hop veteran, Nas, with his summer record, Life Is Good. Technically speaking, Drake had the better album as a whole but I think the judges will give it to Nas because he’s been a pioneer for hip-hop and has yet to acquire a Grammy.
Don’t take my word for it. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 10 and we’ll see how good my hip-hop predictions really are. Check out The RapUp on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. on radiolaurier.com.