Some years The Grammy Awards can seem like this bitter sweet celebration of the music that we received. Bitter sweet because somewhere in the corporate structure of awarding artistic value, there seems to be a continual oversight in regard to hip-hop and urban music. Surprisingly, 2016 is not one of those years, and actor/comedian James Corden will be the bearer of good news for it all.
The perennial powerhouses came to play of course. Beyoncé, Bieber, Rihanna, Drake and Kanye all combined for almost 40 nominations. What I’m excited about is the slightly newer players who did phenomenal work this year, and will be recognized for it.
Here are a few…
Chance The Rapper – [Best Rap Performance, Rap Song, Rap Album, New Artist]
I think I truly would’ve been done with The Grammy’s this year if they excluded Chance The Rapper entirely. His ascent to the top of the charts was via well crafted music, smart branding practice, and a blatant unwillingness to let a corporate label take control of it all. His album Coloring Book will now be seen as a working model of sorts for independent artists across all genres. Bravo Chano.
D.R.A.M. – [Best Rap/Sung Performance]
“Broccoli ft Lil Yachty” was one of the most recognizable records this year. To see it get the nomination has to be the cherry on top for D.R.A.M. Not to mention he is nominated right alongside Drake, whose “Hotline Bling” mega record was widely hailed as a copy of D.R.A.M.s’ “Cha Cha” single. Then to top it all off his Big Baby D.R.A.M. album which featured Erykah Badu, Young Thug and Lil Yachty was critically acclaimed as “…excellent joyous and clever” by the New York Times.
Desiigner – [Best Rap Performance]
I mean “Panda” was big, but was it Grammy big? Some part of me didn’t see the Grammy’s recognizing this shot in the dark mega record, but it lived on the charts, and was certified as triple platinum as of August! Not bad for being eighteen.
Anderson Paak. – [Best Urban Contemporary Album, New Artist]
Paak’s first step into the spotlight wasn’t what I expected it to be, and while Dr. Dre’s Compton album was a great thing to be apart of, it feels good to see Anderson’s Malibu LP receive it’s own recognition. The album mixes everything from 70’s soul and jazz to hip-hop and his fearlessness to stretch genre is inspiring.
Tory Lanez – [Best R&B Song]
I have mixed feelings about this nomination. I’ve been a fan of Tory since “Friday The 13th” so I know he is WELL endowed when it comes to lyrical finesse. To see him garner Grammy attention period is good because of the work that I know has gone into his entire story. But “Luv” was an uncomfortable rendition of Drake’s “Controlla” record and I think we all know it. I would have loved to see his platinum single “Say It” be the grounds for his Grammy consideration but this is a hell of a start for him.
Tune in on February 17th to watch it all unfold.