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The 2012 Grammy Nominations: Kanye Leads, Still Loses

By / 12.01.11

Words By Samir S.

The nominations for the 54th Grammy Awards are in, and for the fourth time in his career, 14-time Grammy Award winner Kanye West has racked up more nominations than any other artist (yes, even Adele). However, the real story here isn’t the seven nominations he did receive, but the all-important one that he missed out on: a nomination for Album of the Year. We hinted at the possibility of this happening, and it appears probable – likely, even – that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne indeed cancelled each other out in the voting process, leaving Hip-Hop without a representative in the Grammys’ most important category. Either that or the Grammys didn’t feel like pitting Kanye West against Taylor Swift in a high-stakes showdown (after winning Album of the Year for 2008’s Fearless, Swift’s 2010 LP Speak Now was also denied an Album of the Year nom this time around).

Some will view it as a minor travesty that one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the past several years isn’t up for arguably the biggest prize in music. But let’s be real. We should have known better. We should have expected it. After all, this is still the Grammys. Despite the indie goodwill and overall credibility built up with last year’s shock Album of the Year win for Arcade Fire, we should have realized that, far from representing the new normal, the selection would stand as an anomaly – a year where the Grammys actually got it right. So of course, this year we have Rihanna’s Loud and Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans – commercial smashes of middling artistic merit – beating out Fantasy… for spots among the supposed best of the best (Adele’s 21, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, and Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light round out the field).

While some of us will protest vehemently, others will point to the snub as another in a laundry list of reasons why the Grammys have become irrelevant. In the end, it’s all part of the fun in dissecting and gutting the Grammy selections every year. Sure, when it comes to Hip-Hop, the Grammy committee often plays it safe, going with the commercial behemoths (see: not-so-good Carter IV up for Best Rap Album) year after year in most of the rap categories, ignoring artists whose names might not ring a bell to the Old White Gentleman types in the process. On the other hand, there’s no denying that having “Grammy Award winner” in front of your name brings a certain level of clout and prestige.

So no, the Grammys will not be boycotted by the Hip-Hop community in defense of Kanye’s artistic triumph. At best, we can hope for some cage-rattling from ‘Ye in the aftermath of these nominations. More likely, though, he’ll just say fuck it and not bother showing up on February 12th. At this point, I’m not past putting my money on Pink Friday to take home Best Rap Album.

Because there are other rappers besides just Kanye West, and because you probably want to see what else the Grammys got wrong, here are the nominations for the four rap categories (note: the Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group awards have been combined into the Best Rap Performance award).

In the general fields, Kanye wasn’t completely shut out as “All Of The Lights” is up for Song of the Year. J. Cole and Nicki Minaj also scored nominations in the Best New Artist category. For the full list of nominees, head over to the Grammys website.

Best Rap Performance

“Look At Me Now”

Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
Track from: F.A.M.E.
[Jive Records]

“Otis”
Jay-Z & Kanye West
Track from: Watch The Throne
[Roc-A-Fella Records/Def Jam]

“The Show Goes On”
Lupe Fiasco
Track from: Lasers
[1st & 15th/Atlantic]

“Moment 4 Life”
Nicki Minaj & Drake
Track from: Pink Friday
[Cash Money/Universal Motown]

“Black And Yellow”
Wiz Khalifa
Track from: Rolling Papers
[Rostrum/Atlantic]

Best Rap-Sung Collaboration

“Party”
Beyoncé & André 3000
Track from: 4
[Columbia Records]

“I’m On One”
DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
Track from: We The Best Forever
[Cash Money/Universal Motown]

“I Need A Doctor”
Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey
[Aftermath]

“What’s My Name?”
Rihanna & Drake
Track from: Loud
[Def Jam]

“Motivation”
Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne
Track from: Here I am
[Universal Motown]

“All Of The Lights”
Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
Track from: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
[Def Jam]

Best Rap Song

“All Of The Lights”
Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
Track from: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
[Roc-A Fella; Publishers: Very Good Beats/Hip Hop Since 1978]

“Black And Yellow”
Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa)
Track from: Rolling Papers
[Rostrum/Atlantic; Publishers: PGH Sound/WB Music/EMI Music]

“I Need A Doctor”
Andre Young, Marshall Mathers III, Alexander Grant & Skylar Grey, songwriters (Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey)
[Aftermath]

“Look At Me Now”
Jean Baptiste, Chris Brown, Ryan Buendia, Trevor Smith, Dwayne Carter, Jr. & Wesley Pentz, songwriters (Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes)
Track from: F.A.M.E.

[Jive Records; Publishers: Songs of Universal/Culture Beyond Ur Experience, I Like Turtles Music/Downtown Music, Cherry315 Publishing/The Bad Bad Guys, Meloist Music, Mack Music/Young Money Publishing/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing, T'Ziah's Music]

“Otis”
Shawn Carter & Kanye West, songwriters (James Brown, Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Roy Hammond, J. Roach, Kirk Robinson & Harry Woods, songwriters) (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Track from: Watch The Throne

[Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam; Publishers: Hip Hop Since 1978, EMI Robbins, BMG Gold/Hot Buttermilk Music/BMG Platinum/First Priority/Swing Beat Songs, Universal Music, Dynatone Publishing]

“The Show Goes On”
Dustin William Brower, Jonathon Keith Brown, Daniel Johnson, Kane & Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, songwriters (Isaac Brock, Dann Gallucci & Eric Judy, songwriters) (Lupe Fiasco)
Track from: Lasers

[1st & 15th/Atlantic; Publishers: Hey Lu Chill, Heavy As Heaven/Universal/Artist Pub. Group West, Dustin William Brown Pub. Designee, Jonathan K. Brown Pub. Designee, Sony/ATV, Best Dressed Chicken In Town, Tschudi Music, Ugly Casanova]

Best Rap Album

Watch The Throne
Jay-Z & Kanye West
[Def Jam]

Tha Carter IV
Lil Wayne
[Cash Money/Young Money/Universal Republic]

Lasers
Lupe Fiasco
[1st & 15th/Atlantic]

Pink Friday
Nicki Minaj
[Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown]

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye West
[Def Jam]


TOPICS#Jay-Z#Kanye West
TAGS2012 Grammy Awardschris brownDigital NewsEDUTAINMENTEVERYTHING ELSEHEADLINESLil Waynelupe fiasconicki minajSMOKE BREAKSpotlightwiz khalifa

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