For some rap fans, the Best New Artist category at the Grammys might seems like a one-man race, with Kendrick Lamar appearing to leave his competition in the dust. At most, they might concede a co-favorite status along with fellow hip-hoppers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
But the Best New Artist Grammy has historically been a weird one, even by Grammy standards (recall Esperanza Spalding winning out amidst a stacked group in 2011). It shouldn’t surprise anyone, then, if electro-crooner James Blake becomes this year’s Bon Iver, or if moderately-known country singer Kacey Musgraves or teen favorite Ed Sheeran were to walk away with the award on January 26th.
Regardless of the outcome, K. Dot’s nomination – along with an even bigger one for Album of the Year – is a testament to the bottom-up development that he speaks about in his “Day In The Life” Grammy exposé. Most promisingly, Kendrick’s progression from mixtape hero to rap superstar doesn’t seem to have dulled his artistic inspiration one bit.