The 59th Grammy’s announced their nominees Tuesday morning, pleasing everyone with their unanimous selections, as usual. Just kidding. While the Grammy’s did surprise with their choices this year, there were also snubs. Here’s a quick breakdown of the possibilities and disappointments with this year’s awards.
Beyoncé led all artists with nine nominations, while Drake, Kanye West, and Rihanna tied with eight nominations each. Those choices ring very indicative of pop music in 2016, because those artists commanded our collective attention, in surprisingly various ways. Though each of the nominees carry radio hits, each of them retreated within their musical worlds, demanding audiences find them, instead of the other way around. (Drake is the lone exception with hits-chasing VIEWS.)
Drake vs. D.R.A.M.
Speaking of Drake, that was a neat paperwork trick he pulled by including “Hotline Bling” to VIEWS. Reportedly, it was a big behind-the-scenes controversy last year when Drake didn’t receive a nomination for “Hotline Bling.” Apparently, the blame lays with a paperwork mishap (someone didn’t file the necessary paperwork), but now “Hotline Bling” for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance. The latter category includes D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” with a Lil Yachty assist as competition. Drake’s “Hotline Bling” possibly/maybe/definitely remixed D.R.A.M.’s “Cha Cha,” without giving D.R.A.M. any credit whatsoever. This category could feature some serious karmic payback. Also, Lil Yachty is officially a Grammy-nominated rapper. Put some respek on his name.
Glory be to God. I'm nominated for 7 #grammys. Thank you to everyone who worked on Coloring Book, I love you.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) December 6, 2016
The Revolution Will Be Streamed
A big discussion preceding the Grammy’s included whether streaming-only albums/mixtapes would qualify to be nominated. The poster child for this movement was Chance the Rapper and his mixtape Coloring Book, who helped push the committee to adapt its rules to our new music environment. His reward for his efforts? Seven nominations, four for Coloring Book and three for his work on Kanye’s Life of Pablo.
Rihanna’s ANTI isn’t recognized fully
What felt so revolutionary about Rihanna’s ANTI was that it demanded we consume her music within a body of work, instead of our previous manner of three-minute monster singles. And while RiRi did receive a high number of noms for her work work work work, ANTI only received recognition in Best Urban Contemporary Album. It should be up for Album of The Year.
The Best New Artist category indicates a hotly contested field, and also includes first-time nominees Chance the Rapper and Anderson .Paak. It feels like both have been around too long to be deemed Best New Artist, but they aren’t the most surprising first-time nominees. That would be Blink-182 and hit-maker Mike Will Made-It. Yes, the punky rock group, now without co-founder Tom DeLonge, hasn’t received a Grammy Nomination until this year’s California Best Rock Album nod. Meanwhile, Mike Will Made-It, who just earned a No. 1 record with Rae Sreummurd’s “Black Beatles,” gets his nomination through Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
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