808s / Grammys 2017

Grammy Awards 2017: Nomination Predictions – Rap


Best Rap Performance

No Problem – Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
Panda – Desiigner
Broccoli – D.R.A.M  Featuring Lil Yachty
Summer Sixteen – Drake
Famous – Kanye West

Alternatives: Pop Style – Drake Featuring The Throne, Jumpman – Drake & Future, Down In The DM (Remix) -Yo Gotti Featuring Nicki Minaj

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Formation – Beyoncé
No Problem – Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
Controlla – Drake
Famous – Kanye West
Needed Me – Rihanna

Alternatives: I Got The Keys – DJ Khaled Featuring Jay-Z and Future, Me Myself & I – G-Eazy Featuring Bebe Rexha, Sucker For Pain – Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla Sign Featuring X Ambassadors

Best Rap Song

Famous – Kanye West
Drake – Summer Sixteen
No Problem – Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
Panda – Desiigner
Sucker For Pain – Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla Sign Featuring X Ambassadors

Alternatives: Jumpman – Drake and Future, Broccoli – D.R.A.M  Featuring Lil Yachty, No More Parties in L.A. -Kanye West Featuring Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap Album

Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper
Views – Drake
Evol – Future
The Life of Pablo – Kanye West
Konnichiwa – Skepta

Alternatives – Major Key – Dj Khaled, The Documentary 2 – The Game,  Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight – Travis Scott

Usually by this time of my Grammy predictions I have a really good picture of the music that artists have submitted for each of the categories. 2017 has been very slow for any news of this, so other than some very recent leaks, the submissions list remains more elusive than usual. The Rap categories can be impossible to predict thanks to the sharp distinctions in the Rap Song and RnB Song or the Rap Album and Urban Contemporary Album categories.

The most confusing artist of all has to be Drake who has scored multiple huge hits on the RnB, Rap and Pop charts, the crossover appeal of hits like Too Good and One Dance makes them definite choices here right? I’ve opted for anything but those songs here as I think Grammy voters will see those as Pop hits rather than Rap, with non album release Summer Sixteen being the most obvious choice for nominations for Drake. Views looks like the early favourite to win Best Rap Album, which could become Drake’s second Grammy win. With the rules of Rap/Sung Performance seemingly altered entirely for Drake to allow for solo performances, I’m curious to see if One Dance even counts as having any Rap sections. Here I’ve opted for the lesser hit Controlla though the expansion of the award may see him have some stiff competition.

Beyoncé being eligible for Formation could mean trouble for Drake, I wouldn’t bet against Beyoncé in any category this year. Because of this I’ve opted to include Rihanna’s huge Hip Hop radio hit Needed Me which walks the fine line between rapping and singing that could net her a nomination here. Though not credited Rihanna’s appearance on Kanye’s controversial Famous is sure to gather some votes, though a Grammy voting acadamy that gave Taylor Swift her second Album of the Year win this year may attempt to ignore this altogether.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (5585909l) Kanye West Yeezy show, Runway, Fall Winter 2016, New York Fashion Week, America - 11 Feb 2016

Perhaps the most interesting act I’ve tipped for a nomination above is Skepta, who may not even have submitted Konnichiwa for consideration. Recent winner of the Mercury Prize here in the UK, I’m certain that there are voters who will have been paying attention to that album’s success from overseas. If he sneaks into Best Rap Album it could be a turning point for British Hip Hop’s image in the US.

Outside of that the big favourites look to be Desiigner, whose massive Hot 100 topping single Panda could scoop one of the main Rap prizes, and Chance The Rapper who might scupper Drake’s chances at finally scoring another Grammy. I’ve tipped Chance for all 4 of the categories here, the changes to rules to allow streaming only albums seems destined to allow him to have some big nominations here and with album Coloring Book remaining one of the year’s most critically acclaimed releases I think he has a strong chance of winning.

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