Best Rap Solo Performance
My Pick: OVER - Drake (Track from: Thank Me Later) [Cash Money/Young Money/Universal Motown]
My Prediction: NOT AFRAID - Eminem (Track from: Recovery) [Aftermath/Shady Records/Interscope]
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
My Pick & Prediction: ON TO THE NEXT ONE - Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz (Track from: The Blueprint 3) [Roc Nation]
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
THREE of the nominees in this category are also nominated for Record of the Year. That has to be historical somehow. This one is so hard to call. I know which one I would vote for, but as to who will actually win - it is a toss up. I based my prediction on how a 'General' voting body of the recording academy may vote. See, voting members of the recording academy vote in the four general categories and can vote in up to no more than eight (8) of the 29 fields of music. So, let's say I were a voting member of the Academy. My field of expertise is Spoken Word, but I have also dabbled in a bit of music theory and know a thing or two about other fields of music. So I would vote for the top four general categories and my field of Spoken Word, but I would also be able to vote in Pop, Rap, R&B, Classical, Production, etc. up to seven more fields. So, honey, someone from Streisand to Swizz Beatz could vote from Pop to Rap to Country to Gospel in two seconds flat - so, I had to really think that process through when predicting this category (and some other ones too) . So, keep that in mind before complaining, if one of your favorite artists doesn't win come Awards night.
My Pick: EMPIRE STATE OF MIND - Jay-Z & Alicia Keys (Track from: The Blueprint 3
My Prediction: LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE - Eminem & Rihanna (Track from: Recovery)
BUT, part of me thinks Nothin' On You, too...ugh... lol - see what I mean? Ha!
Best Rap Song
My Pick: EMPIRE STATE OF MIND - Shawn Carter, Angela Hunte, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane't "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic & Alexander Shuckburgh, songwriters
(Sylvia Robinson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys) (Track from: The Blueprint 3)
[Roc Nation; Publishers: Carter Boys Music/Al Shuckburgh/Global Talent Publishing/Foray Music/Masani Elshabazz Music/EMI April Music/J Sewell Publishing/Lellow
Productions/Twenty Nine Black Music/Gambi Music]
My Prediction: LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE - Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman & Marshall Mathers, songwriters (Eminem & Rihanna) (Track from: Recovery) [Aftermath/Shady Records/Interscope; Publishers: Songs of Universal/Shroom Shady Music/Universal Music
Publishing/Universal Music-Z Songs/Hotel Bravo Music/M. Shop Publishing]
Love the Way You Lie is the only song in this category nominated for Song of the Year, so it seems logical to think it will win here. However, two songs by Eminem from his Recover album are nominated in this category. He may cancel himself out. It is too bad because Not Afraid seems like such an anthem to me. Nothin' On You could also rain on his parade here too. Something about the pop feel to that tune makes me think it will resonate with more Academy voters. These rap cats will be close though, throughout - and I love it. It says a lot about a music genre that so many were so against early on.
Best Rap Album
My Pick: HOW I GOT OVER - The Roots [Def Jam Recordings]
Hey, what can I say? Jimmy Fallon's late night gab fest is one of my favorite shows and The Roots do so well as his band. I gotta show them some love. Just plain, good BAND music. Love them for their style. They truly have their own sound that sets them apart from their contemporaries, but let;s face it... We know there is a shoo-in in this category hands down...
My Prediction: RECOVERY - Eminem [Aftermath/Shady Records/Interscope]
Only Jay-Z could pull an upset here, and it would be deservedly so.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will be telecast live on Sunday, February 13, 2011 on CBS at 8pm, EST. For complete coverage and a full list of nominees, please visit the Grammy website.