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GRAMMY GRINDING: HIP-HOP, R&B
Industry Tastemakers Handicap These Competitive Categories

It's just the way the system works; sometimes who gets the Grammy in the end makes no damn sense. There's little rhyme or reason to the secretive NARAS process year to year, so we polled a group of industry tastemakers— Grammy-winning producer Jermaine Dupri; Dion Summers, VP of Urban Programming for Sirius XM; Randy Spendlove, President, Motion Picture Music at Paramount PicturesSha Money XL, EVP of Urban A&R at Epic Records; TV host/producer/CEO of Skee.tv DJ Skee; and Interscope VP of A&R John Ehmann—to get a real musichead take on who might take home the Grammy in five key categories.

 


Best R&B Performance. And the nominees are:

Beyoncé “Drunk in Love”
Chris Brown/Usher “New Flame”
Jennifer Hudson “It’s Your World”
Ledisi “Like This”
Usher “Good Kisser”

JERMAINE DUPRISince this is for performance, I think Chris Brown/Usher “New Flame” should win, but this is the Grammys so I believe they're gonna go with Beyoncé.

DION SUMMERSShould win/Will win: BEYONCÉ. Rare is the song that captures the world of pop-culture (literally) overnight, catapults its already iconic star to new heights of creativity and consumerism, and adds to our mental dictionary at the same damn time. Surfbort.

RANDY SPENDLOVE: Beyoncé, "Drunk in Love."

SHA MONEY XLBeyoncé all day. You can feel the realness of the song. Great vocal performance and conviction with emotion.

DJ SKEE: Beyoncé “Drunk in Love” (WILL & SHOULD)

JOHN EHMANNBeyoncé “Drunk in Love”


 Best R&B Song. And the nominees are:

“Drunk in Love” (Beyoncé)
“Good Kisser” (Usher)
“New Flame” (Chris Brown/Usher)
“Options” (Luke James)
“The Worst” (Jhené Aiko)

JERMAINE DUPRIThis one I give to Beyoncé.

DION SUMMERSShould win: Jhené Aiko.  Such a pretty song—and what black girl do you know who didn’t endlessly proclaim “I don’t need you, I don’t need you, I don’t need you…”

Will win:  "New Flame." Grammy folk like when their artists collaborate.  And it gets no R&Better than Ursh & Breezy!

RANDY SPENDLOVE“The Worst”  (Jhené Aiko)    

SHA MONEY XLOptions, I love this song a lot but Jhené "The Worst" is the winner.

DJ SKEE: “Drunk in Love” (Beyoncé) (WILL)

“The Worst” (Jhené Aiko) (SHOULD)

JOHN EHMANN: Beyoncé “Drunk in Love”


Best Rap Performance. And the nominees are:

“3005” Childish Gambino
“0 to 100/The Catch Up” Drake
“Rap God” Eminem
“I” Kendrick Lamar
“All I Need Is You” Lecrae

JERMAINE DUPRII give this to Eminem—he did, like, 4 to 5 different flows.

DION SUMMERS: Should win:  LECRAE.  Let the church say Amen!

Will win:  DRAKE.  Blasphemy!

RANDY SPENDLOVE: “I,” Kendrick Lamar  

SHA MONEY XL: Drake. He is the best performance, his conviction was amazing and best phrase of the year. Everyone now going 0 to 100 real quick.

DJ SKEE: “Rap God” Eminem (SHOULD)

“I” Kendrick Lamar (WILL)

JOHN EHMANN: Eminem “Rap God”


Best Rap Song. And the nominees are:

“Anaconda” (Nicki Minaj)
“Bound 2” (Kanye West)
“We Dem Boyz” (Wiz Khalifa)
“I” (Kendrick Lamar)
“0 to 100/The Catch Up” (Drake)

JERMAINE DUPRIThis goes to Drake i believe! But once again this is the Grammys and Kanye just might get this.

DION SUMMERS: Should win:  KENDRICK.  Hey…anything to make up for last year.

Will win:  KANYE WEST.  He’ll be there.  Performing.  And also, “Yeezus” was some of his finest work yet.  (even if only me and Kim liked it).

RANDY SPENDLOVE: “0 to 100/The Catch Up” (Drake)

SHA MONEY XL: Drake. He is the best and this was the second best song of 2014 with Bobby Shmurda as #1 on my list. 

DJ SKEE: “I” (Kendrick Lamar) (WILL)

“0 to 100/The Catch Up” (Drake) (SHOULD)

JOHN EHMANN: Kanye West “Bound 2”


 Best Rap Album. And the nominees are:

The New Classic Iggy Azalea
Because the Internet Childish Gambino

Nobody’s Smiling Common
Marshall Mathers LP2 Eminem

Oxymoron Schoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood Wiz Khalifa

JERMAINE DUPRIIma have to give this to Eminem. 

DION SUMMERS: Should win:  CHILDISH GAMBINO or SCHOOLBOY Q. Both took hip-hop in unique directions this year. Will win: EMINEM…but Marshall’s still Marshall. 

RANDY SPENDLOVE: “Nobody’s Smiling” Common    

SHA MONEY XL: Schoolboy Q. Well put-together with a great vibe.

DJ SKEE: “The New Classic” Iggy Azalea (WILL)

“Oxymoron” Schoolboy Q (SHOULD)

JOHN EHMANN: Schoolboy Q  “Oxymoron”


 

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