The Grammy nominations are here and everyone’s already predicting who’s gonna “do a Beck”, which albums will be on your American uncle’s Christmas list and what mindblowing moments we’re going to bear witness to this time around. Until then, here’s the biggest talking points from the shortlist.
It’s pretty much all Adele v Beyonce
Tyson v Holyfield, Federer v Nadal, Hopkins v Goulding, the world has offered up some great rivalries and now Adele and Beyonce join such an illustrious list. Bey is up for nine awards in total and Adele has bagged five (“faaackin’ ‘ell,” you can hear her exclaiming somewhere in North London). The pair go head-to-head in the three biggest categories: Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year (the last two, surprisingly, are not the same thing). National pride aside, our money’s probably on Bey.
Frank Ocean got what he wanted (or didn’t want)
Nominated for six Grammy awards in 2013 (and taking home two on the night), the ever-mysterious Frank Ocean appeared to take himself out of the running for next year’s ceremony following his double album release in 2016. Failing to file the necessary paperwork for a record to be considered for nomination, Ocean described the institution as “dated”, arguing that it “doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down”. A worthy protest and, with Ocean absent from the eventual nominations list, it doesn’t seem like Frank’s backing down any time soon.
Kanye won’t be pleased
Not only had West vowed to boycott the entire Grammys ceremony if Frank Ocean wasn’t nominated, the rapper’s own music seems notably neglected by this year’s noms. Sure, he dominates the rap categories, and even has two tracks shortlisted in Best Rap Song, but is shunned for all the major, non genre-specific awards. West’s self-proclaimed “masterpiece” ‘The Life Of Pablo’ is omitted from the Album Of The Year list, with Drake’s lukewarm ‘Views’ in its place. Could this signal the end for any hopes for that collab album?
The 1975 are nowhere to be seen
Despite their new record topping the charts in both the UK and US as well as picking up our own Album Of The Year award, The 1975 are suspiciously absent from any of the categories. Maybe the judges were confused by their name. Perhaps they were offended by ‘She’s American’. We just don’t know.
The judges love ‘Work’ but think that Rihanna is singing jibberish
Every year it feels like the Grammy judges themselves don’t even know the difference between Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year, which mostly feature the same nominations in each category this year. Instead of being a simple misprint, the two are actually separate categories: Record Of The Year recognises every aspect of a track (performance, production, mixing…etc), while Song Of The Year focuses solely on the songwriting. NME‘s Song Of The Year Rihanna’s ‘Work’ is up for Record Of The Year but not Song Of The Year at the Grammys, which proves that judges were thinking exactly the same as we all were: “What a banger, but what IS she saying?”
In 2017, Fat Joe might finally win a Grammy
Believe it or not, Fat Joe – of mid-00s banger ‘What’s Luv?’ fame – has been nominated for three Grammys, the last coming in 2008. He’s now up for two more: Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Could it be fourth and fifth time luck for Joseph Antonio Cartagena?
Beyonce, Bowie and Disturbed are all considered “rock”
Sure, genres and awards ceremonies are pretty futile and meaningless in general, but what a world we live in that Beyonce, Bowie and Disturbed can all be nominated in the same category. We still can’t work out if this is a good or bad thing.
There’s been so many great rap albums, the Grammys had to bend the rules a little
All the categories have five nominations each, apart from Best Rap Album, which has six (Chance The Rapper, De La Soul, DJ Khaled, Drake, Schoolboy Q and Kanye West). Just imagine if they had left out Kanye.
The dance categories will make you think you have temporary amnesia
Sofi Tukker? Bob Moses? Don’t mean to sound like your nan but we have no idea who these people are.
Want to be nominated for a Grammy? Release a New Age album
It’s nearly 2017 and the Grammys are still giving an award away for Best New Age Album. This probably explains why Enya has won four over the course of her career. What’s that sound? It’s Super Hans buying some healing crystals, lighting a spliff and getting stuck into making that future New Age Grammy winner.