If you didn’t already know, the nominations for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on December 5th. The 57th Grammy Awards will be held on February 8, 2015. The eligibility period was October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. I would discuss all the awards if I could but there is way too many and I feel I am most knowledgeable in the Hip Hop/Rap categories.
I am going to be only discussing the “Rap Album of the Year” award. I am in disagreement with the nominations or the winner quite often. They say that the academy members who decide the winners for these awards choose the winners based on quality only and not other things like sales, chart performance, etc. With the “Rap album of the Year” award I feel that sometimes the winner is picked based on commercial success and not on the actual content of the album.
I was surprised when Macklemore’s The Heist beat Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. It was absurd. I have nothing against Macklemore but Kendrick Lamar had the best album by far.
This time around I am in disagreement with the nominations for this award. There are quality albums that were left out that fall under the “Rap Album of the Year” category. Sometimes the best rap work isn’t necessarily taken into consideration since this award is for albums only and not mixtapes. Mixtapes are just as great as albums and often times better than some albums.
So with that being said I will list the 6 albums that I believe were the best for the time period.
The nominees for the 57th Annual Grammys “Rap Album of the Year” award are:
Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
Childish Gambino – Because The Internet
Common – Nobodys Smiling
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2
ScHoolboy Q – Oxymoron
Wiz Khalifa – Blacc Hollywood
I don’t believe these albums best represent the “Rap Album of the Year” award so here are my picks for the albums that should have been nominated for the award instead…
ScHoolboy Q – Oxymoron
This album was rightly nominated. This is probably the one album that was nominated that I fully feel deserves to win the prestigious Grammy award. This album has several popular and memorable songs. Some of those songs include, “Man of the Year”, “Break the Bank” and “Collard Greens”. ScHoolboy Q has expressed himself how he feels he put together the best rap album of the year and he has every right to feel that way. Top Dawg Entertainment has quickly risen to success in the past few years.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
If we’re going to pick a rap album based on quality and content this is one of them. Everyone knows that Madlib is one of the best producers to have ever lived. Freddie Gibbs is an amazing lyricist. Put these two together and you get rap gold. Madlib’s crisp and soulful beats blended perfectly with Freddie Gibbs’ street narratives. It is a masterpiece that hardcore hip hop/rap fans appreciate dearly.
The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
The Roots have been nominated for this award five times but have never won it. This time around they didn’t get the nomination. Black Thought is the lead MC for The Roots and he is one the best rappers in the industry. This album has a great story in it. This album provides a satirical look at violence in hip-hop/rap and in American society overall. This album can relate to issues going on in the U.S. right now like the Mike Brown and Eric Garner cases. It was a shock to see this album not included in the 6 nominations.
Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo
Now I’m not sure if this album was excluded because some may consider it an EP but a project that is 14 songs long is not an EP to me. This is definitely an album. This is Isaiah’s debut release under TDE. Much of this project is a narrative of Isaiah’s own life. It is a well told narrative. You feel right in the story. This is raw talent but even then it was one of the best rap albums of the year.
Ratking – So It Goes
Ratking is a hip hop/rap group from Harlem in New York City. It consists of three members, Wiki, Haki, and Sporting Life. This album was one of the most overlooked hip hop/rap albums of the year. It may be a lot to say that it deserves to be nominated for a Grammy but I thought it was better than the ones that were actually nominated. This is a young hip hop/rap group but this album shows immense talent. This isn’t a poppy or catchy commercial rap album. It is a straight up hip hop/rap album with two rappers who spit tangled and unique flows. This album is very different from traditional rap. It goes against what you would expect and that is great. Well worthy of that award.
Calle 13 – Multi_Viral
I was hesitant on whether or not I should include this one on here because it is Spanish hip hop music but the Grammy’s does include Spanish music in their awards. They have been nominated for “Best Latin Rock Urban or Alternative Album” but they should have been included in “Best Rap Album of the Year” too. Calle 13 is a duo from Puerto Rico. I would best describe their music as alternative hip hop/rap rock. These guys always talk about relevant political issues going on in the world in their music. They tackle several topics in their music. On this album in the tack “Adentro” they criticize rappers who glorify violence in their music just to give an example.
They’re very intellectual with their music and deserve more recognition with the hip hop culture in the U.S. They contribute a lot to the genre. Latino hip hop heads know about this group but among the general hip hop fan not all of them do.
Common – Nobody’s Smiling
Step Brother – Lord Steppington
Blu – Good To Be Home
Atmosphere – Southsiders
There are a few albums that I would have included but they didn’t fall under the time period where nominations were taken from and those albums were RTJ2 by Run The Jewels, Under Pressure by Logic, You’re Dead by Flying Lotus. If I could I would include The Water[s] by Mick Jenkins but it was a mixtape release and not an album.