On one hand, the Grammy Awards are a wilted relic of the days when big-name albums sold millions the week of release and U2 was still important. On the other, its continual presence reminds us that, though the song hasn't remained the same, it's persevered. Kinda. At the very least, it's worth noting that Atlanta still reps damn hard. As usual, this year's list of Grammy nominees features some true-blooded ATL natives (and transplants) who do actually possess more than a John Mayer-esque modicum of talent. Go team:
It should come as no surprise that the Recording Academy loves B.o.B. Besides, his mad genre-bending, Best Rap Album contender The Adventures of Bobby Ray actually sold like hotcakes. B.o.B's "Nothin' On You" is also up for Record of the Year. Cee Lo Green's insta-viral jam "F*** You" is, too. Both will likely lose to Jay-Z's cloying "Empire State of Mind." Harumph.
Janelle Monáe should win the entire Grammy Awards, but it doesn't work like that. Yet. "Tightrope" is up for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. What a ridiculous category, right? Any time music is described as "urban," my soul rips a stinky fart. The ArchAndroid is nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Album, but it will likely fall to someone awful like Chris Brown, because there's no justice. Also nominated in the category is Usher, who's still hanging around.
It wouldn't be a year without Ludacris crafting a monster hit; this year it's the chipmunk-y, stripper-y "How Low" that's up for Best Rap Solo Performance alongside "I'm Back," which T.I. dropped before he was, uh, no longer back. One of those two will take the category. (The smart money's on the more un-incarcerated Luda.) What's that? Kanye West's "Power" is also up? Oh. Nevermind.
I know I said Monáe should win the Grammys, but actually, Monáe and Big Boi should split it. Sir Lucious was the best album of the year in any genre, but — surprise — it's not nominated. Nice work, Academy, ya jerks. Thankfully, "Shutterbugg," is up for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, which ... did they think it was a 'Kast jam? Either way, I'm calling the win. (Also nominated is "Lose My Mind" by Young Jeezy and Plies, but, come on: "Shutterbugg.")
But it's not all urban-fart 'round here. As we know, Atlanta has suburbs; ergo, Atlanta has country music. The Zac Brown Band, which won Best New Artist in 2010 (Atlanta-based Justin Bieber will win it this year because of his eerie, mop do'd grip on the music industry's old, wrinkly throat), is up for several categories, including Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for an Alan Jackson collab. (Alan Jackson! For me, that name conjures up awesome images of flesh-meltingly hot Braves games and elementary school gym class. That "way down yonder" song? Great for dodgeball.)
Anyway, this is mere surface scratching in preparation for the real-ass deal. Join me once again on CL's Crib Notes blog the morning after the madness, when you can read my rambling recap of the Grammy ceremony, which, God willing, will contain some memorable moments. If not, just come read about how drunk I got while watching.
And, seriously, Atlanta: You got this.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards air Sun., Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
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