It’s Grammy Weekend! Here Are the soulhead.com Picks! @TheGRAMMYS @samsmithworld @i_AM_OTHER @beyonce

It's Grammy Weekend! Here Are the soulhead.com Picks!

It’s Grammy Weekend! Here Are the soulhead.com Picks!

Tomorrow is the biggest night in music. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will honor the top names in music, spanning from the tail end of 2013 to early fall 2014. The contenders this year make up an interesting, pop heavy swath of nominees. Nonetheless, there are still some pretty contentious races along the way. Here we will indicate two types of winners.

Titles in Italics are the nominees that we at soulhead.com wan to win. They are the ones whose music skill set we thinks really recognizes something amazing and noteworthy. The titles in bold however are the ones we think the Academy will actually award. A title that is both Bold and Italicized  means that they not only should be the winner but will be the winner!

Keep track with us and we’ll check in Monday to see how we did!  With no further ado, here are the Grammy Award Predictions!

It’s Grammy Weekend! Here Are the soulhead.com Picks!
Best Gospel Song

  1. Help – Erica Campbell
  2. Sunday AM – Karen Clark Sheard
  3. I Believe – Mali Music
  4. No Greater Love – Smokie Norful
  5. Love on The Radio – The Walls Group

This sister half of Mary Mary has been picking up steam for sometime with this song. Though nominated last year, she did not win. We think this year will be differently.

Best Gospel Album

  1. Help – Erica Campbell
  2. Amazing – Ricky Dillard
  3. Withholding Nothing – William McDowell
  4. Forever Yours – Smokie Norful
  5. Vintage Worship –Anita Wilson

Same reasons as above, we say Ms. Campbell has this one on lock.

Best Reggae Album

  1. Fly Rasta – Ziggy Marley
  2. Full Frequency – Sean Paul
  3. Back on the Controls – Lee Scratch Perry
  4. Out of Many, One Music – Shaggy
  5. The Reggae Power – Sly & Robbie & Spicy Chocolate
  6. Amid The Noise and Haste -Soja

Here is one of the few cases when the Academy decided to nominate six individuals. Soja is our desired winner, but keeping with legacy and royalty, Mr. Marley will be crowned for his work on Fly Rasta.

Best Pop Solo Performance

  1. All of Me – John Legend
  2. Chandelier – Sis
  3. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
  4. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  5. Happy – Pharrell Williams

John Legend came out of nowhere with his megahit (album). “All of Me” is the surprise hit that gripped all the radio stations. Gentle lyrics that were subject to all kinds of remixes, this was the type of record designed for serious love making.

But Pharrell’s anthem to joie de vivre was an inescapable pop phenomenon of last year. Indeed, it was one of the highlights of the 2014 Grammy’s to see this little man in a park ranger hat prance around about his happiness. “Happy” is the likely winner for this song category.

Best Pop Duo/Group

  1. Fancy – Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
  2. A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
  3. Say Something – A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera
  4. Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
  5. Dark Horse – Katy Perry, Juicy J

A “Sky Full of Stars” is simply a beautiful song and Coldplay at their best in years. It also had that fanciful, epic feeling that got you swept into the song halfway through. But for all that Coldplay did for us with this number, “Fancy” captured the hearts and minds of teeny boppers, their mamas, and their grandmamma’s too. Here is Iggy’s chance to shine.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  1. Coldplay
  2. Miley Cyrus
  3. Ariana Grande
  4. Katy Perry
  5. Ed Sheeran
  6. Sam Smith

This is a tied category for the should win category. Our staff is doubly in love with both of our cross-Atlantic brothers and regard both Sheeran and Smith as certain talent.

However, the Academy is not always about talent, but certainly about appeal. And, to be sure, Perry has a set a pipes on her, as demonstrated by her Super Bowl show. We would love to see either one of those two soulful Englishmen take home the gold, but this year’s gramophone is likely to go to a homegrown girl.

Best Dance/Electric Album

  1. Apex Twin
  2. Deadmau5
  3. Little Dragon
  4. Royksoop & Robin (IDK who this is y’all)
  5. Mat Zo

This team is firmly in support of Little Dragon. They set our souls free with [album title]. And to that end, fans of alternative music really rallied behind the multi-ethnic, jazzy band.

However, since because we’re a crowd of deep skeptics, the thought is that everyone’s favorite Deadmau5 will likely take the trophy for his latest album.

Best Rap Performance

  1. 3005- Childish Cambino
  2. 0 to 100/Catch Up – Drake
  3. Rap God – Eminem
  4. I – Kendrick Lamar
  5. All I Need Is You – Lecrae

Our staff is confident in the cool and swagger of Kendrick Lamar. “i”, standing alone on a album with no name and no release date managed to be this upbeat ode to self-love while still capturing Lamar’s West coast essence. The power of this song bested even the skilled deftness of the rap god himself, Marshall Maters. However, for all of Kendrick’s swag, Drake’s best swagger filled song to date “0 to 100/Catch Up” (similarly on an unnamed album) will likely be granted the award for best rap performance.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  1. Black Majik – Common, Jhene Aiko
  2. The Monster – Eminem, Rihanna
  3. Tuesday – I Love Makonnen, Drake
  4. Studio – ScHoolBoy Q, BJ The Chicago Kid
  5. Bound 2 – Kanye West, Charlie Wilson

Here our team is resolutely divided on who will win, and so instead of lauding all our praise on the should wins of this category (Common and Aiko’s empowering “Black Majick”, and ScHoolBoy and BJ’s slinky “Studio”), we will discuss our 50/50 call on who will win.

1) Bound 2 might have been marred by the antics of Kimye on a CGI bike, but it did not detract from the lushness of Uncle Charlie’s voice or the entrancing “Uh-uh honey” echoing in the background. This song was well assembled by a West who has yet to win any gold for Yeezus, so in many ways irs overdo.

2) The Academy loves some Eminem. And even now with his life controversy as a minimum, this makes “The Monster” a very appealing vote. The song explores Mather’s inner demons and brings on famous former collaborator Rihanna to make the song haunt with energy.

Best Rap Song

  1. Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
  2. Bound 2 – Kanye West
  3. I – Kendrick Lamar
  4. We Dem Boyz- Wiz Khalifa
  5. 0 to 100 – Drake

Again here our team is torn. The familiar fight between K. Dot, Drizzy, and Yeezy, this is seemingly a toss-up.  Kendrick should win for all that “I” stands for. But  Drake set the club on fire with “0 to 100”.

In the end though, this is where Yeezy with certainty picks up his Grammy.

Best Rap Album

  1. The New Classic – Iggy Azalea
  2. Because the Internet – Childish Gambino
  3. Nobody’s Smiling – Common
  4. The Marshall Mathers LP2 – Eminem
  5. Oxymoron – ScHoolBoy Q
  6. Blacc Hollywood – Wiz Khalifa

Controversy abound. Indeed, the fact that this is a rare six nomination category, we see that the Academy at the very least wanted to acknowledge all of the contenders for the field. That in and of itself is an indication that some trickery is about to occur.

Our team is pulling for both ScHoolBoy and Common. Oxymoron was ScHoolBoy Q’s triumphant return to hardcore rap, and Nobody’s Smiling was Common’s triumphant return to himself. Either one of these albums should win on their own two feet.

But, Grammy cynicism coming back to light, we wouldn’t be surprised if Little Ms. Australia took home the gold…

Best R&B Performance

  1. Drunk in Love – Bey
  2. New Flame – C Brown
  3. It’s Your World – J Hud
  4. Like This – Ledisi
  5. Good Kisser – Usher

Here is the first of two important clashes for the night. The nominations are stacked with some pretty seasoned R&B folks, all of whom are well loved in their own right. But insofar as who should win this award, Usher’s name has been floated. Yet, the Academy darling Bey will with almost full certainty take home this award. No matter how raunchy or uncharacteristically Bey this song was, it had us all up “all night, loooove”.

 

Best Traditional R&B

  1. As – Marsia Ambrosius and Anthony Hamilton
  2. IRS – Angie Fisher
  3. Jesus Children – Robert Glasper
  4. Nobody – Kem
  5. Hold Up Wait a Minute – Antonique Smith

With all the love we have for Kem, he is a close, close second to Robert Glasper. “Jesus Children” brought together not just Glasper and his band but also Lalah Hathaway (what?) and Malcolm Jamal Warner (THEO!? WHAT!?!!). So yes, it is our favored to win and the Academy will likely see things our way too.

Best R&B Song

  1. Drunk in Love
  2. Good Kisser
  3. New Flame
  4. Options (Wolfjames Version)
  5. The Worst (Jhene Aiko song)

So now, the tensions rise. Beyonce to our calculations has already picked up an award this evening, and this one will make number 2. Here we can say though that the song that should win is Usher for “Good Kisser”. With this number, Usher came roaring back to life; back to his pre (wife’s name) days. “Good Kisser” reminded us of an Usher circa 2003, right in between his colossal 8701 and his legendary Confessions.  If “Good Kisser” (and its follow-up singles “She Came to Give It to You” and “I Don’t Mind”) is to be an indicator, we will see Usher back here next year for his full album.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  1. Sail Out – Jhene Aiko
  2. Beyonce – Beyonce
  3. X – Chris Brown
  4. Mali Is – Mali Music
  5. Girl – Pharrell Williams

One Bey, two Bey, three Bey.

GIRL is well loved by many and most. This solo project from the producer master mind made us all take a step back and be like “dang, Pharell”. For this, he is loved and commended and is definitely highly touted as potential winner.

But his album hardly constitutes as urban contemporary (but honestly, what does urban contemporary even mean, and should we be offended by that?). Beyonce is the favored winner here tonight.

Best R&B Album

  1. Islander – Bernhoft
  2. Lift Your Spirit – Aloe Blacc
  3. Love, Marriage, & Divorce – Toni Braxton and Babyface
  4. Black Radio 2 – Robert Glasper
  5. Give The People What They Want – Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings

Robert Glasper went and outdid himself on the follow-up to his previously Grammy winning Black Radio. While Sharon Jones and her Dap-Kings certainly did make for a resurgence in old school style soul while also fighting her way back from illness, the music is on the side of Glasper. He is both our favorite and the favored winner.

Record of the Year

  1. Chandelier – Sia
  2. Fancy – Iggy Azalea
  3. Stay With Me (Darkchild Version) – Sam Smith
  4. Shake it Off- Taylor Swift
  5. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Sam Smith is the golden voiced cherub that made mainstream audiences listen to soul again. Something of a male Adele, Sam Smith’s low croon was simply transfixing. The sound of the song is beautiful and inspiring, far more than the rest of this pack of made-for-radio pop hits.

All the same, Record of the Year is about sound, it’s about fun, it’s about what will represent a time in a life. The song that best does that is Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”. Considering that her massive record breaking album 1989 came out too late in the year to be considered for awards, this is all the more reason to start gifting Swift with hardware. “Shake It Off” will be a premonition of things to come for T. Swift Grammy’s 2016.

Song of The Year

  1. All About that Bass- Meghan Trainor
  2. Chandelier – Sia
  3. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  4. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
  5. Take Me to Church – Hoozier

Song of the year is the opportunity to encompass it all- singer, songwriter, producer, quality. Smith’s “Stay With Me” has it all, and this is his opportunity to split the difference with his biggest rival of the night, Taylor Swift.

Best New Artist

  1. Iggy Azalea
  2. Bastille
  3. Brandy Clark
  4. Haim
  5. Sam Smith

Again, Smith comes up with near unanimous certainty in our camp. Though there is probable cause for the Academy to award Iggy (honestly, just to troll true hip-hop head heads), it can  be said that even Iggy’s brand of hip-pop is no match for the deep love felt for Smith.

Album of the Year

  1. Morning Phase – Beck
  2. Beyonce – Beyonce
  3. X – Ed Sheeran
  4. Girl – Pharrell Williams
  5. In the Lonely Hour- Sam Smith

This category is disputed amongst soulhead staff. A particularly crowded field of talent this year, there are indeed some in the pile that really should win.

Firstly, Pharrell’s GIRL was a masterwork that showed Williams out front. Almost a decade after his last solo project, GIRL showed the versatility of Williams as a musician, singer, and creative.

However, there had been much buzz and more about the debut project from Sam Smith. His lush and layered voice is what made him a household name in 2014 (that and his electo vibe track “Latch” with Disclosure, which is curiously missing from the Grammy list..). In The Lonely Hour was a collection of beautiful songs. And though it might have lacked the cohesion of an album, it still was well loved by many.

Ed Sheeran on the other hand is another soulhead.com staff pick. The ginger headed countryman of Smith, Sheeran was another Brit-soul figure who was everywhere in 2014. His voice and talent made many pop hits pop. So X too is a favored choice amongst the team here.

And yet, for all the love given to the other contenders, there is one album that is likely to win and will win, and that is Beyonce. On December 13, 2013, Beyonce came back to town to take over the world and hasn’t let go ever since. The past two years have been a whirlwind of hers when indeed her star has risen to previously unremarked heights. But beyond the hype, the talent that dripped from the album was there to substantiate it. And more than that, it was the business savvy and acumen that is the true legacy of this album. What she did was unprecedented and unlikely to repeated anytime soon with any great success (knock on wood, Kendrick Lamar). The Academy is sure to take note of that. Moreover, Beyonce is an Academy darling, AND she is performing that night. Bey is the caliber of artist that doesn’t bother to show up unless she is being adorned with the top prize. She will be walking home with album of the year.

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