By Ray Legendre
On Sunday night, the Grammys will celebrate and crown the artists, who depending on your vantage point, made the year in music amazing (Beyoncé) or annoying as hell (Pharrell, Meghan Trainor). Here are my predictions for select Grammy categories. I will revisit these educated guesses Monday with reactions to my own psychic ineptitude.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
What Will Win: Beyoncé by Beyoncé
What Should Win: Beyoncé by Beyoncé
Please Don’t Win: Girl by Pharrell Williams
Thoughts: This is a Chris Paul to Blake Griffin slam dunk. Beyoncé’s self-titled album sold more than five million copies, spawned monster singles and she has never won Album of the Year. I like Pharrell as a performer and producer but Girl featured the ear plague known as “Happy.” Thus, I must root against it.
SONG OF THE YEAR
What Will Win: “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
What Should Win: “Take Me To Church” by Hozier
Please Don’t Win: “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
Thoughts: Grammy voters won’t be able to resist the faux-soul of Brit newcomer Sam Smith but they should select Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” a moving love as religion metaphor, as song of the year. You know what annoyed me more than “Happy” this year? “All About That Bass” and its empty calories take on loving yourself no matter your waist measurement.
BEST R&B SONG
What Will Win: “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé
What Should Win: “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé
Please Don’t Win: “New Flame” by Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross
Thoughts: Why wasn’t “Drunk in Love” nominated for Song of the Year? You mean “All About That Bass” is a better song? According to who? This should be the Beyoncé Grammys. She’ll also win Best R&B Performance for “Drunk in Love” and Best Urban Contemporary Album, too. As for Chris Brown, he is the Ray Rice of popular music. I refuse to support him.
BEST RAP SONG
What Will Win: “I” by Kendrick Lamar
What Should Win: “Bound 2” by Kanye West
Please Don’t Win: “We Dem Boyz” by Wiz Khalifa
Thoughts: The Grammys robbed Kendrick Lamar of Rap Album of the Year last year. They’ll atone for it here, even though “I” is not among his best and certainly not better than “Bound 2” or Drake’s “0 to 100/The Catchup.” Seeing Wiz Khalifa’s “We Dem Boyz” included in this category is like seeing a McDonald’s hamburger listed on a steakhouse menu.
BEST RAP ALBUM
What Will Win: The Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem
What Should Win: good kid, m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar***
Please Don’t Win: The New Classic by Iggy Azalea
Thoughts: Eminem has won a record five Grammys in this category. The only person to defeat him? Kanye West in 2006. There are no Kanye-like forces in this category nor any instant classic albums. In a just world, the Grammy for Best Rap Album would go to Kendrick Lamar. Hey, a year late is better than never. If Iggy Azalea wins this category the Grammys should write an open letter apologizing to rap fans everywhere.