(photo via URB magazine)
I didn't doubt for a second that Kanye West wouldn't get any Grammy nominations for his brilliant CD The College Dropout. But a windfall of ten mentions is beyond anyone's expectations. And Kanye deserves every one of those nods. Yes, Kanye is an egotistical sonofabitch, but that doesn't exclude the fact that The College Dropout -- despite a few lyrical and production flaws -- is a great recording. Not only that, Kanye has put in mad work behind the production boards this year and blessed great songs for Alicia Keys ("You Don't Know My Name"), Slum Village ("Selfish") and Common ("Food") just to name a few. But Kanye also stretched himself thin and produced throwaway tracks for Jin ("I Gotta Love"), Janet Jackson (two songs on Damita Jo), Maroon 5 ("Is This Love" Remix) and Keyisha Cole ("Don't Waste My Time") just to expand his portfolio.
And I'm a little upset that Kanye didn't get a nomination in the Best Short Form Music Video category for both "All Falls Down" and "Jesus Walks," which were visually-stunning and well-directed videos.
So how many golden gramophones is Kanye going to walk away with on Grammy night? Early prediction -- I would say at least four.
I'm also upset by the Grammy snubs -- or more like "Grammy overlooks" -- as the Recording Academy chose more commercial artists to nominate.
I think Van Hunt's excellent self-titled CD should have received a nod for Best R&B album. Twista's Kamikaze CD should have been nominated in the Best Rap Album category. And where's T.I.? Also, Ghostface Killa's The PrettyToney Album should have garnered a mentioned in the Best Rap Album category. Teena Maria's La Dona Mafia should have been listed in the Best Contemporary R&B Album category.
Madvillain's CD Madvillainy also should have been recognized. If anything, Grammy organizers might want to consider adding a "Best Indie Rap Album" category so great recordings like Jean Grae's This Week, Murs/9th Wonder's 3:16-9th Edition and the Foreign Exchange Project's Connected CD are not left out.
I'm going to root for Jill Scott to win a trophy. The Philly-area songbird has never won an award, so it's time for the Grammy voters to step their game up and give Jill her due. And big-ups to Prince on his five mentions. I'm quite certain he will bring one home to Mini Apple.
All in all, I was please with the nominations. In February, I'll list my Grammy predictions on who should take home awards. I might even do a play-by-play analysis of the Grammy telecast like my boy hip-hop/blog master Jay Smooth did via his Ongoing Grammy post last year.