Artist News Awards

Hip hop and R&B dominate big awards in 2018 Grammy nominations

By | Published on Wednesday 29 November 2017

Grammy Awards

The nominations have been announced for all 84 categories of the 2018 Grammy Awards. There are so many people up for prizes it’s easier to tell you who isn’t in the running.

Possibly the biggest upset is Ed Sheeran, who is nominated, but only in two categories, and neither of them headline-grabbing categories. I’m sure he’d love to take home Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Shape Of You’ or Best Pop Vocal Album for ‘Divide’, but those releases were also expected to appear in the Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Record Of The year categories. I wouldn’t worry too much about that though. After all, ‘Divide’ really isn’t all that brilliant an album.

Harry Styles, meanwhile – who seemingly wrote an album designed to win awards by not sounding like you’d expect – got no nominations at all. This may be because that long player is also a bit rubbish. The only former member of One Direction to get any mention at all is Zayn Malik, and in both cases not for anything he did (ie his tracks are nominated, but not for his performance, rather other people’s writing and production).

Another big draw would have been Taylor Swift, but she went and released her new album too late to be eligible for the 2018 Grammys bash. This is par for the course for Swift though, who has had to wait for her Grammys for exactly the same reason in the past. She’ll get them next year, I’m sure.

As for who is nominated in the big categories, R&B and hip hop is well-represented this time – a turnaround following accusations of a lack of diversity at the awards in recent years.

In fact, it’s the first year since 1999 that no white men have been nominated for Album Of The Year. Jay-Z scores big with eight nominations across all categories. Kendrick Lamar meanwhile has seven nominations, and Bruno Mars six. SZA is the awards’ most nominated woman, with five nods.

There are some notable omissions on the shortlists from those genres too though, of course. Q-Tip lashed out on social media following the nominations announcement because A Tribe Called Quest’s final album ‘We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service’ isn’t shortlisted for anything.

In a video on Instagram, the rapper said: “Y’all think it’s a caveat because a white man wasn’t nominated in no major categories and shit? We were the most black cultured group out. That’s all we stood on. This fucking album that we just put out, this last Tribe album, it stands with everybody’s shit that’s up there. I don’t give a fuck”.

Drake also received no nominations for his ‘More Life’ album, although it turns out that this is because he didn’t actually submit it for consideration. He did not attend the 2017 ceremony either, even though he was named winner of two awards there for his track ‘Hotline Bling’. He later took issue with the fact that one of those prizes was for Best Rap Song, a category in which he (and many others) said the single should not have been appeared, it not featuring any rapping.

There was further controversy surrounding the 2018 nominations when word went around that Cardi B was not in line to win a trophy for her hit ‘Bodak Yellow’, which is nominated for Song Of The Year. That prize goes to the writers not the artist, and Cardi B’s name is not listed among the songwriters of the track. But then someone at the Grammys pointed out that she was actually up for that award as a co-writer of the track. She had been credited on the nominations list under her songwriting alias Washpoppin, so that’s all fine.

Speaking of songwriters, 2018 is a big year for them at the Grammys. This will be the first time that songwriters are listed alongside the artists in the Album Of The Year category. This follows a campaign from the songwriting community, which resulted in a change of the rules by the Recording Academy earlier this year. Those new rules mean James Fauntleroy is the first ever non-performing songwriter nominated in the category, for his work on Bruno Mars’ ’24k Magic’ album.

Now, here are the nominations for the three awards that people actually talk about:

Album Of The Year

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
Jay-Z – 4:44
Kendrick Lamar – Damn
Lorde – Melodrama
Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

Record Of The Year

Childish Gambino – Redbone
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber – Despacito
Jay-Z – The Story Of OJ
Kendrick Lamar – Humble
Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

Song Of The Year

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber – Despacito
Jay-Z – 4:44
Julia Michaels – Issues
Logic feat Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like

The 2018 Grammy Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on 28 Jan. I’ve checked and there’s nothing that can be done about it now.