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Kendrick, Trap Queens, and Tamar! Let’s Talk About These Grammy Nominations!

If you know like I know, then you woke up to an alert on your phone telling you that the Grammy nominations came out today. It informed me that Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar led the field. Now, let’s be real, I have no idea why they even lumped them into THAT same sentence. Kendrick Lamar got 11 nominations. Taylor Swift got 7, the same amount as The Weeknd.

Kendrick led the field. THEY did not lead the field. Kendrick caught noms for the big categories, Album of The Year and Song Of The Year.  He got nominations in all of the rap categories, and a few joint nominations with Swift for their song “Bad Blood” (like best pop duo, and best musc video, which he was also nominated by himself for “Alright”). I’d have to say, today was a good day…for Kendrick Lamar. Even if rappers don’t care about winning Grammy Awards, I’d imagined that if they were nominated, they feel like they might as well win. That’s how I’d feel. I don’t particularly care about awards and accolades, but if you gon’ go ahead and put them on a pedestal, I’m gon’ need to walk away with the win, homey. Shouts to King Kendrick, outchea pimpin’ butterflies.

Let’s switch gears: I was perusing Facebook as I often do in the morning and one of my friends posted a screengrab of a nomination that included Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur, for “Classic Man” in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category.  As my friend is part of the Wondaland crew, I was proud and happy for their team, but the first thing that jumped off the screen to me was this:

Big Sean got nominated for a Grammy for his song “One Man Can Change The World” featuring a barely there Kanye West and John Legend, who is easily the best part of the song.

Big Sean got nominated for a Grammy. For one of his own songs. That floored me. Not because I don’t think Big Sean is talented – I’ve said before how I think he is due way more credit than he deserves – but that song is like “Glory” to me: a song that is much better in idea than execution. To be real, “Glory” sucks. It will probably win because if there’s one rap song that white people love, it’s “Glory”. They’ve all seen Selma and they all heard it there. I don’t know if it was said here or elsewhere, but “Glory” is the song you play for your white friends who hate rap that will likely make them say, “hey, this isn’t that bad”. Yes, it is. “One Man Can Change The World” is a step down from that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the song, but its because of the hook and the feel. I almost feel like if Kanye West performed it, it would have been better because at least he sounds sincere. Big Sean sounded like he said, “hey, let’s make a deep song” then added the line “let’s get the pretty girls thats pretty at everything”. I don’t even know what that means.

Complex simplicity and shit. Either way, Big Sean is now a Grammy nominated, on his own. (He received a nomination with Kanye, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz for “Mercy” in 2013.)

That was a really long intro to say that seeing Big Sean receive a Grammy nod made me want to read the REST of the nominees for all the other Black music categories since in order to nominate that song, these folks had to actually listen to the whole thing. Which means they were listening to lots of other shit. Let’s talk about it.

D’Angelo is nominated for Record Of The Year, another of the big awards (Song of the Year, and Album of the year), for his song “Really Love” off of Black Messiah. That’s exciting as I feel like that album never really got the full appreciation it deserved. You know what is surprising, that The Weeknd got a nomination on each of the big 3 categories. I haven’t listened to that album since I don’t really care for him, but is that album THAT good? I feel like I need to check it out, but I pretty much didn’t like him even when y’all all told me that House of Balloons was hot. It wasn’t.

I need some answers here.

Oh…this is fun: Tamar Braxton is now a Grammy nominated artist. Read that back to yourself. Tamar Braxton went from being chick we didn’t know or care about to reality show darling to dropping an album that was maybe better than I thought (I did listen) to receiving a nomination for her song “If I Don’t Have You”, which you tell me, was that a Grammy award performance? Maybe there’s hope for Teiarra Marie after all. Do you know who else is in that category? Jeremih.

Not sure if you noticed a theme here, but Jeremih is missing an “a” and The Weeknd is missing an “e”. MC Eiht was a head of his time. By the way, that brutal line from “Dollaz + Sense” should always go down as one of the best disses of all time in the history of ever.

Back to Jeremih, an artist who I’m pretty sure has not once in his life said, “I’m sure this song will net me a Grammy nod” now has one for “Planes” featuring lightskinned Jermaine. This song also contains the line “tell my bitch to let her hair out…” R&B is the shiznit. In that same category is Hiatus Kaiyote, which is one of those groups I’m sure the committee struggled with categorizing, but is one of the most awesomest groups, especially live. Good gracious. Andra Day is also nominated here and if she won I’d be excited.

Point is, this one interesting ass category. It’s almost like five different people got to toss a song into the mix and they all listen to different music, except that one person who doesn’t listen to R&B and said, hey, The Weeknd is up for album of the year, toss him in there.

Speaking of Lightskinned Jermaine, he is up for his third and fourth nominations with his song “Apparently” for best rap performance which is competing against “Trap Queen” amongst others (including Kendrick’s “Alright”). If there is any justice in the world, Fetty Wap would win the Grammy award, he’s up for two. I can’t lie, I would be a happy person. Also, “Back To Back” got nominated as well. A random diss track made the list. Meanwhile, Rick Ross is trying to fight Meek’s battles for him. I wonder if Meek will accompany Nicki to the Grammy’s and have to step between Drake and Meek if Drake wins and clowns Meek from the stage. Again, I hope “Trap Queen” wins so the kids don’t have to see this.

Panama loves the kids.

That’s all I have for now.

I really just wanted to use 1,200 words to say that I hope “Trap Queen” wins a Grammy.

You’re welcome.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Val

    AK announced a few of the nominees this morning on CBS. I doubt that I will enjoy the Grammys more than waking up and seeing AK on my TV. Especially after seeing her on the Sinatra tribute last night. She killed that.

    Also, Tamar is surprisingly talented. If she’d just keep her mouth shut when she wasn’t singing. She just goes so far out of her way to say crazy stuff.

    And finally, Kendrick Lamar released an album this year? Who knew.

    • panamajackson

      You know, Tamar is talented. But I can’t say anything I’ve heard from her has been award worthy.

      • mssporadic

        Love & War (song; not album) was worthy of a R&B Grammy. That was a really good song.

  • For the record, Tamar Braxton was nominated for 3 Grammys last year (Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Performance), so these nominations are technically a step down for her. And I don’t care what nobody says … that’s one sangin heffa. Memes be damned.

    • Baemie St. Patrick

      when she’s on, she’s on. She has a beautiful voice when she uses it properly

      • I’ll always view her as Toni’s sister who couldn’t quite pass the bar. She’s just “ok” to me.

        • QuirlyGirly

          I feel you on this. I really tired to like her. I mean I can say the girl can sing but she just does nothing for me. I dont know if I just don’t like her song contents or her (TV) personality.

          • Baemie St. Patrick

            Her song content can be….eeehhh at times. I think she gave up trying to be like Beyonce but it sounds like it has matured some. I would really be a fan of Tamar if I didn’t know how trash her personality can be. She worked hard but she really has a horrible sense of entitlement.

          • I enjoy her tv personality but her singing isn’t anything extraordinary. I know a myriad of girls who can do what Tamar does on any given Sunday at church. She can sing, yes, but there’s something left to be desired every time I finish listening. Idk what it is but something is missing.

            • JamesInstagram

              Agreed. Tamar can sing, but she’s not extraordinary. Jazmine Sullivan could be playing at a Safeway, and have me ballin’ in the produce section. Tamar doesn’t take me outta my feelings.

              • Agreed. Jazmine is on another level entirely.

              • QuirlyGirly

                Man, you ain’t never lied. That forever doesn’t last too long song had me all up in my feelings. Jasmine Sullivan doesnt get the shine she rightfully deserves.

        • mssporadic

          I like Tamar’s music, but you are right. She’ll do when Toni is in bankruptcy court.

        • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

          Check out her celebration of gospel performance. She needs to give up r&b because gospel is her calling

      • mahoganylawlady

        This new album I love.

    • panamajackson

      You know, I forgot she HAD an album last year to get nominated.. So that’s my fault. I had a nagging suspicion that I f*cked that one up. Oh well. Still.

      • Honestly, it’s easy to forget as she is better known as a TV personality.

    • Kat

      She sings but sangin…no sir, not today or any day she’s in the studio.

    • miss t-lee

      She can sing, I’ll give her that. I just think all the other stuff she does makes folks just not care.

    • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

      I thought so

  • PhlyyPhree

    I was waiting for this.
    First things first, I lauuughed and laughhhed and laugggheedddd some more. Year of the Lightskints? No. Year of the Petty. I cant believe the Grammy’s nominated a diss track. My friend was just texting me about it and we’re sure that Meek is plotting a reality show about the cheesesteak shop he’s going to have to open to support his son while weeping into Nikkis plastic cheeks right now, so he’s ok, but still. It’s like the Academy collectively got together and decided “Fuck Rahmeek”.

    B. The Weeknd’s album was not great. It sounds like all of his other albums… which was great for the first mixtape. I’m over it. I want to be happy again and I’ve given up drinking until Lent. Continuing to listen to The Weeknd will allow me to do neither.

    iii. Remember that article that someone (probably you Panama) wrote about TPAB being important, but not necessarily sonically pleasing/possessive of high replay value? I feel like these Grammy noms are confirmation of just exactly how important this album was. Also, it probably confused the h e l l out of a lot of the voting committee and they figured the less they understood, the more it needed to win something.

    And if Trap Queen wins, I quit earth. Well, after I see his acceptance speech, because I love to hear him talk, however I refuse to listen to that yodeling.

    • I already quit America after seeing a Trap Queen nom. It’s like white people just listed the rap songs they were most familiar with. It’s amazing “Whip/Nae Nae” didn’t make the cut.

      • QuirlyGirly

        Im kinda surprised “Whip/Nae Nae” didn’t make the cut too. The 2520 was all over that song.

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          I think Trap Queen got the nod strictly off the accomplishment and not the artistry. I think Fetty managed to break a record or two.

          • PhlyyPhree

            Oh definitely. I remember when Macklemore won, my DJ friend broke it down for the masses about how most of the nominations are based on things like artist impact/reach and market penetration. NOT how good the music actually is, but how well they were able to get the music out there and in heavy rotation.

            • Epsilonicus

              That is why I was not surprised about Macklemore. That album was ALL over pop radio.

    • Baemie St. Patrick

      Trap Queen is like the garnish on a dish that looks edible, but not supposed to eat. There to round it out but is of no real use.

      • PhlyyPhree

        LMAO. That’s an almost appropriate analogy except those garnishes serve a purpose. They look good. Trap queen is…just awful. (Sorry, I got nothing I would debase by comparing it to Trap Queen)

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          Trap Queen was awful but….I liked it. I’ve liked worse lol

          • PhlyyPhree

            Oh…. Ok.
            I mean, I’ve caught myself saying “Hey, what’s up? Hello” a few times…. but that was it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the song in it’s entirety.

        • Pinks

          you will NOT do this to my man Fetty.

          Trap Queen is a piece of musical history and he is one of the most prolific poets of our time.

          • PhlyyPhree

            I…just…
            I’m buying you some time in the outside world with adults and other people who like nice things for Christmas. You come to VSB. You read the articles. You make insightful and witty comments. DIS AINT YEW!!!

            • Pinks

              LMFAO. I LOVE trolling people with my fake love for Fetty!!

              Folks have legit had “Come to Jesus” moments with me over this, and I love it.

              #trolltide

              • PhlyyPhree

                Please don’t scare me like that anymore. I was really worried about your life!!!

    • panamajackson

      Yeah, I wrote that. And honestly I do think they were all like, it’s so deep and depthful and deep. ITS THE GREATEST EVER.

      Now, to be real, I do think it deserves the nods and should win. The work he put into that album is amazing.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Lol. “Deep and Depthful and deep”. I’m pretty sure, somewhere, that’s what she said.

        But I agree wholeheartedly that he SHOULD get the nominations and the wins as well. Just because the album is hard to listen to doesn’t mean it isn’t an awesome piece of work.
        I don’t think anyone anywhere, can consider it a bad album. It is overwhelming and unapologetically black and all the other adjectives and descriptives that have been tied to it and it is a lot for the normal music consumer to deal with on a regular consistent basis. That’s all.

    • Yeah, this was definitely the Grammys saying f*ck Meek. Like I’m not sure how you come back from a diss track against you getting Grammy nominated. Prayer? Like Drake might have done the perfect dis record.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Pretty much. This is now a flawless victory for Aubrey. From the timing of the record, to the concert performance and now THIS??? Meek should go look up Ja Rule and see if he has any advice to offer

        • And if you would have told someone a year ago that Drake would take on Meek Mill and ended his career the way LL Cool J did to Kool Moe Dee back in the day, you would have been laughed at. Not now though…

          • mssporadic

            I wonder if Drake is gonna answer Rozay or will Lil’ Wayne do it instead.

            • PhlyyPhree

              Nah. At this point, Drake doesn’t need to answer ANYONE. Just sit back and post cryptic captions with Maya from Memphis that he took to the Peabody.

        • QuirlyGirly

          I kinda feel sorry for Meek. If Drake wins- it will be solidified in history. A grammy win for a dis song about you. That is some cold mess right there

          • There’s no coming back from that. If Meek Mill ever releases another album that gets any sort of love, I’d just hand him a Grammy off of GP.

        • mssporadic

          Ja Rule thinks he won. He can’t help Meek.

        • Pinks

          Ja Rule got a reality show. Meek can learn something from this. Speaking of, as a once-Philly girl who knows how much the city wants to put on for him, this is how I felt when I first heard his track:

          http://45.media.tumblr.com/335629665bc1a3ce83c80f58fd7e1c35/tumblr_niydisTGMd1ql5yr7o1_500.gif

          • PhlyyPhree

            That’s what I’m saying. He can get a reality show. What the show would be about??? Ioknow. I said cheesesteaks upthread because I don’t know what other enterprise he could venture into at this point.

            • Pinks

              Screaming at ni ggas as a bill collector.

              “Hello?”

              AYE YOU LIL MARK JAWN WHERE YA DECEMBER PAYMENT AT? AUDOMAR, ROLEX, MAYBACH, MY GIRL A BAD BI TCH! I GOT A CHOPPER FO YA HEAD! Will you be paying with a debit or credit card today?”

              • Siante

                absolutely done!!!!!!!!!

              • PhlyyPhree

                GO. HOME. ROGER.
                I literally just died at my seat. Thank you.

                • Pinks

                  I’m here for the people, boo.

              • Choccie

                ????

      • panamajackson

        Do we think the Grammy’s have any clue who Meek Mill is. They probably don’t even realize that “Back to BAck” was a dis record.

        • mssporadic

          Thus, further illustrating how brilliant Drake is.

        • The song got think pieced. Champ was asked to discuss this on Melissa Harris Perry. I think they know.

          • panamajackson

            We think the Grammy votes watch Melissa Harris Perry??? I think we’re giving that a lot of credit.

    • 2011k

      In reference to number B, I feel ya. I was the hugest Weeknd fan in my youth, but the more music he releases, the less I listen. I listened to HOB religiously for like 2 years. I’ve yet to hear the new album. I like my happy vibes.

      • SoloBolo

        I haven’t listened to the new album either. He was better when nobody knew who he was.

        • 2011k

          Agreed. The “man behind the mystery” thing really worked for him.

      • PhlyyPhree

        I mean, it’s all starting to sound like one run-on wail. I don’t like it when my four year old does it. I’m over him doing it also.
        Which is sad, because I want better (and different) but in a way that still sounds like the Weeknd I fell in love with….which is what he’s basically given me. In short, I can’t make up my mind, so he can’t win. Meh.

    • Choccie

      Year of the petty indeed.
      Drake showed up and showed out!

  • If Jermaine wins best rap album of the year, I’d be over the moon! I think they’ll give it to Kendrick though. Commercially, people enjoy Kendrick more than they do Jermaine.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      If Jermaine wins, it may give #teamlighskinned the 2015 best year ever nod

      • I don’t see J.Cole winning any Grammy for songs he has had a hand in producing.

    • panamajackson

      Jermaine ain’t winning nothing. Nothing he’s made is worthy of the win. Let’s just be real about that.

      • I’ll just agree to disagree on this one.

        • panamajackson

          It’s the only way.

      • i agree. i feel like he’s right there though.

  • kris b.

    You left out the “G” cuz the “G” aint in you..DJ Quik…classic. His unsung left a lot to be desired. Another topic for another day.

    But in reality, the best take away from this is that the Grammys didn’t stay completely safe. They gave the most nods (in the words of an article previously read here) to an unapologetically black rap album. One im still digging on right now. That doesn’t say a lot since these things are voted on with by the least diverse body in music politics.

    So even if he wins none or less than half, it wont be a shock because we know how these award ceremonies really work. But at least they acknowledge his effort to go against the grain. And maybe that grain of folks/works of art will get more shine because of these nods.

    If there’s anything to take away from nominations given by body of folks who less than care about the genre as a whole based on previous selections.

  • Baemie St. Patrick

    Drake really does have the midas touch.

    • QuirlyGirly

      *sings everything he touch turns to gold- aww suga

      • Baemie St. Patrick

        I have a Drake crimmus sweater ON THEE WAY

        • PhlyyPhree

          ME TOOOOO!! I was ashamed of that for a while, but eh.

          • Baemie St. Patrick

            WELL WHY?! It’s going to be a great conversation starter for white folks lol

            • PhlyyPhree

              Only because I can’t wear my 2Chainz Christmas sweater at the same time. I need more ugly sweater parties.

    • tgtaggie
  • PhlyyPhree

    Disqus…WHY WONT YOU LET ME BE GREAT?

    • QuirlyGirly

      Disqus is an evil heffer h e l l bent on eating funny, insightful or just pain good comments for her own amusement.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Bruh. Im about to throw something. All this moderation like I’m on weight watchers and sh it

  • * That Back to Back got nominated is EVERYTHING man. Philly might riot over that on, real talk.

    * Honesty, I like both Black Messiah and Beauty Behind the Madness. That said, Black Messiah requires knowledge of the history of R&B, Funk and Soul. The Weeknd, with his indie rock and Electronica tendencies doesn’t require that. If I knew someone didn’t know much about, say, Curtis Mayfield, they’d feel more comfortable listening to the Weeknd.

    * I guess this is the Grammy committee saying Sorry for that Mackelmore win. Also, there’s the fact that it works as pure music without being preachy. Rare is the live hip hop album (which TPAB mostly was) that simply just works.

    * Fetty Wap has multiple Grammy nominations. I’m not sure how to feel about that.

    * I’m pulling for D’Angelo. Especially against Earned It and that video’s many crimes against kink.

    • Baemie St. Patrick

      BHTM wasn’t bad but definitely not memorable.

    • There’s nothing the committee can do to make up for that Fish Mackrel win. Nothing.

    • QuirlyGirly

      I too want D’Angelo to win because he gave us some R&B and not some R&B hybrid mix that The Weeknd put out.

      • The thing is that I love both albums equally. They’re just in different lanes.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      D for the win and an added bonus if they can get him to perform

    • I really liked D’angelo’s album. However, I can’t say I understand 10 words in a row on it.

      • JamesInstagram

        So, I was really disappointed by Black Messiah. I don’t trust musicians with unintelligible lyrics. Like navel-gazing emo-rock, if I can’t understand you, you must be afraid I won’t like what you have to say. With D’Angelo, I felt a little betrayed. Like, “Tell me what you mean! Speak up!”

        • You can tell he’s feeling it. We’re just not sure what “it” is.

    • PhlyyPhree

      Sorry for that Macklemore win…
      You know, I forgot that happened, but you are probably right.

    • Pinks

      I didn’t know what D’Angelo was saying, but I was grooving lol

  • Kat

    After reading this I realized I don’t listen to “music” as much as I thought…oh well back to this book.

    • 2011k

      Same here. I be looking at nominee lists like, “Harpo, who dis?”

    • Janelle S

      I’m pulling for Hamilton to win Best Musical Theater, and that’s all I have. I may have just learned that The Weeknd is not Vampire Weekend in the last month, not that I have ever heard anything by either.

      • Kat

        And once again I draw a blank… I need to up my cultural awareness.

      • Yes to Hamilton winning!

  • Brass Tacks

    Big Seans best album was actually a Mixtape: Detroit

    Speaking of which…”Complex Simplicity”: Also a great name for a millinials mixtape

    Glory and its one off are both corny as h ell. Faux depth for the Hoteps.

    Jerrmih got busy on the opening to the ish that made me.

    • PhlyyPhree

      Are you…serious? About the Complex Simplicity thing?
      I hate everyone and everything and especially Panama for continuing to slander Teedra every chance he gets. Smh

      • panamajackson

        That wasn’t even Teedra slander!!! I love Complex Simplicity. But he’s right about the title lol

      • Real talk, that album is great from start to finish. Very underrated.

        • PhlyyPhree

          It IS!! Honestly, I wish that it had been better promoted because maybe then she could stop placing herself at the mercy of rappers who only keep her around for hooks. She has a great voice, but for whatever reason she just can’t seem to catch a mainstream break. Shes like Kelly…with no Beyonce to blame.

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          Definitely one of my top 5 ever

      • Brass Tacks

        Yea.

        I think a lot of faux deep albums could use the title.

        Better yet, release an anthology of albums under the name and flourish.

      • Baemie St. Patrick

        NO TEEDRA SLANDER EVAR!!!

        • PhlyyPhree

          I don’t. Other people round these parts dont show the proper respect for the young Lioness, but whatevs…

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