Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Beyoncé & Kanye West, “Ego”
Keri Hilson, Kanye West & Ne-Yo, “Knock You Down”
Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West, “Run This Town”
The Lonely Island & T-Pain, “I’m on a Boat”
T.I. & Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone”
Looking at these nominees, no song stands out as the sole frontrunner. Among the ten acts mentioned, six of them (Beyoncé, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rihanna, T.I. And Justin Timberlake) have triumphed here in previous years thereby making it less of a necessity to honor them. Also, the three songs with the most commercial success (“Knock You Down,” “Run This Town,” and “Dead and Gone”) are almost equal to each other in that regard.
As the artist with the most nominations going in, Beyoncé could potentially sweep resulting in a default win for “Ego”. As pleased as I would be if it happened, I’m not confident it will.
You can never count out songs that receive multiple mentions within a given field. This bodes well for “Run This Town” and “Dead and Gone” which are also up for Rap Song.
Even though “I’m on a Boat” can be viewed as a novelty record, several of them have won GRAMMYs in the past.
Long story short, any of these challengers could be named the winner. Since Keri Hilson is likely to be passed over in Best New Artist, this is the only other place to recognize the breakout year that she had. With Kanye and Ne-Yo at her side, “Knock You Down” should be able to pull it off.
Winner: Keri Hilson, Kanye West & Ne-Yo, “Knock You Down”
Runner-Up: Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West, “Run This Town”
Best Rap Solo Performance
Winner: Jay-Z, “D.O.A.” (Death of Auto-Tune)
Runner-Up: Drake, “Best I Ever Had”
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
Winner: Kid Cudi, Kanye West & Common, “Make Her Say”
Runner-Up: Kanye West & Young Jeezy, “Amazing”
Best Rap Song
Winner: “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune),” Shawn Carter & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, Paul Leka, Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky, songwriters) (Jay-Z)
Runner-Up: “Dead and Gone,” Clifford Harris, R. Tadross & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (T.I. & Justin Timberlake)
Best Rap Album
Winner: Eminem, Relapse
Runner-Up: Mos Def, The Ecstatic