Between last-minute album releases, Spotify Wrapped and Mariah Carey’s voice heard in every retail store in the world, the end of the year is an exciting time for music. That is especially true, considering the official list of nominees for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards were released on Nov. 8.
Fan bases and music heads alike were reminded of the love-hate relationship they have with the Grammy’s, as there were a mix of obvious and controversial picks on this year’s list.
The Record of The Year category was filled with industry giants including SZA’s “Kill Bill,” Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire,” Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” and Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For.” However, two names on this list came as a pleasant surprise to many passionate fans.
At just 8.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Victoria Monét receives a nomination for her performance on “On My Mama.” Boygenius, a group that arrived on the music scene in 2018 and only has half of Monét’s monthly listeners, was nominated for their record “Not Strong Enough.”
While it would be gratifying to see either of these underdogs achieve an upset, the award will likely go to Swift or SZA, whose tracks boast over 1.2 billion streams.
Luckily, Boygenius will get a number of other chances to take home an award. With a total of seven nominations, the Philadelphia-based band racked up more nominations than Swift , pleasing many fans.
The Best New Artist category is also competitive, as nominees have experienced incredible commercial success this year. Most notably, Bronx rapper Ice Spice received a whopping four nominations, including Best New Artist. Other nominees include Victoria Monét, Coco Jones, and Noah Kahan. Given her virality, Ice Spice remains the front-runner.
The Best Rap Song category is highly controversial due to its unremarkable lineup. The nominations include “Attention” by Doja Cat, “Barbie World” by Ice Spice, “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert, “Rich Flex” by Drake and 21 Savage and “SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS” by Killer Mike, featuring Andre 3000.
On a numbers-basis alone, it’s clear that artists Gunna and Travis Scott were snubbed from a nomination in that category; Gunna’s “fukumean” and Scott’s “Meltdown” were two of the biggest hip-hop tracks of the year.
Other notable exclusions include releases from Lil Yachty, Larry June, Conway the Machine, Boldly James, Black Thought and a personal favorite, JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown’s collaborative LP “Scaring the Hoes.”
While other categories remain highly competitive, Killer Mike and Andre 3000 against Ice Spice and Doja Cat’s mediocre cash-grab tracks is analogous to LeBron playing with middle schoolers.
However, given the Grammy’s history of arbitrary and controversial picks, even middle schoolers could win. Let’s hope they don’t.