Kendrick Lamar Delivers An Amazing GRAMMY Performance

The night was set up to be an amazing one for Kendrick Lamar. After losing Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best New Artist to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis just two years prior, it seemed the Recording Academy was out to set things right. Kendrick was nominated for 11 awards at this year's GRAMMY awards, the second most nominations for an artist in one night since Michael Jackson. Kendrick ended up winning 5 GRAMMYs, sweeping the rap categories and winning a GRAMMY for Best Music Video via Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video. But, that wasn't the most impressive thing Kendrick did last night.

The internet was buzzing, wondering what Kendrick would do for his GRAMMY performance and he did not disappoint. He came out in chains, dressed in prison clothes, followed in a straight line by other prisoners. His band was surrounded by prison bars. The silence that ensued while he awkwardly wrapped his chains around the mic stand so he could hold the mic gave us just enough time to realize this would not be your average performance.

He began to perform "The Blacker The Berry," a song that aggressively addresses the white community but also delivers a strong message to the black community. He transitions into a fiery performance of "Alright" and then performs "Untitled 3." Kendrick has become a fantastic live performer, one that seems to save some of his most dynamic, in-your-face songs strictly for live performances; more specifically, live performances in front of a white audience.

This performance was full of tribal African imagery, African traditional dancing, and was the most powerful Kendrick performance I've ever seen. There was bravery in this performance, standing in front of a predominantly white organization and audience and using his platform to deliver this politically charged, heart-filled, black message. Between this performance and Beyoncé's "Formation" release and performance, it's clear the black community is not about to take society's treatment lying down.

All hail, King Kendrick.


58th Annual GRAMMY Predictions

The 58th Annual GRAMMY Award nominations have been announced and Kendrick Lamar leads the pack with 11 nominations, the most since Michael Jackson was nominated 12 times in 1984 (MJ won 8 that night). Hopefully, it's redemption night for Kendrick and his amazing album—To Pimp A Butterfly—wins big, but you never know with The GRAMMYs. Check out my predictions of some important categories and some notable snubs below.

(My predictions of who WILL win are in bold, My thoughts on who SHOULD win are italicized.)

Album of the Year

  • Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
  • To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  • Traveller – Chris Stapleton
  • 1989 – Taylor Swift
  • Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Record of the Year

  • "Really Love" – D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  • "Uptown Funk" – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  • "Thinking Out Loud" – Ed Sheeran
  • "Blank Space" – Taylor Swift
  • "Can't Feel My Face" – The Weeknd

Song of the Year

  • "Alright"- Kendrick Lamar
  • "Blank Space"- Taylor Swift
  • "Girl Crush"- Little Big Town
  • "See You Again"- Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
  • "Thinking Out Loud"- Ed Sheehan

Best R&B Performance

  • "If I Don't Have You" – Tamar Braxton
  • "Rise Up" – Andra Day
  • "Breathing Underwater" – Hiatus Kaiyote
  • "Planes" – Jeremih feat. J. Cole
  • "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)" – The Weeknd

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • "He Is" – Faith Evans
  • "Little Ghetto Boy" – Lalah Hathaway
  • "Let It Burn" – Jazmine Sullivan
  • "Shame" – Tyrese
  • "My Favorite Part of You" – Charlie Wilson

Best R&B Song

  • "Coffee"- Miguel
  • "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)"- The Weeknd
  • "Let It Burn"- Jazmine Sullivan
  • "Really Love"- D'Angelo & The Vanguard
  • "Shame"- Tyrese

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  • Ego Death – The Internet
  • You Should Be Here – Kehlani
  • Blood – Lianne La Havas
  • Wildheart – Miguel
  • Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Best R&B Album

  • Coming Home – Leon Bridges
  • Black Messiah – D'Angelo and The Vanguard
  • Cheers to the Fall – Andra Day
  • Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
  • Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Best Rap Performance

  • "Apparently" – J. Cole
  • "Back to Back" – Drake
  • "Trap Queen" – Fetty Wap
  • "Alright" – Kendrick Lamar
  • "Truffle Butter" – Nicki Minaj featuring Drake & Lil Wayne
  • "All Day" – Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • "One Man Can Change The World" – Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend
  • "Glory" – Common & John Legend
  • "Classic Man" – Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur
  • "These Walls" – Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat
  • "Only" – Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

Best Rap Song

  • "All Day"- Kanye West
  • "Alright"- Kendrick Lamar
  • "Energy"- Drake
  • "Glory"- Common & John Legend
  • "Trap Queen"- Fetty Wap

Best Rap Album

  • 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
  • Compton – Dr. Dre
  • If You're Reading This It's Too Late – Drake
  • To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  • The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Best Music Video

  • "LSD" – ASAP Rocky
  • "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" – The Dead Weather
  • "Alright" – Kendrick Lamar
  • "Bad Blood" – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
  • "Freedom" – Pharrell Williams


Best New Artist:
Fetty Wap

Song Of The Year:
"Hotline Bling"- Drake (apparently the submission form never got to Cash Money)

Best Rap Album:
Tetsuo & Youth- Lupe Fiasco
Dark Sky Paradise- Big Sean
RTJ2- Run The Jewels
Wale- The Album About Nothing

The GRAMMYs will air on CBS at 8/7c on February 15, 2016. Head here for the full list of nominees.







57th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees

The nominees for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards have now been announced. I can't say I'm that excited, though. As a hip-hop fan, the GRAMMY Awards have left me somewhat bitter over the past few years. The GRAMMYs have increasingly become more of a popularity contest than an indication of what artists deliver the best music. For example, Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy wasn't even nominated for Album of the Year in 2012 and Kendrick's good kid, m.A.A.d city lost for Best Rap Album to Macklemore's The Heist. It just gets harder to remain optimistic when many hip-hop and R&B artists don't get the credit they deserve after delivering amazing music every year. You can check out some of the notable category nominees below and view the full list here. The nominees for the Album of the Year award will be announced tonight and will be posted later. Enjoy.

Record Of The Year:

Iggy Azalea, “Fancy” (Feat. Charli XCX)
Sia, “Chandelier”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

Song of the Year:

Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass"
Sia, "Chandelier"
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)"
Hozier, "Take Me to Church"

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Jhené Aiko, Sail Out
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Chris Brown, X
Mali Music, Mali Music
Pharrell, G I R L

Best Rap Performance:

“3005," Childish Gambino
“0 to 100/The Catch Up,"  Drake
“Rap God," Eminem
“i," Kendrick Lamar
“All I Need Is You," Lecrae

Best Pop Vocal Album:

Coldplay, Ghost Stories
Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
Ariana Grande, My Everything
Katy Perry, Prism
Ed Sheeran, X
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour

Best Pop Solo Performance:

“All of Me” (Live Version), John Legend
“Chandelier,” Sia
“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams

Best New Artist:

Iggy Azalea
Brandy Clark
Sam Smith

Best Rock Song:

“Ain’t It Fun,” Hayley Williams & Taylor York (Paramore)
“Blue Moon,” Beck Hansen (Beck)
“Fever,” Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton & Patrick Carney (The Black Keys)
“Gimme Something Good,” Ryan Adams (Ryan Adams)
“Lazaretto,” Jack White III (Jack White)

Best Rap Album:

The New Classic – Iggy Azalea
Because the Internet – Childish Gambino
Nobody’s Smiling – Common
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 – Eminem
Oxymoron – ScHoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood – Wiz Khalifa

Best Rap Song:

“Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj
“Bound 2″ – Kanye West
“i” – Kendrick Lamar
“We Dem Boyz – Wiz Khalifa
“0 to 100/The Catch Up” – Drake

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:

“Blak Majik” – Common Featuring Jhené Aiko
“The Monster” – Eminem Featuring Rihanna
“Tuesday” – I Love Makonnen Featuring Drake
“Studio” – Schoolboy Q Featuring BJ The Chicago Kid
“Bound 2″ – Kanye West & Charlie Wilson

Best Pop/Duo Group Performance:

“Fancy” – Iggy Azalea (Feat. Charli XCX)
“A Sky Full of Stars” – Coldplay
“Say Something” – A Great Big World (Feat. Christina Aguilera)
“Bang Bang” – Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
“Dark Horse” – Katy Perry (Feat. Juicy J)

Best Music Video:

“We Exist” – Arcade Fire
“Turn Down For What” – DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon
“Chandelier” – Sia
“Happy” – Pharrell Williams
“The Golden Age” – Woodkid (Feat. Max Richter)

Best R&B Performance:

“Drunk In Love” – Beyoncé (Feat. Jay Z)
“New Flame” – Chris Brown (Feat. Usher & Rick Ross)
“It’s Your World” – Jennifer Hudson (Feat. R. Kelly)
“Like This” – Ledisi
“Good Kisser” – Usher

Best R&B Song:

“Drunk In Love” – Beyoncé (Feat. Jay Z)
“Good Kisser” – Usher
“New Flame” – Chris Brown
“Options” (Wolfjames Version) – Luke James (Feat. Rick Ross)
“The Worst” – Jhené Aiko


56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners

Well, the GRAMMYs happened last night and as usual they shook up the blogosphere and the music world with their bad decisions. I’ve struck through my original predictions and bolded the actual winners below. Kendrick got snubbed. Enjoy.

Record of the Year

"Get Lucky"- Daft Punk, Pharrell

"Radioactive"- Imagine Dragons

"Royals"- Lorde

"Locked Out Of Heaven"- Bruno Mars

"Blurred Lines"- Robin Thicke, T.I., Pharrell

Album of the Year

The Blessed Unrest- Sara Bareilles

Random Access Memories- Daft Punk

good kid, m.A.A.d city- Kendrick Lamar

The Heist- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Red- Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

"Just Give Me a Reason"- Jeff Bhasker, Pink, Nate Ruess

"Locked Out Of Heaven"- Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars

"Roar"- Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry, Henry Walter

"Royals"- Joel Little, Lorde

"Same Love"- Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert

Best New Artist

James Blake

Kendrick Lamar

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Kacey Musgraves

Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Solo Performance

"Brave"- Sara Bareilles

"Royals"- Lorde

"When I Was Your Man"- Bruno Mars

"Roar"- Katy Perry

"Mirrors"- Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

"Get Lucky"- Daft Punk, Pharrell

"Just Give Me a Reason"- Pink, Nate Ruess

"Stay"- Rihanna, Mikky Ekko

"Blurred Lines"- Robin Thicke, T.I., Pharrell

"Suit & Tie"- Justin Timberlake, Jay Z

Best Pop Vocal Album

Paradise-Lana Del Rey

Pure Heroine- Lorde

Unorthodox Jukebox- Bruno Mars

Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke

The 20/20 Experience- The Complete Experience- Justin Timberlake

Best R&B Performance

"Love And War"- Tamar Braxton

"Best Of Me"- Anthony Hamilton

"Nakamarra"- Hiatus Kaiyote, Q-Tip

"How Many Drinks?"- Miguel, Kendrick Lamar

"Something"- Snarky Puppy, Lalah Hathaway

Best R&B Song

"Best Of Me"- Anthony Hamilton, Jairus Mozee

"Love And War"- Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels, Makeba Riddick

"Only One"- PJ Morton

"Pusher Love Girl"- James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake

"Without Me"- Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels, Kyle Stewart

Best R&B Album

R&B Divas- Faith Evans

Girl On Fire- Alicia Keys

Love In The Future- John Legend

Better- Chrisette Michele

Three Kings- TGT

Best Rap Performance

"Started From The Bottom"- Drake

"Berzerk"- Eminem

"Tom Ford"- Jay Z

"Swimming Pools (Drank)"- Kendrick Lamar

"Thrift Shop"- Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Wanz

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

"Power Trip"- J. Cole, Miguel

"Part II (On The Run)"- Jay Z, Beyonce

"Holy Grail"- Jay Z, Justin Timberlake

"Now Or Never"- Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige

"Remember You"- Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd

Best Rap Song

"Fuckin’ Problems"- A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Noah Shebib

"Holy Grail"- Jay Z, The-Dream, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake, Ernest Wilson, (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic)

"New Slaves"- Frank Ocean, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Che Smith, Kanye West, Cydell Young, (Anna Adamis, Gabor Presser)

"Started From The Bottom"- W. Coleman, Drake, Noah Shebib, (Bruno Sanfilippo)

"Thrift Shop"- Macklemore, Ryan Lewis

Best Rap Album

Nothing Was The Same- Drake

Magna Carta Holy Grail- Jay Z

good kid, m.A.A.d city- Kendrick Lamar

The Heist- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Yeezus- Kanye West

Best Music Video

"Safe And Sound"- Capital Cities

"Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film"- Jay Z

"Can’t Hold Us"- Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Ray Dalton

"Suit & Tie"- Justin Timberlake, Jay Z

"I’m Shakin’"- Jack White