Grammys 2018: Our predictions

January 28, 2018

The 2018 Grammys are almost here.

This year, JAY-Z leads the pack with eight (8) nominations, including nominations for album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best rap album.

Kendrick Lamar follows with seven (7) nominations, while Bruno Mars — the third most-nominated artist — follows with six (6). SZA is the most-nominated female artist with five (5) nominations; Khalid, Childish Gambino and producer No I.D. also scored five (5) nominations.

Check out the complete list of 2018 Grammy nominees — with our predictions — below.

The Grammys air live on CBS (and CityTV in Canada) from Madison Square Garden in New York City tonight (Jan. 28) at 4:30 p.m. PT or 7:30 p.m. ET. (Our predictions are bolded.)

Album of the Year
  • Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love!
  • JAY-Z: 4:44
  • Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.
  • Lorde: Melodrama
  • Bruno Mars: 24K Magic

Although JAY-Z claimed the most nominations of anyone this year — with eight (8) nods — it doesn't necessarily mean he'll take home the Grammys' top honour. Kendrick Lamar, who had the most important and critically acclaimed album of 2017 with DAMN., makes the strongest case. After previous defeats in recent years, a Kendrick victory would nicely cap a redemption story. But with Lorde being a Grammy favourite and Childish Gambino's record in the running, it could be an interesting evening. However, when confused with the nominations, always choose Bruno Mars. He has won many Grammys before, so he'll probably take it with his lacklustre, 24K Magic record.

Record of the Year
  • Childish Gambino: "Redbone"
  • Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee: "Despacito (featuring Justin Bieber)"
  • JAY-Z: "The Story of O.J."
  • Kendrick Lamar: "HUMBLE."
  • Bruno Mars: "24K Magic"

It seems pretty conceivable that Grammy voters would choose Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" with Justin Bieber for Record of the Year, however, the track that we believe will take the honour in a surprise win will be the "stake woke" anthem: "HUMBLE." It's hugely recognizable with its barbs of piano, and it reigned-in a Lamar's biggest hits to date. If Lamar doesn't get this, I'll be boycotting future Grammys.

Song of the Year
  • Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee: "Despacito (featuring Justin Bieber)"
  • JAY-Z: "4:44"
  • Julia Michaels: "Issues"
  • Logic: "1-800-273-8255 (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid)"
  • Bruno Mars: "That's What I Like"

The numbers add up for Logic's "1-800-273-8255," however, I feel there might be some competition from JAY-Z's "4:44." Logic's track combines the nerdcore rapper with other two artists under 30: Alessia Cara, the voice behind 2015's sleeper hit "Here," and Khalid, the dude behind "Young, Dumb & Broke." The answer to Logic's lyrics: "Who can relate? Woo!" is young people as caricatured by Grammy voters.

JAY-Z's "4:44," however, might win. Although it would be kind of weird if he won a Big Four award after Lemonade lost out last year. The track is still significant considering it was framed as his stirring apology to Beyoncé.

Best New Artist
  • Alessia Cara
  • Khalid
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Julia Michaels
  • SZA

Yes, Chance the Rapper did take home Best New Artist last year, but before that, he did take the time to craft a Grammy ad. Alessia Cara, the artist behind hits like: "Stay" with Zedd, and her masterful self-esteem hit, "Scars to Your Beautiful," was a major force on YouTube before she released her debut record. Although the debut record didn't capture her essence the best, she did keep up some relevance by singling on Oscar-nominated Moana and various stints on huge hits in the last two or so years.

(When the Grammys announced Alessia Cara's Best New Artist nomination, many took to Twitter to express their dismay — considering she's been a New Artist for many years now.)

Best Rap Album
  • Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.
  • JAY-Z: 4:44
  • Migos: Culture
  • Rapsody: Lailda's Wisdom
  • Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy

For the first time (so far!), this one seems easy: Kendrick Lamar easily had the best and biggest rap album of the year. DAMN. is relevant today, so if Grammy voters somehow fail to see that, I would be shaken. I'd place my bets on DAMN. if I were you.

Best Alternative Music Album
  • Arcade Fire: Everything Now
  • Gorillaz: Humanz
  • LCD Soundsystem: American Dream
  • Father John Misty: Pure Comedy
  • The National: Sleep Well Beast
Best Rock Album
  • Mastodon: Emperor of Sand
  • Metallica: Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
  • Nothing More: The Stories We Tell Ourselves
  • Queens of the Stone Age: Villains
  • The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding 
Best Urban Contemporary Album
  • 6LACK: Free 6LACK
  • Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love!
  • Khalid: American Teen
  • SZA: CTRL
  • The Weeknd: Starboy
Best Pop Vocal Album
  • Coldplay: Kaleidoscope EP
  • Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life
  • Imagine Dragons: Evolve
  • Kesha: Rainbow
  • Lady Gaga: Joanne
  • Ed Sheeran: ÷
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
  • Calvin Harris
  • Greg Kurstin
  • Blake Mills
  • No I.D.
  • The Stereotypes
Best Music Video
  • Beck: "Up All Night"
  • Jain: "Makeba"
  • JAY-Z: "The Story of O.J."
  • Kendrick Lamar: "HUMBLE."
  • Logic: "1-800-273-8255 (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid)"

With files from Pitchfork

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