The 60th Annual Grammy Awards are just around the corner — literally, they’re this Sunday (Jan. 28) — and as always, anticipation is high to see who wins the infamous Big Four Grammy categories. The Big Four — comprised of Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist — are strewn throughout the night to keep viewers’ interest, and are always the source of great debate. Below, I’ve broken down each of the four categories by who will most likely win, and who should actually win.
Record Of The Year
“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story Of O.J.” — Jay-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars
Who Will Win: “Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
Who Should Win: “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
With a host of religious undertones, shots at rap as a hierarchy, and a booming 808 bass line, “HUMBLE.” gave Kendrick his first Hot 100 No. 1 as the lead artist and only solidified his iconic place in rap.
Album Of The Year
“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
4:44 — Jay-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
24K Magic — Bruno Mars
Who Will Win: Melodrama — Lorde
Who Should Win: DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
I love Melodrama, and “Green Light” is a testament to Lorde’s complex songwriting capabilities. That being said, DAMN. was able to crossover from rap stations to Hot 100 radio, and uses its, sometimes, chaotic backing beats and lyrical dexterity to reflect the current state of society — and that can’t be overlooked.
Song Of The Year
“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Who Will Win: “That’s What I Like”
Who Should Win: “Despacito”
I’ll concede “That’s What I Like” is a jam, and I’m guilty of singing along while fantasizing I have the same dancing prowess of Bruno Mars. But, “Despacito” was inescapable from the moment it was released, and is the first predominantly Spanish/Latin track to make No. 1 on the Hot 100 since “Macarena” in 1996.
Best New Artist
Lil Uzi Vert
Who Will Win: Alessia Cara
Who Should Win: SZA
Alessia Cara’s hit single and multiple features make her tough contender, but SZA is no pushover. Maybe I’m slightly biased because she was raised in Maplewood, NJ, but musically, SZA has pushed the bounds of R&B — with tinges of jazz, pop and hip hop — and herself, with lyrical vulnerability as she examines anxiety, sexuality and insecurity.