Why should you care about the Grammy Awards? Very valid question. But let’s face it: as the Writer’s Strike threatens to shut down more and more red carpet events, the 50th Annual Grammies may be the only constant in this year’s lagging awards season. In that light, the following is the second installment in my three-week countdown to February 10. Read below for my picks and pans in one of 2008’s many Grammy categories.
The award: Best Rap Song
Past four winners: Ludacris (“Money Maker”); Kanye West (“Diamonds”); Kanye West (“Jesus Walks”); Eminem (“Lose Yourself”)
“Ayo Technology,” 50 Cent featuring Justin Timberlake
“Big Things Poppin’ (Do It),” T.I.
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” Kanye West
“Crank That (Soulja Boy),” Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
“Good Life,” Kanye West featuring T-Pain
Who’s Missing: Fabolous and Ne-Yo’s collaboration on “Make Me Better” deserves mention here. And “I Tried,” the comeback track from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, is on par with “Tha Crossroads,” their Grammy-winning track from all the way back in 1996.
Who Shouldn’t Be There: “Ayo Technology” should be replaced with 50’s “I Get Money,” a much better track. And nominating Soulja Boy only encourages him.
Who Should Win: Kanye West, but for neither of the songs on this list. His “Stronger” is a superior track to both “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Good Life.”
Who Will Win: Kanye West. In each of the last three years, the best rap song came from the best rap album—and two of those times it was Kanye West. So in this category, it’s Kanye versus Kanye. My money’s on “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”—although Michael Jackson gets a Grammy if “Good Life” wins, as Kanye samples Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” on the track.