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 fourth 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 Solo Performance
Past five winners: T.I. (“What You Know”); Kanye West (“Gold Digger”); Jay-Z (“99 Problems”); Missy Elliott/Eminem (“Work It”/“Lose Yourself”)
“The People,” Common
“I Get Money,” 50 Cent
“Show Me What You Got,” Jay-Z
“Big Things Poppin’ (Do It),” T.I.
“Stronger,” Kanye West
Who’s Missing: M.I.A. She put out her highly-anticipated and critically-adored sophomore album in 2007 – titled Kala – that features a wide array of great rap songs. Notice that this award used to be two categories: Best Female Rap Performance and Best Male Rap Performance. Since it became Best Rap Solo Performance in 2004, a female rapper has yet to win. M.I.A. may have the best chance to do so in the next decade.
Who Shouldn’t Be There: Jay-Z. He should be punished for his ridiculous publicity circus surrounding “Show Me What You Got.” Remember how he debuted the single at the 2007 Super Bowl in a video featuring Nascar drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick? As a result, he alienated his normal fan base (not racecar enthusiasts) and sent thousands of Nascar fans to Best Buy demanding the new Dale Earnhardt CD. Oh yeah, the song sucks too.
Who Should Win: This is a lyrics award, so for irony’s sake I give it to T.I. He says the following in “Big Things”:
I will slang cocaine, no such thing as a jail,
Say you need a hundred squares? It just came off the scale.
Note that he faces ten years in the slammer for 07′ drug/weapon charges.
Who Will Win: Kanye West. “Stronger” is strong enough a track to forgive his lyric about a “black Kate Moss.”