JAY-Z & Kendrick Lamar Lead Hip-Hop & R&B-Heavy Influenced 2018 Grammy Nominations

Hip-Hop is finally being mostly embraced by The Grammys.  As the nominations for the 60th annual awards show were announced early Tuesday morning and arguably two of the greatest emcees alive, JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar lead the way.  JAY with eight and Kendrick with seven nominations.

Having a long history of not being fully embraced by the Recording Academy, for the annual Grammys show, whether it be the boycott by The Fresh Prince, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff  in the late 80’s or most of the rap portion of the awards not being aired during the TV telecast or not always getting the right people nominated, this shows the Grammy committee may finally realize why Hip-Hop and R&B are currently the top genres in all of music.  As Bruno Mars, who’s a cross between Pop and R&B and newer R&B stalwart and Lamar’s TDE labelmate, SZA, have the third and fourth most nominations with six and five.  SZA also being the most nominated female for 2018.

Very talented singer/songwriter Andra Day revealed The Big 4 categories of Album of the Year, Record and Song of the Year and Best New Artist, during the live broadcast of CBS This Morning, while the Recording Academy, announced the rest of the nominees shortly thereafter.  JAY, Lamar and Mars all being nominated for three of those categories and SZA for the latter.  This truly shows how far Hip-Hop/Rap has come as a genre to have not only one, but two emcees nominated for three of The Big 4 categories of The Grammys.

That they’re arguably two of the greatest emcees alive, makes it that much sweeter too and I’m sure even sweeter for JAY, whose new chart-topping and mostly critically-acclaimed 13th solo album, 4:44, helped him be the most nominated artist for the upcoming Grammys, almost exactly a year after his wife, Beyoncé’s latest own mostly critically-acclaimed and chart-topping album, LEMONADE, helped her be the most Grammy-nominated artist for the, than upcoming 2017 Grammys.

JAY and Lamar’s albums, 4:44 and DAMN., not only being nominated for Rap Album of the Year, but Album of the Year, were actually right and very well deserved too.  Now whether either actually wins in any of those Big 4 categories remains to be seen and would be a true win for Hip-Hop, if either did.  It’s a truly great moment for the culture that both are even nominated in such big categories too though.  Neither ever winning in either category, this is the first time ever that the more veteran emcee, JAY, has even got nominated in any of those big categories.

It should also be noted that homegrown Chicago product and legendary producer, No I.D., who produced all of 4:44 and worked a lot with two of the most nominated labels, Roc Nation and Def Jam Recordings, was also nominated for five Grammys.  Also including SZA, 4 of the 5 nominees in the Best New Artist category have Hip-Hop or R&B ties, with Alessia Cara, Khalid and Lil Uzi Vert, being them.

You can see whether either JAY or Kendrick wins in any of those Big 4 categories they’re nominated for, when The Grammys air live on CBS on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 from the world-famous, Madison Square Garden in JAY’s hometown of New York City.

A partial list of those nominees can be seen below and the full list here.

Album of the Year

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

JAY-Z – 4:44

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Lorde – Melodrama

Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

Record of the Year

Childish Gambino – Redbone

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber – Despacito

JAY-Z – The Story Of O.J.

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.

Song of the Year

Despacito – Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber)

4:44 – Shawn Carter and Dion Wilson (JAY-Z)

Issues – Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels and Justin Drew Santer (Julia Michaels)

1-800-273-8255 – Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson (Logic feat. 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 (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist

  • Alessia Cara
  • Khalid
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Julia Michaels
  • SZA


Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft

Kesha – Praying 

Lady Gaga – Million Reasons
P!nk – What About Us
Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber – Despacito
Imagine Dragons – Thunder
Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still
Zedd & Alessia Cara – Stay

Best Pop Vocal Album

Coldplay – Kaleidoscope EP
Lana Del Ray – Lust For Life
Imagine Dragons – Evolve
Kesha – Rainbow
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Ed Sheeran – ÷ (Divide)

Best Dance Recording 

Bonobo feat. Innov Gnawa – Bambro Koyo Ganda
Camelphat & Elderbrook – Cola
Gorillaz feat. DRAM – Andromeda
LCD Soundsystem – Tonite
Odesza feat. WYNNE & Mansionair – Line Of Sight

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Bonobo – Migration
3-D The Catalogue – Kraftwerk
Mura Masa – Mura Masa
Odesza – A Moment Apart
Sylvan Esso – What Now

Best Rock Performance
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Chris Cornell – The Promise
Foo Fighters – Run
Kaleo – No Good
Nothing More – Go To War

Best R&B Performance
Daniel Caesar feat. Kali Uchis – Get You
Kehlani – Distraction
Ledisi – High
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
SZA – The Weekend

Best Traditional R&B Performance
The Baylor Project – Laugh And Move On
Childish Gambino – Redbone
Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Hamiltones – What I’m Feelin’
Ledisi – All The Way
Mali Music – Still

Best R&B Song
PJ Morton – First Began
Khalid – Location
Childish Gambino – Redbone
SZA – Supermodel
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like

Best Urban Contemporary Album
6LACK – Free 6LACK
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
Khalid – American Teen
SZA – Ctrl
The Weeknd – Starboy

Best R&B Album
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Ledisi – Let Love Rule
Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
PJ Morton – Gumbo
Musiq Soulchild – Feel The Real

Best Rap Performance
Big Sean – Bounce Back
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
JAY-Z – 4:44
Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.
Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert – Bad And Boujee

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Goldlink feat. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy – Crew
JAY-Z feat. Beyoncé – Family Feud
Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna – LOYALTY.
SZA feat. Travis Scott – Love Galore

Best Rap Song
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
Danger Mouse feat. Run The Jewels & Big Boi – Chase Me
Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.
Rapsody – Sassy
JAY-Z – The Story Of O.J.

Best Rap Album
JAY-Z – 4:44
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Migos – Culture
Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Baby Driver – (Various Artists)
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 – (Various Artists)
Hidden Figures: The Album – (Various Artists)
La La Land – (Various Artists)
Moana: The Songs – (Various Artists)

Best Song Written For Visual Media
Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone – City Of Stars
Auli’i Cravalho – How Far I’ll Go
ZAYN & Taylor Swift – I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
Sia – Never Give Up
Andra Day feat. Common – Stand Up For Something

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 feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255