My GRAMMY 2019 Picks

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Music's Biggest Night is upon us and it always goes one of two ways on Grammy night: the hardest working and most worthy musician receives all of the accolades or...Beck wins. Remember when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won Best New Artist over Kendrick Lamar in 2014? Or when Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" won Record of the Year over Childish Gambino's "Redbone" in 2018? Or when Adele's 25 won Album of the Year over Beyoncé's Lemonade in 2017? Or when Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was nowhere to be seen in the Album of the Year category!?


Absolutely no disrespect to any of the artists mentioned above as I am a fan of all of them, but having a Grammy is kind of a funny thing. It's an award that we, as fans, use to argue someone's prominence. Kanye West and JAY Z both have 21 awards a piece and that can solidify the fact that they're two of the greatest rappers of all time. However, Nas, Tupac, and The Notorious B.I.G. all have none and are consistently name-dropped in people's Top 5.


This trend happens in all genres. In the pop realm, Beyoncé has 22 and Adele has 15 Grammys, but pop stars Katy Perry is 0 for 13 and Nicki Minaj is 0 for 10. It's eye opening to see iconic megastars like them get no recognition. Rock is also a major genre that's celebrated on Grammy night and the most decorated band is U2 with 22 awards. On the other hand, household names such as Queen, The Who, and Guns N' Roses all have goose eggs.


Whatever happens on Music's Biggest Night, it'll still be an epic live showcase and celebration of all genres. I have made my picks for categories I have my eye on. One pick for who should win and who will win.

Record of the Year

Nominees:

  • "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

  • "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile

  • "This Is America" by Childish Gambino

  • "God's Plan" by Drake

  • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

  • "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

  • "Rockstar" by Post Malone (Feat. 21 Savage)

  • "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Who should win: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover & Ludwig Göransson, producers; Derek "MixedByAli" Ali, Riley Mackin & Shaan Singh, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer)


Who will win: "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (Invincible, JWhiteDidIt, Craig Kallman & Tainy, producers; Leslie Brathwaite & Evan LaRay, engineers/mixers; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer)


Right off the bat, this category was very tough to pick a "should" and a "will". No doubt, Donald Glover deserves a for "This Is America", but specifically for Record of the Year. The production is amazing. The change-ups with the beat, the rapping mixed with his own melodies, and the countless ad-libs from some of today's biggest rap stars could have been a disaster, but Gambino made it work. Cardi, on the other hand, might be seen as a dark horse, but I think she could get away with the inescapable "I Like It" that wasn't just big in the Unites States, but it was a hit internationally. This award has typically gone to the year's smash hit, but "Shallow" also has a good chance.

Album of the Year

Nominees:

  • Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B

  • By The Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile

  • Scorpion by Drake

  • H.E.R. by H.E.R.

  • Beerbongs & Bentleys by Post Malone

  • Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe

  • Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves

  • Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By by Various Artists

Who should win: Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By by Various Artists


Who will win: Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves


The Black Panther album was my number one pick for Best Albums of 2018, and for good reason. It's a compilation of hip-hop and R&B you won't be able to find anywhere else, all curated by Kendrick Lamar. The best part? Every track is perfect. After getting robbed by Bruno Mars and being nominated in this category three times before, it needs to be K-Dot's turn already. Kacey Musgraves, however, can easily steal the show and take home the biggest award of the night. Golden Hour was placed first on many year-end lists of 2018 (number 8 on mine), so don't be surprised if she wins this one.

Song of the Year

Nominees:

  • "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

  • "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai

  • "God's Plan" by Drake

  • "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

  • "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile

  • "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

  • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

  • "This Is America" by Childish Gambino

Who should win: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover, Ludwig Göransson & Jeffrey Lamar Williams, songwriters)


Who will win: "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters)


Gambino's "This Is America" deserves all the accolades and recognition it can get (as it was my number one pick for 50 Best Songs of 2018), but I'm not holding my breath for this category. "Shallow" is a sensation that was part of one of the climaxes in A Star Is Born, but also fared well on the Billboard Hot 100 and put Bradley Cooper on the map as a singer.

Best New Artist

Nominees:

  • Chloe x Halle

  • Luke Combs

  • Greta Van Fleet

  • H.E.R.

  • Dua Lipa

  • Margo Price

  • Bebe Rexha

  • Jorja Smith

Who should win: H.E.R.


Who will win: Dua Lipa


It's astonishing to see that this category has eight nominees, six of which are female, and three of those female acts of which are R&B. None of the nominees blew up like Lipa did and I wouldn't mind seeing her receive the award, but H.E.R. is a phenomenal talent that shouldn't be overlooked. Maybe H.E.R. being nominated in the Album of the Year category will give her some pull.

Best Pop Solo Performance

Nominees:

  • "Colors" by Beck

  • "Havana (Live)" by Camila Cabello

  • "God is a woman" by Ariana Grande

  • "Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?)" by Lady Gaga

  • "Better Now" by Post Malone

Who should win: "God is a woman" by Ariana Grande


Who will win: "Joanne" by Lady Gaga


Gaga has had a whirlwind of success in 2018, which could easily help her out in this category. Her performance in "Joanne" is also one of her best in recent years, so it's be well deserved, however, I'm rooting for Grande to take this one. "God is a woman" was a better song overall, so hopefully she can finally win her first Grammy.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Nominees:

  • "Fall In Line" by Christina Aguilera (Feat. Demi Lovato)

  • "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Backstreet Boys

  • "'S Wonderful" by Tony Bennett & Diana Krall

  • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

  • "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 (Feat. Cardi B)

  • "Say Something" by Justin Timberlake (Feat. Chris Stapleton)

  • "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Who should win: "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey


Who will win: "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper


There's a really good chance that "Shallow" could sweep the Grammys since it's one of the best songs to have been crafted last year, but "The Middle" was carefully perfected by Zedd and I want him to be recognized for it. After going through a dozen other female solo artists, Zedd tapped Morris for the final version, got Grey on board to co-produce, and gave us one of the catchiest songs of 2018.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Nominees:

  • Camila by Camila Cabello

  • Meaning of Life by Kelly Clarkson

  • sweetener by Ariana Grande

  • Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes

  • Beautiful Trauma by P!nk

  • Repuatation by Taylor Swift

Who should win: sweetener by Ariana Grande


Who will win: Reputation by Taylor Swift


This is the only category that Swift is nominated in this year and Grammy voters love her, so of course she's going to win this one. Grande deserves it much more with sweetener being her best work to date. In fact, anyone else's album nominated in this category is more deserving.


Best Dance Recording

Nominees:

"Northern Soul" by Above & Beyond (Feat. Richard Bedford)

"Ultimatum" by Disclosure (Feat. Fatoumata Diawara)

"Losing It" by FISHER

"Electricity" by Sily City & Dua Lipa

"Ghost Voices" by Virtual Self


Who should win:


Who will win:

Best R&B Performance

Nominees:

  • "Long As I Live" by Toni Braxton

  • "SUMMER" by The Carters

  • "Y O Y" by Lalah Hathaway

  • "Best Part" by H.E.R. (Feat. Daniel Caesar)

  • "First Began" by PJ Morton

Who should win: "Best Part" by H.E.R. (Feat. Daniel Caesar)


Who will win: "SUMMER" by The Carters


I'm only thinking The Carters will win this one based off of their star power, but when it comes to the performance aspect of the song, H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar are a much better pick. "SUMMER" is an alright track, but "Best Part" was a huge hit at weddings and went #1 on the Billboard Adult R&B charts.

Best R&B Song

Nominees:

  • "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai

  • "Come Through and Chill" by Miguel (Feat. J. Cole & Salaam Remi)

  • "Feels Like Summer" by Childish Gambino

  • "Focus" by H.E.R.

  • "Long As I Live" by Toni Braxton

Who should win: "Feels Like Summer" by Childish Gambino


Who will win: "Focus" by H.E.R.


This is the one category I feel that H.E.R. will actually win. The competition is fierce, but since this is a songwriting award, she has very good odds. On the other hand, I like Gambino for making a silky R&B song about global warming that no one saw coming, but Ella Mai could also see a win here since "Boo'd Up" is up for Song of the Year.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Nominees:

  • EVERYTHING IS LOVE by The Carters

  • The Kids Are Alright by Chloe x Halle

  • Chris Dave and the Drumhedz by Chris Dave and the Drumhedz

  • War & Leisure by Miguel

  • Ventriloquism by Meshell Ndegeocello

Who should win: EVERYTHING IS LOVE by The Carters


Who will win: War & Leisure by Miguel


Though I mentioned that "SUMMER" isn't The Carters' best track off of their joint album (in fact, it's my least favorite), the rest of the album is solid and I would love to see Bey and Jay win an award together again. However, Miguel's War & Leisure was well-received by critics and has a slightly better chance at winning in this category.

Best Rap Performance

Nominees:

  • "Be Careful" by Cardi B

  • "Nice For What" by Drake

  • "King's Dead" by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake

  • "Bubblin" by Anderson .Paak

  • "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee

Who should win: "King's Dead" by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake


Who will win: "King's Dead" by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake


Kendrick Lamar has really good luck in this category and has won three out of four times (the most in Grammy history to date). Expect him to take the win again with "King's Dead", which isn't just another great performance from K-Dot, but from the other featured artists on the track. "SICKO MODE" does make me a little bit nervous, though.

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Nominees:

  • "Like I Do" by Christina Aguilera (Feat. GoldLink)

  • "Pretty Little Fears" by 6lack (Feat. J. Cole)

  • "This Is America" by Chilidish Gambino

  • "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

  • "Rockstar" by Post Malone (Feat. 21 Savage)

Who should win: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino


Who will win: "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA


"All The Stars" is an amazing song and it's obvious that Lamar and SZA have chemistry when they team up, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Kendrick get his third gramophone in this category and SZA can finally get her first. However, Gambino is more deserving here since he's the only nominee to rap and sing on one song with no featured artist. "This Is America" is also a perfect performance from Donald Glover.

Best Rap Song

Nominees:

  • "God's Plan" by Drake

  • "King's Dead" by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake

  • "Lucky You" by Eminem (Feat. Joyner Lucas)

  • "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee

  • "Win" by Jay Rock

Who should win: "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee (Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young, songwriters)


Who will win: "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee (Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young, songwriters)


While "King's Dead" is a great rap performance song and still has a shot, "SICKO MODE" is better overall. The production value alone deserves to be recognized. Three distinct beat changes and solid verses from both Travis Scott and Drake made for one of the most overplayed songs of 2018. That merits a Grammy, right?

Best Rap Album

Nominees:

  • Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B

  • Swimming by Mac Miller

  • Victory Lap by Nipsey Hussle

  • DAYTONA by Pusha T

  • ASTROWORLD by Travis Scott

Who should win: DAYTONA by Pusha T


Who will win: Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B / Swimming by Mac Miller


Being in the game for over two decades, Pusha T finally delivered his best album with DAYTONA and absolutely deserves to win this category, but he won't. ASTROWORLD is also a threat, but not really. With Cardi B's debut being nominated in the Album of the Year category, she has a very good shot at winning this category. At the same time, Grammy voters love giving out posthumous awards to honor nominees that have unfortunately passed away, so it could also lean in Mac Miller's favor.

Best Country Album

Nominees:

  • Unapologetically by Kelsea Ballerini

  • Port Saint Joe by Brothers Osborne

  • Girl Going Nowhere by Ashley McBryde

  • Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves

  • From A Room: Volume 2 by Chris Stapleton

Who should win: Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves


Who will win: Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves


KACEY MUSGRAVES HAD ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR.

Best Comedy Album

Nominees:

  • Annihilation by Patton Oswalt

  • Equanimity & The Bird Revelation by Dave Chappelle

  • Noble Ape by Jim Gaffican

  • Standup For Drummers by Fred Armisen

  • Tamborine by Chris Rock

Who should win: Tamborine by Chris Rock


Who will win: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation by Dave Chappelle


The "should" and "will" here are actually interchangeable and I wouldn't mind either of these men winning. Rock's Tamborine was better received and he's three for three in this category (his last win in 2006), whereas Chappelle won his first and only Grammy just last year, so there's a good chance he continues his streak.

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

Nominees:

  • Call Me By Your Name by Various Artists

  • Deadpool 2 by Various Artists

  • The Greatest Showman by Hugh Jackman & Various Artists

  • Lady Bird by Various Artists

  • Stranger Things by Various Artists

Who should win: The Greatest Showman by Hugh Jackman & Various Artists (Alex Lacamoire, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Greg Wells, compilation producers)


Who will win: The Greatest Showman by Hugh Jackman & Various Artists (Alex Lacamoire, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Greg Wells, compilation producers)


How Black Panther didn't make the cut in this category is pretty confusing since it was all original content. Nevertheless, the music from The Greatest Showman was surprisingly fantastic and nearly every song on the soundtrack could've been regular Top 40 hits. Count it in for the win.

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Nominees:

  • Black Panther (Ludwig Göransson, composer)

  • Blade Runner 2049 (Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer, composers)

  • Coco (Michael Giacchino, composer)

  • The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat, composer)

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams, composer)

Who should win: Black Panther (Ludwig Göransson, composer)


Who will win: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams, composer)


I just wanted to give Ludwig another shout out. Honestly, though, the Black Panther score is perfection! However, Williams always has the edge in this category, who's 11 for 32 here.

Best Song Written for Visual Media

Nominees:

  • "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA from Black Panther

  • "Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens from Call Me By Your Name

  • "Remember Me" by Miguel (Feat. Natalia Lafourcade) from Coco

  • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born

  • "This Is Me" by Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble from The Greatest Showman

Who should win: "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA from Black Panther (Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Alexander William Shuckburgh, Mark Anthony Spears & Anthony Tiffith, songwriters)


Who will win: "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters)


"All The Stars" made me feel something when the end credits rolled during Black Panther, but "Shallow" had a much bigger impact in A Star Is Born as it was the song performed when the star was being born.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

Nominees:

  • Boi-1da

  • Larry Klein

  • Linda Perry

  • Kanye West

  • Pharrell Williams

Who should win: Kanye West


Who will win: Pharrell Williams


Surprisingly, this is Kanye West's first time ever being nominated in this category, so you know I'm already rooting for him. Not just as a stan, but the fact that he pumped out five albums in five weeks is a major accomplishment. Sure, not all of them were classics, but that's incredible. However, Pharrell is the "safer" choice, but he did great work for The Carters, Justin Timberlake, Migos, and Ariana Grande.

Best Music Video

Nominees:

  • "APESHIT" by The Carters

  • "This Is America" by Childish Gambino

  • "I'm Not Racist" by Joyner Lucas

  • "PYNK" by Janelle Monáe

  • "MUMBO JUMBO" by Tierra Whack

Who should win: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino (Hiro Murai, video director; Ibra Ake, Jason Cole & Fam Rothstein, video producers)


Who will win: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino (Hiro Murai, video director; Ibra Ake, Jason Cole & Fam Rothstein, video producers)


"THIS IS AMERICA" IS THE BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2018.

#Grammys #Grammys2019 #LadyGaga #ChildishGambino #KendrickLamar #Beyonce #JAYZ #KanyeWest #CardiB #TravisScott #Drake #HER #EllaMai #KaceyMusgraves #DuaLipa

© Justin Recio 2019