Eminem is expected to dominate the rap field at this year's Grammy Awards, winning in four of the five rap categories. He will almost certainly take Best Rap Album for the fifth time. That's more than any other artist in the history of the category. (Kanye West is second, with three wins.)
While Eminem leads the pack, the races in the rap field are highly competitive. Four of the nominees for Best Rap Album entered The Billboard 200 at #1. Likewise, four of the contenders for Best Rap Song topped the Hot 100.
Three of this year's Record of the Year finalists, "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna, "Empire State Of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys and "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, will also compete against each other for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Assuming Eminem makes a clean sweep of the rap awards, "Empire State Of Mind" could wind up winning nothing. Last year, "Run This Town," the first single from Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3, won two Grammys (Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration). It was a big hit, but not nearly as big as "Empire State Of Mind." It also isn't nearly as much of a classic. Timing, as they say, is everything.
Eminem and B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars are both set to perform on the Grammy telecast.
Let's take a closer look at the nominations in the rap field.
Best Rap Album
Best Rap Song
The nominees: the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys hit "Empire State Of Mind" (Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Angela Hunte, Jane't "Jnay" Swell-Ulepic and Alexander Shuckburgh), the Eminem featuring Rihanna hit "Love The Way You Lie" (Eminem, Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey), the Eminem hit "Not Afraid" (Eminem, M. Burnett, J. Evans, L. Resto, M. Samuels), the B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars hit "Nothin' On You" (B.o.B., Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine), the Jay-Z featuring Swizz Beatz hit "On To The Next One (Jay-Z, J. Chaton, K. Dean)
Two factors weigh in Eminem's favor: "Love The Way You Lie" was also nominated for Best Short Form Music Video. And when artists are on a roll, as Eminem is this year (or, say, Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce, was last year), they are usually unstoppable.
Best Rap Solo Performance
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
The nominees: "Shutterbug" (Big Boi, Bosko, Cutty & Mouche), "Fancy" (Drake, T.I. & Swizz Beatz), "On To The Next One" (Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz), "My Chick Bad" (Ludacris and Nicki Minaj), "Lose My Mind" (Young Jeezy and Plies)
Grammy trivia: Jay-Z and T.I. were working together two years ago when they won in this category for "Swagga Like Us," which also featured Kanye West and Lil Wayne. This time, they're competitors. Big Boi is a two-time winner in this category for his work with OutKast.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
The nominees: "Nothin' On You" (B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars), "Deuces" (Chris Brown featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall), "Love The Way You Lie" (Eminem featuring Rihanna), "Empire State Of Mind" (Jay-Z + Alicia Keys), "Wake Up! Everybody" (John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona, Common)
Grammy trivia: Jay-Z and Rihanna were working together when they won in this category for "Umbrella" and "Run This Town" (which also featured Kanye West). This time, they're competitors. Jay-Z also won this award for 2005's "Numb/Encore," a collabo with Linkin Park.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Kanye West
- Alicia Keys
- Bruno Mars