The Amp’s Dark Horse Grammy Nomination Wishlist
Future Grammy nominee?
Future Grammy nominee?
Here at The Amp, we're interested in those off-the-radar artists, albums, and songs that stand absolutely no shot of winning, let alone earning a nomination, even though they might deserve some Grammy consideration. These are five of our dark horse, in-a-perfect-world nominees:
Song of the Year
If Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" doesn't win this, then the Grammy infrastructure is irreparably broken. That song, along with "Moves Like Jagger" and a Lady Gaga and Kanye West song to be named later, are guaranteed nominations, but if The Amp had a say, Lloyd's "Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)" would also get a nod. Last year, the Grammy voters proved they aren't that old and stodgy by nominating Cee Lo Green's explicit "F--- You" for Song of the Year (albeit as "Song Now Known as 'Forget You'" on the TV broadcast).
Lloyd's Motown rave-up, while clearly inspired by Cee Lo's tune, was every bit as catchy as "F--- You," but "Dedication" upped the ante by recruiting Lil Wayne as narrator and locating Andre 3000 for an incredible guest verse. Unfortunately for the song, the edited version was too choppy and stilted for consistent radio play; as it turns out, it was harder to clean up the chorus "I miss that p----, that p----" than it was to turn "F--- You" into "Forget You." Still, "Dedication to My Ex" ranks near the top of The Amp's own list of the year's best tracks, even though Grammy voters will no doubt ignore it tonight.
Best Rap Album
The Amp has one, small request in this category: NOMINATE A MIXTAPE! In 2011, even more than previous years, many of the best hip-hop releases were independently released mixtapes. While there were a few essential rap releases the past 12 months, like 'Watch the Throne' and 'Take Care', it was an absolute banner year for mixtapes: Kendrick Lamar's 'Section.80', Curren$y's 'Covert Coup', Lil B's 'I'm Gay (I'm Happy)', Big K.R.I.T.'s 'Return of 4Eva', and that's just to name a few noteworthy ones.
Spin made their own list of the year's 50 best mixtapes, and if you stacked those up against the 50 best major label rap albums this year, the mixtapes would slaughter them. Yet, the Grammys consistently ignore this indispensable part of hip-hop. Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' has the Best Rap Album award locked, and Beastie Boys, Nicki Minaj, and 'Watch the Throne' might also be in play, but the Grammys should at least nominate one mixtape just to prove they're paying attention to hip-hop and not "losing touch with contemporary popular culture."
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Lady Gaga, Adele, and Taylor Swift will alternate winning this Grammy for the next decade or so, with Rihanna, Beyonce and Katy Perry all getting nominations to ensure they show up at the ceremony and smile on the red carpet. But The Amp would absolutely love to see Swedish pop god Robyn finally score a much-deserved nod in this category. The singer's "Body Talk" is technically eligible for a nomination this year, since it was released November 22, 2010, after the last Grammy cut-off date.