Last November, I correctly predicted that “Humble.” and “Despacito (Remix) were locks for a nomination. And while tagged as less likely, “24K Magic” and “Redbone” were in my radar. Nowhere to be found was Jay-Z. On January 28, the winners of the show will be unveiled. Here is my fearless forecast on how the Record of the Year race will unfold.
“24K Magic” by Bruno Mars
“Redbone” by Childish Gambino
“Despacito (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” by Jay-Z
“Humble.” by Kendrick Lamar
(5) “The Story of O.J.” by Jay-Z
Not all songs are created equal. But I can see a case for all of this year’s Record of the Year nominees winning… except Jay-Z. This is not the dark horse critical darlings back nor the choice conservatives make when backed up against a wall. It doesn’t help that no one acknowledged the impact it made until the Academy decided to go gaga over 4:44. In my view, this one has the least chance, if any.
(4) “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars
If Bruno had submitted “That’s What I Like”, this would be a different discussion altogether. He would be the consensus choice with a smash on his hands. But considering this undeperformed relative to Bruno standards, and he won in this category two years back with “Uptown Funk”, I can’t imagine a scenario where anyone ends up happy for him taking the trophy in this category. He can still upset as the pop genre or all other ignored fields’ bet. I hope not. But it is a real possibility.
(3) “Redbone” by Childish Gambino
I am delighted the Recording Academy nominated “Redbone”. It proves that from time to time, they still appreciate artistry and sound out the noise that sales tend to make. This seems like an indie choice members can make. But his appeal is confined to the R&B, hip-hop and rap community, all of which have representatives in this category and who he will have to split votes with.
(2) “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar
Let me begin by saying that I hope I’m wrong. I wish this one takes the trophy. But I believe in the Academy’s bias against hip-hop and rap that I would go against my own vote. If bigger records like “Hey Ya” couldn’t pull it off, I’m not getting my hopes up for Kendrick Lamar. If they were to reward him in the General Field, this is his biggest chance. He deserves Album of the Year the most. But this would be a great consolation.
(1) “Despacito (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber
The day has come. I’m predicting a victory for Justin Bieber in one of the top awards at the Grammys. Why? This broke chart records and was inescapable. While that doesn’t always translate into a win, the other four nominees have handicaps that make it easier for members to swallow their pride and finally acknowledge Justin Bieber. You can also see this as the Latin community’s anointed choice. It isn’t my cup of tea. But if the biggest hit deserves this award, I can live with it.
WILL WIN: “Despacito (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber
SHOULD WIN: “Humble.” by Kendrick Lamar