This Sunday night the music industry's annual self-indulgent orgy, the Grammy Wards, will flood the televisions and minds of music lovers worldwide. In preparation for music's biggest night of the year, DJBooth.net and partner site RefinedHype.com offer a preview of the upcoming awards, as well as look back on some of the best (and worst) moments in hip-hop related Grammy history.
This Year: The Grammys are as much about politics and public relations as they are about good music, so if you're trying to accurately guess the committee's choices you've got to weigh some political considerations as well. With that in mind, I'm seeing Common's Universal Mind Control or Q-Tip's The Renaissance picking up Best Rap Album, (there's no way they're giving it to Relapse), Jay-Z sweeping Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung collaboration for D.O.A. and Run This Town (since Empire State of Mind America loves Jay-Z), and, using some process of elimination strategy, the Beastie Boys & Nas winning for Best Rap Collabo (there's no way Kanye's winning anything this year after Swiftgate).
All Time Best Worst: The Grammys get things horribly, horribly wrong much more often than they get it right, here are some of the biggest travesties:
Best Rap Album (1998) – Puff Daddy & the Family No Way Out
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (2003) - Nelly & Kelly Rowland Dilemma
Best Rap Group Performance (2004) - P. Diddy, Murphy Lee & Nelly Shake Ya Tailfeather
Best Rap Solo Performance (1999) - Will SmithGettin' Jiggy Wit It
This Year: On this year's performance slate we're in store for a Michael Jackson tribute (of course), along with sets from Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Jamie Foxx & T-Pain (Blame It) and Lil Wayne, who if there is a god won't do anything off his atrocious The Rebirth album.
All-Time Best: I'm usually cynical here, but last year's Kanye x T.I. x Jay-Z x Lil Wayne x a nine-month pregnant M.I.A.Swagger Like Us was one of the best performances I've ever seen, on any show. You know what's really crazy about that show though? At the time these were the four biggest rappers on the planet, but a year later T.I.'s in jail, Wayne's headed to jail and Kanye had a horrible '09 after Swiftgate. Hova's really the only one on that stage who had anything better than a not-terrible year.
For more of the Grammy preview, including a complete list of the nominees and video of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Greatest Grammy Speech of All-Time", click here.