35 Totally Serious 2017 GRAMMY Predictions: Who Will Win?

The only predictions that matter.
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The only predictions that matter.

This Sunday (February 12), the music industry—minus Kanye, Drake and Bieber—will gather at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the 59th annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony. 

While there isn't an epic Kendrick Lamar performance to look forward to, hip-hop and R&B fans have plenty of reasons to tune into the broadcast. Will Chance The Rapper, who earned seven nominations after pushing the GRAMMY committee to allow for stream-only digital mixtapes to be eligible for an award, clean up? Will Lil Yachty win his first GRAMMY award before Nas? Will Drake's monumentally successful 2016 be enough to push him past Beyoncé and Adele for the night's top prize?

Oh, and did we mention that the performance line-up includes A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson .Paak, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Chance the Rapper, Gary Clark Jr., John Legend and The Weeknd with Daft Punk? 

To get you ready for "the biggest night in music"—their words, not ours—our full-time editorial team (Z, Brendan, Yoh, Andy & Brent) has provided you, our readers, with predictions for who will win in each of the seven categories we know you care about the most: Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album.


Album of the Year

“25” — Adele 
“Lemonade” — Beyoncé
“Purpose” — Justin Bieber
“Views” — Drake
“A Sailor's Guide to Earth” — Sturgill Simpson

Z: Lemonade — Beyoncé

Because 18 GRAMMY awards on your mantle are not 19. Duh.

Brendan: Lemonade — Beyoncé

Did you hear Beyoncé is having twins?

Yoh: 25 — Adele

Because the GRAMMY's are fixed.

Andy: 25 — Adele

I would say "this is a tough call," but when was the last time a black artist won Album of the Year?

Brent: Views — Drake

This is a no-brainer, even if he did steal the "Hotline Bling" from D.R.A.M.

Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance the Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Z: Chance the Rapper

Chance is far from a “new” artist, but if he was, his 2016 was the blueprint for winning this award.

Brendan: Chance The Rapper

Are we sure Kelsea Ballerina and Maren Morris are real people?

Yoh: Chance the Rapper

He made Acid Rap, he's never going to fail.

Andy: Chance The Rapper

And if it isn’t, it’s gon’ be some dreadhead bloggas in ya lobby!

Brent: Chance The Rapper

As much as Anderson .Paak dominated my speakers in 2016, I just really want to see Chance win seven GRAMMYs.

Best Rap Performance

"No Problem" — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
"Panda" — Desiigner
"Pop Style" — Drake Featuring the Throne
"All the Way Up" — Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared
"That Part" — Schoolboy Q featuring Kanye West

Z: "No Problem" — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

In an industry full of artists who secretly signed deals with major labels, “No Problem” is Chance’s independent anthem.

Brendan: "No Problem" — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

These are really the nominees??????? “Pop Style”? “Panda”? I’m picking Chance but I'll also put money on “Panda," which would be amazing.

Yoh: "Panda" — Desiigner

Somehow this reached No. 1 last year, so I'm assuming the old guys on the committee heard it more times than the rest.

Andy: “Panda”— Desiigner

Afroman's "Because I Got High" lost so Desiigner's "Panda" could win.

Brent: "No Problem" — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

Not only was this one of my favorite record last year, but Chance’s rendition on Ellen is one of those few TV performances that demands repeat views.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

“Lemonade” — Beyoncé
“Ology” — Gallant
“We Are King” — King 
“Malibu” — Anderson .Paak 
“Anti” — Rihanna 

Z: Lemonade — Beyoncé

Since I have Lemonade winning the overall Album of the Year award, how could it not also clean up in the Urban Contemporary category?

Brendan: Lemonade — Beyoncé

.Paak should get it…but… Beyoncé.

Yoh: Lemonade — Beyoncé

The Queen will not be dethroned but if Anderson won I would rejoice.

Andy: Malibu — Anderson .Paak

I still haven't heard any human being say the words "urban contemporary" outside of the GRAMMYs but I feel like Andy Paak is "urban" and/or "contemporary" enough to have a real shot.

Brent: Malibu — Anderson .Paak

This was my favorite album of 2016 and it continues to brighten every weekend for me.

Best Rap/Sung Performance

“Freedom” — Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Hotline Bling” — Drake
“Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty
“Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West featuring Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & the-Dream | Remix
“Famous” — Kanye West featuring Rihanna

Z: “Freedom” — Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar

Arguably the best song off an album that will likely take home two awards itself.

Brendan: “Hotline Bling” — Drake

This song feels like it’s five years old already, so it will win.

Yoh: “Hotline Bling” — Drake

After a whole year of annoying us, Drake has to have something to show for it since the No. 1 didn't happen.

Andy: “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West

See: SNL, February 2016.

Brent: “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West

Chance stole the show on this single, and his verse was one of my favorites last year.

Best Rap Song

“All the Way Up” — Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared)
“Famous” — Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West featuring Rihanna)
“Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)
“No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)
“Ultralight Beam” — Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico "Donnie Trumpet" Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West featuring Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & the-Dream)

Z: “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West

It’s ironic that the most gospel song on Kanye’s album is nominated for Best Rap Song, but no matter how you categorize the record, it’s amazing—especially Chance’s stand out contribution.

Brendan: “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West

Is "Hotline Bling" even a rap song?

Yoh: “Hotline Bling” —Drake

Not deserving but a big monster that will be hard to beat.

Andy: “Hotline Bling”— Drake

Because Trump won the election and the Patriots won the Super Bowl, and Satan has a thing about working in threes.

Brent: “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West

This reminded me of Kanye's greatness when it comes to putting together a compelling, timeless track.

Best Rap Album

“Coloring Book” — Chance the Rapper
“And the Anonymous Nobody” — De La Soul
“Major Key” — DJ Khaled
“Views” — Drake
“Blank Face LP” — Schoolboy Q
“The Life of Pablo” — Kanye West

Z: Views — Drake

Was Views the best rap album last year? Not close. But after Drake's 2016, he needs to at least win one gilded gramophone.

Brendan: Views — Drake

Kanye deserves it, but Drake will win it.

Yoh: Coloring Book — Chance the Rapper

Only rapper in a Kit-Kat commercial, how can he lose?

Andy: Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper

Shit, Chano's made history so far, right?

Brent: Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper

I think Blank Face is one of the best hip-hop albums in the last half decade, but c'mon...seven GRAMMYs for Chance.


By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

Photo Credits: Tumblr