by TRN Staff,
The 2018 Grammy nominations are out and something’s different. Just one year ago, anything that came close to sounding like Pop music was a winner with singers like Adele edging out the competition for top prizes like Album of the Year. But things are shaping up in the favor of Hip Hop & R&B artists for 2018.
There’s a noticeable shift in the top categories for 2018 with hip hop leading the way in the top 4 categories. Billboard Magazine calls it a “Hip-Hop Takeover“. Rolling Stone Magazine says, “Following the 2017 Grammys where Adele and pop music dominated, it seems as though hip-hop is coming for everything it deserves with the most nominations in the top 2018 categories.” Those categories include Record of the Year which has Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino(Donald Glover) and Bruno Mars as four of the five nominees. And it’s pretty much the same when it comes to another top category–Album of the Year with the same four contending in that category as well.
The biggest surprise in the nominations came for rapper Jay-Z who dominated. His “4:44” garnered the lion’s share of eight nominations including the coveted Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories. Kendrick Lamar earned an amazing seven nominations and Bruno Mars is right behind him with a total of six nominations.
Several factors may come into play as to why Black and other minority artists are so prominently represented in the latest Grammy nominations including the fact that voters actually considered streaming music downloads. Nielsen reported earlier this that R&B and Hip Hop were being streamed in huge numbers surpassing rock music. With streaming services like Tidal, iTunes and Spotify changing how people listen to music, the music academy needed to keep pace.
Rolling Stone says hip hop and R&B are finally getting their due with more nominations because music is seeing a huge shift “due to a change in the reception of R&B.” The article goes on to say, “Grammy voters often love vintage R&B when it’s performed by white singers: See Adele’s wins in 2017, Ed Sheeran’s 2016 Song of the Year “Thinking Out Loud” and Sam Smith’s multiple wins in 2015.” This year though, artists like Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino are behind those vintage soulful sounds with songs like “Awaken, My Love!” and “24K Magic”.
Whatever the reason behind the surge in nominations for hip hop and R&B artists, it’s a refreshing shift especially in a political climate where race is proving to be a divisive tool. Music it seems is emerging as truly a universal language.
Click the following link for a complete look at the list of Grammy Award nominees for 2018.