J.Cole, Teyana Taylor And Other Snubs Of The 2019 Grammy Nominations
December 7, 2018 - 6:35 pm
Best Rap Album: J. Cole's 'KOD'
J. Cole’s KOD might be one of the biggest snubs at the Grammys. His album was a cohesive blend of radio-friendly jams and introspective songs that touched on a handful of subjects like mental health and addiction, which undoubtedly dominated the conversation and unfortunately claimed the lives of some of our brightest stars this year. A lot of projects dropped this year, most likely leaving KOD in its shadow, but the artistry and craftsmanship Cole demonstrated on his latest studio album still deserves its shine. - Jessica McKinney
No Rappers In Best New Artist Category
This category hasn't been too kind to hip-hop acts as only four artists (Chance The Rapper, Arrested Development, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) have taken home the gramophone. With the academy never including actual "new artists," they could've broken tradition and shined a light on under the radar rappers like Joyner Lucas and Saba. -Desire Thompson
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Teyana Taylor's 'K.T.S.E.'
While she had one of the strongest (though incomplete) bodies of R&B work this year, Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E failed to garner any nominations this time around. Perhaps she was a victim of a terrible rollout, possibly due to her producer Kanye West’s harrowing 2018 and perfectionist ways. Or maybe it was the eleventh-hour sample clearances that stalled the release of the seven-song project, diminishing the public’s interest. While no one quite knows for sure, one thing is certain- she should be very proud of her project, which has fans in artists like Anderson .Paak.- J'na Jefferson
Best Rap Album: Royce Da 5'9's 'Book of Ryan'
In his best work yet, Royce Da 5'9 was hip-hop's consciousness in 2018 with Book of Ryan. Mature and filled with hostile gospel about his sobriety, the rap game and bone-chilling growing pains, the Detriot MC's lyrical diary wasn't just heartwrenching but poetic in nature. How can you not feel the honesty on skits like "Who Are You" or "My Parallel?" Major fanfare wasn't on the rapper's side but his bare truths reminded us of how beautiful rap can really be. - Desire Thompson
Best Rap Album: YG's 'Stay Dangerous'
YG’s Stay Dangerous is a nihilistic contraction of drugs, gang-glorification and twisted vignettes from Keenon Jackson’s native South LA confines. It’s definitely not for everyone, but there’s no denying the Compton rapper’s ability to tell a story about what he knows and his surroundings while still being able to make that reality into a club record is worth noting. Plus, Stay Dangerous on the Best Rap Album list would’ve made for a great conversation starter, considering it would be up against Cardi B’s stellar Invasion Of Privacy (whom YG is featured on, see: “She Bad.” -Richy Rosario
Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Internet's 'Hive Mind'
Talk of R&B's mainstream resurgence continues to leave out The Internet. It's a bummer the academy decided to do the same with Hive Mind. Syd, Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, and Christopher Smith have been ridiculously consistent since the release of Purple Naked Ladies in 2011. Hive Mind explored new levels of funk and R&B for the band, with Lacy shining on a number of tracks like "Come Over" and "Burbank Funk." Despite the snub, we're sure the band will continue to reach more musical highs. -Desire Thompson