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Grammy Nominees 2008 - My Take

Category: , , , By Manu
I've been meaning to do a post on Grammy Awards right from the day the nominations were announced. I am not going to just list out all the nominees. Anyone can get those at the Grammy site. I am going to select a few categories I'm comfortable with and just tell you two of my picks if I were the one and all of Grammy's. I'm gonna omit the credits to producers, recording engineers, etc not because I don't respect them, but for convenience. Full details of all the songs including full credits are available at Grammy site

Let's start with the General Category
Record of the Year
1. Chasing Pavements - Adele

2. Viva La Vida - Coldplay

3. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis

4. Paper Planes - M.I.A

5. Please Read The Letter - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Coldplay's Viva La Vida and M.I.A's Paper Planes are my two picks from the lot. I don't care if Joe Satriani sues Coldplay for a few guitar riffs, I like "Viva La Vida" better than his "If I could fly" on any day. M.I.A deserves a win for the sheer originality of sound and music. Another mentionable performance was by Leona Lewis. Even though the song has only one catchy hook, her talent is a force to reckon with.

Album of the Year
1. La Vida Or Death And All His Friends - Coldplay
2. Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
3. Year Of The Gentleman - Ne-Yo
4. Raising Sand - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
5. In Rainbows - Radiohead

Again Coldplay and Lil Wayne are my two picks. Coldplay's La Vida or Death and all his Friends has a collection of great songs which collectively form a great album. Lil Wayne too presents us with a fresh and new album, which also has a lot of great tracks. Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman didn't live upto the mark. I haven't heard Raisind Sand, but heard the nomination for "Best Record" from the album and didn't like it. You can both the albums at Amazon.
Viva La Vida
Tha Carter III

Now we can just jump to the Rap category where I'm a bit familiar. Most of the nominees in other categories are unfamiliar to me. So can't judge if I have heard only a couple of the nominees, right?.
Best Rap Solo Performance
1. Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)... - Jay-Z

2. A Milli - Lil Wayne

3. Paris, Tokyo - Lupe Fiasco

4. Nigger (The Slave And The Master) - Nas

5. Sexual Eruption - Snoop Dogg

For Best Rap Solo Performance I would have to pick Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" and Snoop Dogg's "Sexual Eruption". Roc Boys got a great rhythm and a great bacground hook over which Jay-Z raps easily. And with Sexual Eruption Snoopy Dogg shows that he still got it. Another mentionable tracks in Lupe Fiasco's Paris/Tokyo.

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
1. Royal Flush - Big Boi Featuring Raekwon And Andre 3000

2. Swagga Like Us - Jay-Z & T.I. Featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne

3. Mr. Carter - Lil Wayne Featuring Jay-Z

4. Wish You Would - Ludacris Featuring T.I.

5. Put On - Young Jeezy Featuring Kanye West

There is tough competition in this category. I liked 4 of these 5 tracks, and had a hard time choosing 2. Finally I decided to choose "Swagga Like Us" and "Mr. Carter" as my two picks. "Put On" came really close solely cause of Kanye's appearance at the end.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
1. American Boy - Estelle Featuring Kanye West

2. Low - Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain

3. Green Light - John Legend & Andre 3000

4. Got Money - Lil Wayne Featuring T-Pain

5. Superstar - Lupe Fiasco Featuring Matthew Santos

This is by far the most toughest category for me to choose from.I actually love every track in this category. If I have to choose, "Superstar" by Lupe Fiasco and Mathew Santos and "Low", by Flo Rida and T-Pain would be my choices. "American Boy" came really close, with its addictive beats, catchy hook and the Kanye factor. "Green Light" also is a great track, with John Legend's singing and Andre 3000's rapping mixed dexterously.

Best Rap Song
1. Lollipop - D. Carter, S. Garrett, D. Harrison, J. Scheffer & R. Zamor, songwriters(Lil Wayne ft T-Pain)
2. Low - T. Dillard, M. Humphrey & T-Pain, songwriters (Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain)
3. Sexual Eruption - Calvin Broadus, S. Lovejoy & D. Stewart, songwriters (Snoop Dogg)
4. Superstar - Lupe Fiasco & Soundtrakk, songwriters (Lupe Fiasco Featuring Matthew Santos)
5. Swagga Like Us - D. Carter, S. Carter, Clifford Harris & Kanye West, songwriters (M. Arulpragasam, N. Headon, M. Jones, J. Mellor, T. Pentz & P. Simonon, songwriters) (Jay-Z & T.I. Featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne)

All these songs are embedded in previous categories. You can listen to it from there. SO coming to picking two. This is gonna be hard. This category even topped "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" category in terms of competition. "Lollipop" has such a groovy rhythm and flow to it but the only flaw I see is the lyrics. Since this is an award for the songwriter, lyrics do come into consideration. "Low" has such addictive beats and dance hip hop feel and I can't seem to get enough of that. Snoop Dogg hits the mark with "Sexual Eruption" with his unique blend of "Snoopy Dogg" and music box mixing. "Superstar", though not the best track in the album "The Cool", does deserve an award for the sheer rhythm and lyrical work. Last but not the least "Swagga Like Us" just combines all these great artists to bring out one hell of a track. Eventhough the track doesn't qualify for a nomination, if "Little Weapon" by Lupe fiasco was included in the nominations, it would have won it hands down. Anyways for this I'm gonna make an exception and pick three- Swagga Like Us, Superstar and Low.

Best Rap Album
1. American Gangster - Jay-Z
2. Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
3. The Cool - Lupe Fiasco
4. Nas - Nas
5. Paper Trail -T.I.

I had no second thoughts in choosing Lupe Fiasco's " The Cool" as one of my two picks. That is one hell of an album. The second spot was well fought for by "Paper Trail" and "Tha Carter III" and finally won by Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III".
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