Reconciling Our Grammy Picks And Predictions

At the close of last week, your SoulBounce Editors predicted the victors for this year's Grammy Awards in relevant R&B and Hip Hop categories, with our own personal preferences thrown in for good measure. Nearly every nightmarish prediction came true with Jazmine Sullivan being robbed in every category she was nominated in. Lil' Wayne won 5,000 awards for sniggling like Mutley on every record! (Jesus, someone get this man a throat lozenge!) At any rate, the list of winners predictably reads like a corporately-mandated playlist memo'd to radio deejays. Props, however, to Adele for not only winning but beating Duffy. There is some justice in this world. Peep how our predictions panned out after the bounce!

alicia_keys_headshot.jpgBest Female R&B Vocal Performance

  • "Me, Myself and I" Beyoncé
  • "Heaven Sent" Keyshia Cole
  • "Spotlight" Jennifer Hudson
  • WINNER: "Superwoman" Alicia Keys
  • "Need U Bad" Jazmine Sullivan

Your SoulBounce editors generally believed that J-Hud would walk away with this award, eventhough history has taught us that Alicia will emerge the victor. I suppose we should've paid attention to History, and the fact that "Superwoman" is a better song than "Spotlight." We all wanted Jazmine Sullivan to win for "Need U Bad," but Ro came closest to predicting the actual winner with "This category belongs to Jazmine Sullivan. I wouldn't be surprised if either Alicia or Jennifer walked away with it, though."

ne-yo_headshot.jpgBest Male R&B Vocal Performance

  • "You're The Only One" Eric Benét
  • "Take You Down" Chris Brown
  • WINNER: "Miss Independent" Ne-Yo
  • "Can't Help But Wait" Trey Songz
  • "Here I Stand" Usher

The general feeling by us was that Eric Benét should've taken this home, because acknowledging the product of grown-ass R&B singers is a cause worth fighting for. Unfortunately, Eric was up against a bunch of young cats that are also industry darlings, namely the Mighty Ne-Yo, who ended up taking the trophy home. We predicted this would be the case.

al_green_headshot.jpgBest R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

  • "Ribbon In The Sky" Boyz II Men
  • "Words" Anthony David feat. India.Arie
  • WINNER: "Stay With Me (By The Sea)" Al Green feat. John Legend
  • "I'm His Only Woman" Jennifer Hudson feat. Fantasia
  • "Never Give You Up" Raphael Saadiq feat. Stevie Wonder and CJ Hilton

We were afraid that the Jennifer/Fantasia duet would take the award, but sound reason prevailed and the Al Green/ John Legend duet took home the trophy. We couldn't be happier. ill Mami came the closest with her prediction: "I love this Al Green song and had it on repeat pretty steadily. 'Stay With Me (By The Sea)' gets my vote."

chrisette_michele_headshot.jpgBest Urban/Alternative Performance

  • "Say Goodbye To Love" Kenna
  • "Wanna Be" Maiysha
  • WINNER: "Be OK" Chrisette Michelle feat.
  • "Many Moons" Janelle Monae
  • "Loving You (Music)" Wayna feat. Kokayi

It can be argued that the only thing "alternative" about Chrisette Michelle is that she's actually a capable singer, which is a rarity across the popular, Hip Hop-associated canvas. With that said, most of us predicted that she would win this award, probably because (try as they might), the cats behind the Grammys have probably never seen, heard or listened to the other nominees. Yes, we're that jaded, and it paid off.

ne-yo_headshot.jpgBest R&B Song (A Songwriter(s) Award)

  • "Bust Your Windows" Salaam Remi & Jazmine Sullivan, songwriters (Deandre Way, songwriter) (Jazmine Sullivan)
  • "Customer" I.Barias, Raheem DeVaughn, C. Haggins, K. Oliver & Johnnie Smith, songwriters (Raheem DeVaughn)
  • "Heaven Sent" Keyshia Cole, Jason Farmer & Alex Francis, songwriters (Keyshia Cole)
  • WINNER: "Miss Independent" Mikkel S. Eriksen, T.E. Hermansen & S. Smith, songwriters (Ne-Yo)
  • "Spotlight" Mikkel S. Eriksen, T.E. Hermansen & S. Smith, songwriters (Jennifer Hudson)

We were split between "Miss Independent" and "Spotlight," because The Magic of Ne-Yo is difficult to ignore in these times. Harlem, Ro and ill Mami predicted this win, with ill Mami pointing out "I'll close my eyes and pick 'Miss Independent' only because Ne-Yo is loved by the industry and Pop radio."

al_green_headshot.jpgBest Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

  • "A Change Is Gonna Come" Wayne Brady
  • WINNER: "You've Got The Love I Need" Al Green feat. Anthony Hamilton
  • "Baby I Know" Linda Jones with Helen Bruner & Terry Jones
  • "Love That Girl" Raphael Saadiq
  • "In Love With Another Man" Jazmine Sullivan

Most of us predicted that Al would win, but there was some pulling for Jazmine Sullivan (who ended up not winning a damn thing, unfortunately). Overall, we were very impressed with the selections in this category and would've been content with any outcome.

jennifer_hudson_derek_blanks.jpgBest R&B Album

  • Love & Life Eric Benét
  • Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA Boyz II Men
  • Lay It Down Al Green
  • WINNER: Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson
  • The Way I See It Raphael Saadiq

This category was extremely difficult to predict but we were split between Al and Jennifer taking it home, with Al landing on the side of "should win". The general feeling here was, while Jennifer Hudson is a fantastic vocalist, her actual album didn't live up to her talent and certainly cannot hang with the likes of Al, Eric and Ray. But Jennifer has Pop viability working in her favor and she took it home.

mary_j_blige_headshot.jpgBest Contemporary R&B Album

  • WINNER: Growing Pains Mary J. Blige
  • Back of My Lac' J. Holiday
  • First Love Karina Pasian
  • Year Of The Gentleman Ne-Yo
  • Fearless Jazmine Sullivan

Although we were holding out hope that Jazmine Sullivan would win something--anything--this year, it's pretty hard to hold up against the powerhouse that is Mary J. Blige. The general feeling was that it was either Mary or Ne-Yo's to take, with Mary having the better album. Mary won and so did we.

lil_wayne_crop.jpgBest Rap Solo Performance

  • "Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)..." Jay-Z
  • WINNER: "A Milli" Lil Wayne
  • "Paris, Tokyo" Lupe Fiasco
  • "N.i.*.*.e.r. (The Slave And The Master)" Nas
  • "Sexual Eruption" Snoop Dogg

We knew Lil' Wayne would win, although we knew he wouldn't deserve it.

jay-z_headshot.jpgBest Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group

  • "Royal Flush" Big Boi feat. Raekown & Andre 3000
  • WINNER: "Swagga Like Us" Jay-Z & T.I. feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne
  • "Mr. Carter" Lil Wayne feat. Jay-Z
  • "Wish You Would" Ludacris feat. T.I.
  • "Put On" Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West

"Swagga" was predicted to win because it's that predictable.

estelle_headshot.jpgBest Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • WINNER: "American Boy" Estelle feat. Kanye West
  • "Low" Flo Rida feat. T-Pain
  • "Green Light" John Legend & Andre 3000
  • "Got Money" Lil Wayne feat. T-Pain
  • "Superstar" Lupe Fiasco feat. Matthew Santos

We were pulling for "Green Light" and "American Boy", with Butta explicitly predicting that Estelle and Kanye would take it home. Now can we all release a collective sigh that Flo' Rida lost and will hopefully never be mentioned in same sentence as the word "Grammy" again?

lil_wayne_crop.jpgBest Rap Song (A Songwriter(s) Award)

  • WINNER: "Lollipop" D. Carter, S. Garrett, D. Harrison, J. Scheffer & R. Zamor, songwriters (Lil Wayne feat. Static Major)
  • "Low" Tramar Dillard, M. Humphrey, Faheem Najm, Korey Roberson & Howard Simmons, songwriters (Flo Rida feat. T-Pain)
  • "Sexual Eruption" Calvin Broadus, S. Lovejoy & D. Stewart, songwriters (Snoop Dogg)
  • "Superstar" Lupe Fiasco & Soundtrakk, songwriters (Lupe Fiasco Feat. Matthew Santos)
  • "Swagga Like Us" Jeff Bhaskev, D. Carter, S. Carter, Clifford Harris, Plain Pat & Kanye West, Songwriters (M. Arulpragasam, N. Headon, M. Jones, J. Mellor, T. Pentz & P. Simonon, songwriters) (Jay-Z & T.I. feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne)

We pretty much gave it up to "Swagga" once again, probably based on the inclusion of the ubiquitous Weezy. But he won anyway for that other song, which really isn't a surprise. I'll consider it a win for Static in order to make myself feel a little better about this horrid enterprise known as the Grammys.

lil_wayne_crop.jpgBest Rap Album

  • American Gangster Jay-Z
  • WINNER: Tha Carter III Lil' Wayne
  • Nas Nas
  • Paper Trail T.I.

We knew Lil' Wayne would win. We might be jaded but we aren't stupid.


And to close, Jazmine Sullivan was robbed! Thank you.

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13 Responses

  1. "At any rate, the list of winners predictably reads like a corporately-mandated playlist memo'd to radio deejays."
    Yeah, the grammys for the R&B and Hip Hop categories have very little to do with artistic merit and have more to do with record sales. I was happy that Adele won over Duffy, but disappointed she beat Jazzy. J records just left Jazzy out in the cold, she was not even featured in the Clive Davis party. Jazzy got India Aried.
    Was Growing Pains really that good of album or has Mary reached the point in her career like Aretha, Alicia, and Beyonce that she will not lose?
    I really enjoyed the point you all made about grown ass music not being recognized. I am not impressed by Estelle especially after her performance, dare I say Adele and Duffy can out sing her.
    As far as Jennifer Hudson,good or bad right or wrong her personal tragedy played a role in the vote.
    Jayz, Lupe, and Nas put out really good albums. I believe Nas has never won a grammy.

  2. A lot of the awards were predictable...and the R&B nominees were like food trays at a fancy party...there is some variety for creditability but everyone's just going to go with pigs in a blanket because they know what it is. Just like Ne-Yo, Lil' "Quasimoto" Wayne, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige winnings, they will continue to win because everyone is comfortable with them and knows that they are popular.
    I was glad Adele won (now I would've been more upset if the Jo Bros won...anybody BUT them) but Jazmine wasn't necessarily robbed, she just hasn't been promoted as everyone else on that nom list...just the other day, some friends asked me who even Jazmine Sullivan was. When Adele was on 'Saturday Night Live' that played a big part in people knowing who she was, because her album sales shot up the week after that performance. If Jazzy just had an SNL music spot or actually was given a shot to perform at an award show (cause she wasn't even performing at the Grammys and she was nominated...), then she would've had a better shot, so I wasn't holding my breath in hopes for her to win.
    I agree with J, the tragic events surrounding J.Hud led to her winning for Best R&B album, sad to say but true. I like her and all, but her debut was not up to snuff to what Rapahel or Al Green put out last that's who got robbed.

  3. ROBBED indeed! All five? RT @ j, she was India.Arie-d. And Audio Diva is completely right about the lack of promotion Jazzy received vs. Adele. But I don't think that is the sole reason she lost. Working out the specifics as I type this...
    Great recap, nOva 🙂

  4. I was hoping Jazmine would win just ONE Grammy last night.
    @j: I think all Clive Davis cares about at the moment is Whitney's comeback, getting Jennifer Hudson to "Whitney" status, and reviving Kelly Clarkson's stalled career before they completely phase him out @ Sony(?). I was really surprised that he didn't give Jazmine some stage time @ his annual pre-party. That's usually where he premieres his 'next big thing'.

  5. the Grammys need a bailout! not a financial one, mind you, but a creative and bureaucratic one. they have the power to handle it internally. from top to bottom, the Grammy awards are a highly predictable, tedious and overblown mess.
    i'm not clear on the process in which the academy nominates and choose winners. i am sure that it is more complicated (and ripe for upheaval) than the Electoral College. sweeping changes need to take place. it needs to be more fair, so i propose that we see completely new blood in the recording academy. there should be "term limits" imposed on the academy. the entire group responsible for nominating and selection should be swapped out EVERY year. it seems that people are getting nominated on name recognition alone, and not because they actually had a good album. meanwhile, more deserving (yet lesser known) folks are getting robbed blind.
    NO repeat performers! i don't care who it is, i don't want to see anyone singing more than once. there are other talented people who deserve to get some performance time.
    NO medleys! pick one and it better be good.
    NO family members or weed carriers on stage if you win! shout them out in your speech, and keep it moving Lil Wayne.
    NO one who just performed should win the next award during the telecast. how obvious is that?
    NO mismatched collaborations! people shouldn't be slapped together just to see if it works. you think the Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder would ever record a song together? collaborative performances should be more natural and organic. there's too many pairings in general anyway on the Grammys.
    LESS emotion. i'm sorry, i love Jennifer Hudson, but it just seems so suspicious that her category was the first award presented, and that she won it. i'm not saying she shouldn't have won, but the timing of it all seemed less than genuine. i know that it's television. if this whole thing is about the music, than let it be more about the music.
    perhaps the Grammys shouldn't be televised anymore. maybe that would force the academy to focus more on who actually deserves a statue . . .

  6. Doesn't sound like Jazmine was robbed to me. I know y'all like the girl, but damn. This is the problem with all these frivolous rap and r&b categories. Someone gets multiple nominations, and someone cries they got robbed if they don't win any awards.

  7. DAR- Your post is totally on point!

  8. I honestly think it's all politics....And yes Jazmine was robbed. With the exception of Mary J. Blige and Adele, her album was by far better than any other female in the categories that she was in. As for Adele, I am happy for her because I absolutely love her album as well. Despite the award show being a bit predictable, it was rather enjoyable and produced some memorable moments such as M.I.A.'s polka-dot onsie. Can't wait for next year!

  9. This year's Grammy show as lackluster, compared to the last two. Once the winners of Song and Record of the Year were announced, it was already a foregone conclusion who would win Album of the Year. The whole show was a drag that Stevie had to come in a save it and bring back the crowd energy in the end.
    Didn't care for the repeat performers either. Thought it was somewhat of an insult to have Boyz II Men backing up Justin Timberlake and Al Green. BIIM are far more talented than JT (he wishes he were Robin Thicke!) ever will be.
    I like Adele and glad she won. I do feel that Jazzy got India.Arie'd and Corinne Bailey Rae'd, but she still has something to offer. I was disappointed they didn't show her all night. I am glad J-Hud is back and other favorties won (though I like Ray's album little bit better).
    I think the economy and people drained from the Inauguration and Super Bowl was a factor too.

  10. Saadiq got robbed big time.

  11. Jaz did get robbed. Especially in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance catagory for "Im In Love With Another Man"; what a beautiful song and her skills shouldve been recognized.
    And I agree that J-Hud was pitied upon. Losing her family was definitely a factor in her receiving a grammy. My theory and Im sticking to it.
    Good Post!!!

  12. I am a little late with this, but I also felt that Jazmine was robbed and a couple other artist like Eric Benet, Keyshia Cole, Raphael Saadiq. Personally, I felt jazmine was worthy of at least one of those awards, but who i am? I think that who ever votes on the commitee should really sit there and think....we all felt that Jazmine deserved 5 grammy nods but she doesn't deserve to win one???? if i am not mistaken, there were a few ladies who were nominated for almost the same amount and won!!! Not taking anything away from other artists...R&B is not going anywhere...true r&b singers are not giving unfortunately we will continue to see real music get lover looked for Digital Garbage. Long story short.....There is always Jazmine's second album 🙂

  13. I forgot to mention who the ladies were 🙂 Lauryn Hill, one of jazmine's inspirations...Alicia Keys, Beyonce i believe...what is funny and actually shocking to me is that "R&B" music is well received over in london but not here...WHY IS THAT? Can anyone agree that this reminds me of when India Aire, Jill Scott were pretty much headliners of the grammys and didnt win???