What we’ve done here is stuck with the most popular categories as well as the categories or genres that we cover mostly. We had so much fun doing a post last year and thought we’d do it up again this year and may very well do it every year!
[Record of the Year] Adele – Rolling in the Deep, Bon Iver – Holocene, Bruno Mars – Grenade, Mumford & Sons – The Cave, Katy Perry – Firework
Ran: I actually really really like Katy Perry’s Firework =) So, my vote goes to her.
Robbie Majors: Ok, spiritually Adele and Bon Iver are tied in 1st for me. I really liked Mumford & Sons and even KP in Firework. My stomach turns from the lyrical debauchery of Grenade. Really?? Catch a grenade? Have we not seen enough World’s Deadliest Warriors to know what happens to someone in proximity to one of those things? C.O.D? The Expendables? Rambo? Anyone? But as much as I’d love for Adele or Bon Iver to win, I’ve heard KP and Grenade blasted enough times on the radio that I’m sick of it. So my realistic pick is going to be KP in hopes that The Smeezingtons, Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, and Andrew Wyatt (writing credits of Grenade) will stop writing like that. GO KP!
Erikutz: Though I love me some sappy songs, the lyrics with Grenade is all too depressing and suicidal to me. I gave the others a chance and listened but I’mma have to go for my girl Adele with this one.
[Album of the Year] Adele – 21, Foo Fighters – Wasting Light, Lady Gaga – Born This Way, Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Rihanna – Loud
Ran: I’m going with Bruno Mars. Adele’s album is up there, but in terms of an album as a whole, I edge it out to the man from outer space.
Robbie Majors: Despite her album reminding me of every heart that I’ve broken and every person that’s ever broken my heart, my spiritual win is going for Adele with Doo Wops in 2nd place. But we all know that album sales have more clout in award shows and Lady Gaga had a killer 2011 (unless that was 2010?? When songs get overplayed it seems like ….FOREVER). Foo, I love you guys too, but you had next to nil on the marketing campaign, which might actually make you the winner in the end because you guys get to keep your royalties! Grammy = Adele, winner = Foo Fighters.
Erikutz: Hmm, I’m digging Doo-Wops & Hooligans but I’m all about the sappy songs (ask anyone who knows me well). Thus, my vote goes for Adele.
[Song of the Year] Kanye West – All of the Lights, Mumford & Sons – The Cave, Bruno Mars – Grenade, Bon Iver – Holocene, Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Ran: I got sick of All of the Lights after the 8th time I heard it. Adele is good and all, but her music puts me to sleep if it’s on repeat. Grenade is probably the only Bruno Mars song I don’t like. So, I’m giving it to Mumford & Sons.
Robbie Majors: Tough Choice this one, as all of them stand pretty close in the rankings in my book (minus Grenade). So my pick is: ANYTHING EXCEPT GRENADE!! We all win!
Erikutz: This is a pretty tough one. Though I would’ve gone for either Kanye or Bruno, I’mma have to go with Mumford & Sons in this category.
[Best New Artist] The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Skrillex
Ran: J. Cole! Cole world no blanket!
Robbie Majors: 2011 was a big step for dub step with Corey Feldmen…I mean new up and coming DJ/Producer Skrillex entering the scene (RIP Corey Feldmen, I loved The Lost Boys…the movie..not to be confused with The Lost Boyz..90’s billboard breaking hip hop act ). But since dub step is mostly popular in the UK and in small doses, and since J. Cole didn’t really catch fire till the end of 2011, I’m going to go for Nicki Minaj ‘cause she has such a BIG …personality, she has to divide herself into characters. Minaj for the clone wars win and a Grammy.
Erikutz: Nicki Minaj best “new” artist? She’s been around for how many years already! Anywho, though Skrillex has a crazy sound and style, I can kinda picture The Band Perry picking up the award *shrug*
[Best Pop Solo Performance] Adele – Someone Like You, Lady Gaga – You and I, Bruno Mars – Grenade, Katy Perry – Firework, Pink – F***in’ Perfect
Ran: Never mind, I’l find someone like yooooooooou.
Robbie Majors: I’m a big tube fanatic. I scour the net for people covering popular songs, and I’ve seen a bajillion versions of Adele’s Someone Like You. And although there were some GREAT renditions, no one does it better than the original. Adele for the win. If Grenade wins, I’m going to buy a grenade, pull out the pin and hold it against my forehead like an ice pack during a fever.
** Disclaimer: Robbie Majors was in fact suffering from a fever during these nominations **
Erikutz: I wouldn’t be surprised if Katy Perry picked this one but my vote goes out to my girl Adele!!! Sing it, Ran!! Robbie, nooooooo!
[Best Pop Duo/Group Performance] Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – Body and Soul, The Black Keys – Dearest, Coldplay – Paradise, Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks, Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
Ran: As much as I like Amy Winehouse, there’s still one song that’s still going on in my head. Look into my eyes and I’ll own you, with them Moves Like Jagger!
Robbie Majors: I would really love to see The Black Keys walk away with a grammaphone, but unfortunately for me I have this nagging feeling that Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilerra are going to win this one with that damn blasted catchy ass song. I HATE MYSELF for slightly grooving whenever I hear this song. Ergo, because I hate it, the universe will mock me by letting them walk away with a win for that lyrical tragedy. I don’t know which one turns my stomach more…Grenade or Move Like Jagger. HAS ANYONE SEEN JAGGER MOVE?!! REALLY?! That’s what you want me to look like? I love Mick Jagger and the Stones but really? That’s like saying “Oh I want to be the best basketball player ever…let me be like …Cherokee Parks. Yeah that’s right…google him. Maybe if they made it “Move like Mike Jackson” then I’d be more inclined to give my full stamp of approval. Winner: Mick Jagger, begrudingly.
Erikutz: *looks nervously at Robbie Majors* …. First of all, RIP Amy Winehouse. I absolutely love her and her voice. Was such a huge loss for the music world. Though I would normally vote for Body and Soul as I absolutely love this collab, I’m going to have to put my vote in for Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s Moves Like Jagger. It’s a catchy tune, yo! *slams down on red button*
[Best Pop Instrumental Album] Jenny Oaks Baker – Wish Upon a Star, Daniel Ho – E Kahe Malie, Booker T. Jones – Road to Memphis, Dave Koz – Hello Tomorrow, Brian Setzer – Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!
Ran: *busy moving like Jagger right in Robbie Majors’ face*
Robbie Majors: I respect all the artists on this particular category. As a fellow violinist, Jenny Oaks has a soft spot in my heart. Dave Koz and Brian Setzer are musicians in which kudos must be given to. But Booker T. owns my soul on this one. Seriously, if you love jazz, funk, blues, hip hop…you must hear this album. Regardless, it’s a winner in my book-er.
Erikutz: I grew up listening to Dave Koz, love Disney instrumentals and reminiscing about Hawaii with some beautiful Hawaiian music in the background but this Booker T. album is totally up my alley. To me, it’s like going to a really casual restaurant with really amazing live entertainment. Listening to this makes me want to just chill with some friends while having some drinks. Love the covers!
[Best Pop Vocal Album] Adele – 21, Cee Lo Green – Lady Killer, Lady Gaga – Born This Way, Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Rihanna – Loud
Ran: Doo-wops and Hooligans! It was one of my favourite albums of 2011! Lady Killer was dope too, but Bruno Mars’ album was an unexpected hit for me. It left more of an impact… even though Grenade was on it.
Robbie Majors: Ok so if we’re just taking into consideration VOCAL performance, I’m going to have to go with Adele as my first choice, Bruno in 2nd and Cee Lo in 3rd. If any of those choices win, I will have full trust in the voting scale in which the award show is based. I know I’m going to get burned and disavowed from attending the Grammys one day, so as a side note..I’m just kidding Grammy organizers, I love you guys! =D
Erikutz: I’m totally diggin’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans and I have much respect for Lady Gaga but once again, my vote goes for Ms. Adkins for 21. This was one of the most anticipated album in 2011 for me and once it was released, it was on hot rotation for months and is currently playing on my iPod 😀
[Best Dance Recording] Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech – Raise Your Weapon, Duck Sauce – Barbara Streisand, David Guetta & Avicili – Sunshine, Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend, Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Swedish House Mafia – Save the World
Ran: I haven’t really kept up with the dance scene. I was excited for Deadmau5, but after listening to his discography, I was left underwhelmed. Sorry, Deadmau5 fans. Out of all those songs, I like Swedish House Mafia.
Robbie Majors: I’m a little bias to pick Deadmau5, only because I spent 8 hours making a Deadmau5 helmet replica out of a giant hamster ball for Halloween. I’d give it to Skrillex, but only for 10 minutes. At that point I’d start to get upset after hearing “Woomp woomp woomp chicka waaamp” for so long. So winner for me is Swedish House Mafia; still dancey, with some great energy you can get a proper high off
while on x the power of the holy spirit.
Erikutz: Hey, Robbie, how about hearing “ooh woohoo hooohooooo hoooo…. Barbara Streisand” for 3 minutes and 17 seconds? Or fist pumping to Sunshine? Though I do like the dance/electronic kinda sound with Swedish House Mafia, gonna vote for Barbara Streisand in this category.
[Best Electronic/Dance Album] Cut/Copy – Zonoscope, Deadmau5 – 4×4=12, David Guetta – Nothing But The Beat, Robyn – Body Talk pt. 3, Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
Ran: I haven’t listened to any of these albums =( When in doubt, pick C. David Guetta it is.
Robbie Majors: Since they cut out my Swedish House Mafia from this category, I’m going with Deadmau5!!
Erikutz: I like the retro-esque sound of Cut/Copy’s Zonoscope but in this category, I think that David Guetta will pick up the award in this category. Check out those collabs!
[Best R&B Performance] Marsha Mabrosius – Far Away, Ledisi – Pieces of Me, Kelly Price & Stokley – Not My Daddy, Corinne Bailey Rae – Is This Love, Charlie Wilson – You Are
Ran: I have gripe against covers. As much as they make it their own unique song, it’s still not an original production. It’s an unfair advantage, because everyone already fell in love with the track beforehand. So I have to take that into account with Corinne Bailey Rae’s track. Although I love the track, I’m still pretty particular when it comes to my personal taste, her version of Is This Love makes me sleep. Charlie Wilson, you’re my choice.
Robbie Majors: I am glad that the Grammy organization listened to my complaints over the 2011 awards and their definitions of R&B. I’m happy that this year r&b songs sound like r&b songs, you know…songs with actual instruments, no auto tune or synthentic whatchamahoozits. That being said, winner hands down – Corinne Bailey Rae. Great instruments, key changes, and vocals.
Erikutz: Though I think Jill Scott should’ve been in this category as well, the picks this year are quite good. This was a tough one for me. This I have to first get out of the way though: did you all see the video to You Are? How cute are those kids?!? I’d marry you!! *pulls self together*.. Alright, it’s a tie between Marsha and Corinne but my final vote goes for Corinne. I absolutely love this rendition of hers. I guess I like to sleep that much, eh Ran? 😉
[Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance] Eric Benet – Sometimes I Cry, Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona – Fool For You, R. Kelly – Radio Message, Raphael Saadiq – Good Man, Betty Wright & The Roots – Surrender
Ran: Betty Wright & The Roots! Good Man was kinda boring to me. I do like R. Kelly’s track, but Surrender kept me interested.
Robbie Majors: Ok so maybe they listened to my complaints a little too well, but I’m glad they’re sticking with the details, and yes there is a difference between R&B and “traditional” R&B. Kudos to instrumentation! Under this particular category I think the real winner is R&B lovers, ‘cause this year the organization pulled out some great nominees. Winner: music.
Erikutz: Damn, another toughy. And R. Kelly with a wholesome song? Kudos. Didn’t really feel Saadiq’s latest album and the collab with fellow Torontonian Melanie Fiona and Cee Lo so I’m gonna have to go with Betty Wright and the brilliant collab with The Roots. LOVE it! Now that’s what I call (traditional) Rhythm & Blues, baby!
[Best R&B Song] Marsha Ambrosius – Far Away, Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona – Fool For You, Kelly Price & Stokley – Not My Daddy, Ledisi – Pieces of Me, Charlie Wilson – You Are
Ran: Going against the grain here. I still really like Charlie Wilson’s track =)
Robbie Majors: This song has been running all day on my playlists, fire performance by CL and Mel. Hands down Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona’s Fool for You for the win.
Erikutz: Since CBR was knocked out of this category (and Jill), my vote goes for Marsha. Love the music and vocal arrangement.
RAM: Undecided once again
[Best R&B Album] Chris Brown – F.A.M.E, El DeBarge – Second Chance, R. Kelly – Love Letter, Ledisi – Pieces of Me, Kelly Price – Kelly
Ran: Haha, you know, I just have to give it to Chris Brown. LOOK AT ME NOW! She Ain’t you! Deuces (remix with 3Stacks!) C’mon!
Robbie Majors: Ooo this one’s a split decision for me between Ledisi and R. Kelly, with a slight advantage for R.Kelly because his songs help people have babies.
Erikutz: Hahahaha, Robbie, you kill me, man. It’s funny you say that though because I’m thinking that this album of his is too “wholesome” in comparison to his other projects. His work in the 90’s is still prime to me. But this album is actually still quite good. Oooh look at that, R. Kelly and Kelly Price in the same category or ROOM for that matter. Scandalouuuus!! Anyway, after much listening, it’s between Robert and Ledisi for me. But with his attempt to be more mature and more wholesome, I vote for R. Kelly.
[Best Rap Performance] Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – Look At Me Now, Jay-Z & Kanye West – Otis, Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On, Nicki Minaj & Drake – Moment 4 Life, Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow
Ran: I really don’t get how these “performance” categories work. What are they judging on? Anyway, Look At Me Now had Busta flow like a machine gun! I just hope he doesn’t over do it… Otis, that’s exciting. 2 of the best! Wiz got caught in the whole major label trap. You should listen to his stuff before his major label album. Way different. Moment 4 Life was overplayed to he77… I’m so tired of both of them. Best performance for me goes to Lupe, because he made it look like he was happy with Lasers! Haha! Now Lupe’s Food & Liquor 2 is being pushed back by Atlantic. Same reasons….
Robbie Majors: How did Wiz Khalifa make nominee?!! Especially for Black and Yellow!?!… in the PERFORMANCE category? It’s THE MOST MONOTONE unexciting rap song ever to be rapped. If we excommunicate him from the equation, based on performance…everyone else has a good chance to take it, they all have great stage presence to be reckoned with a hype production to back them. Kudos to Diplo for Look At Me Now and T-Minus for Moment 4 Life. Final vote: Look At Me Now.
Erikutz: Otis to me was a bit overrated though the video is “exciting”. Lupe’s flow was nice but I’mma have to go with Bust-yo-face Chris Brown with this one. I really like the way he raps here and Busta’s flow is insane!
[Best Rap/Sung collab] Beyonce & Andre 3000 – Party, DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne – I’m On One, Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need A Doctor, Rihanna & Drake – What’s My Name?, Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne – Motivation, Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – All of the Lights
Ran: Beyonce & Andre 3000’s Party, just because EVERYONE is waiting for a new OUTKAST album!
Robbie Majors: My first pick because I’m baised from Toronto will be Drizzy drizzy drizzy, and Rihanna. All of the Lights would have been a good first choice if the original video didn’t send myself and a thousand other people into a seizure. I do not understand the direction that Hype was taking with that original cut. What happened to the good old days of slow motion panning, lasers, explosions and video ho’s?? Drizzay Drizzay Drizz-ay…for the win.
Erikutz: Hey, if winning this will in fact result to a new Outkast album, then I’m all for this collab. But personally, I’m not a huge fan of Beyonce. But I do like Dre’s flow in this one. Drizzy’s voice annoys the crap out of me. Wasn’t Eminem nominated for this same track last year?? Anyway, I think the collab with Kelly Rowland and Lil Wayne is interesting. Sounds pretty good, too. I vote for Motivation
[Best Rap Album] Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne, Lil Wayne – The Carter IV, Lupe Fiasco – Lasers, Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday, Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Ran: Seriously? Out of all those albums, Ye’s MBDTF has to win.
Robbie Majors: Hmm, not sure how I feel about Kanye double dipping the system with the odds. Although deserving a win for The Throne and MBDTF (which sounds like some kind of disease in acronym form). I would like to see Nicki Minaj win, Just so I can see Kanye interrupt her acceptance speech and say ” I’m,a let you finish, but I Kanye West has one of the best records of ALL TIME”. All kidding aside, much to her fellow nominees she did have a hot year, and I don’t ever recall a female ever winning best rap album, for a fresh change of pace, and the debates to ensue …I’d like to see Minaj for the win.
Erikutz: Thank goodness Kanye got his swag back because his album prior to this one which he worked on during his break-up was a huge disappointment for me. His beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy, should take this one.
[Best Rap Song] Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – All of the Lights, Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow, Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – Look at Me Now, Jay-Z & Kanye West – Otis, Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On
Ran: Hmmm, All of the Lights, it was cool, but when things are overplayed (and I don’t even listen to the radio much), it really plays a part in my overall feeling for the track. Black and Yellow was catchy. I Need a Doctor was… kinda underwhelming. Yeah it’s Em, Dre and Skylar Grey, but Dre’s verse sounded so ghostwritten. Also, Dre is never releasing Detox =P So no vote for him, haha! Look At Me Now, I still don’t see Chris Brown as a rapper… Lupe’s The Show Goes On was real positive talk. I think I have to give it to Otis though. It’s a classic Kanye production, and it’s just really fun.
Robbie Majors: I felt like I Need A Doctor came from an authentic place, and we all know how Em can spit acid in a verse, poignant. But taking into consideration, delivery, energy and production, I’m going to have to go with Look At Me Now, and I’m talking the edited version in my mind, where I’ve edited out Chris Brown and Lil Whizy and replaced them, leaving Busta Rhymes, Eminem and Twista, making it the fastest spitted rap song to ever be spat. However, I will accept any win over Black and Yellow. We’re all allowed to dislike a song once in a while, and this one is top rankings in songs I am not feeling.
Erikutz: Though I do not support the negative behaviour of this young man, all that aside, I think that Look At Me Now is a pretty dope track.
[Best Short Form Music Video] Adele – Rolling in the Deep, Memory Tapes – Yes I Know, OK Go – All Is Not Lost, Radiohead – Lotus Flower, Skrillex – First of the Year (Equinox), “Weird Al” Yankovic – Perform This Way
Ran: I kinda liked Skrillex’s First of the Year (Equinox). Dealing with crime one pedo at a time!
Robbie Majors: If Ok Go wasn’t in this category I would have picked Wierd Al. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid and actually bought his cassette tape back in the early 90’s. But Ok Go comes out with the most creative videos I’ve ever seen. Although I was not a big fan of all the moose knuckles in the video, the concept was brilliant and perfectly executed. Ok GO hands down.
Erikutz: I don’t know what’s more disturbing; pedophiles or Weird Al dressed in drag/as Lady Gaga. Funny thing with Weird Al parody videos, he probably just does it for sh*ts and giggles yet here he is with a nomination! I like the creativity of OK Go with All Is Not Lost as well as the effect in the Memory Tapes video but I’m gonna have to go with the little girl with the force. Was that venom??? Venom is dope! For a bad guy. But not as dope as Storm Shadow.
[Best Long Form Music Video] Beyonce – I Am..World Tour, Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, Kings of Leon – Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light
Ran: I haven’t seen any of these yet…
Robbie Majors: I am displeased by how they called this LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO…and not DOCUMENTARY. For categorizing it in the latter requires a different set of criteria in which I must base my opinion on. As I’m sure each “video” would be interesting on its own merits, the one most appealing to me on a biased platform would be The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest. However, because I haven’t watched any of these “long form music videos” I am unable to make a suitable declaration. But GOOOO TRIBE!!!
Erikutz: I’ve only seen one of these and probably wouldn’t bother with the rest because it was just so brilliantly made. Hands down – TRIBE, YO!!