The hip-hop community dubbed Kendrink Lamar snubbed during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014 when Good Kid, M.A.A.D City lost to mainstream marvels Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s The Heist. But his second critically-acclaimed album, To Pimp a Butterfly has him leading for 2016 with eleven nominations. Taylor Swift and the Weeknd come in second with seven nominations.
It is still vicious competition with Lamar going against Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” with Charlie Puth for Song of the Year. He is also competing against Swift, 1989, and the Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness, for Album of the Year. In the rap category, Lamar is sparring off against heavyweights like J. Cole, Drake, Nicki Minaj and newcomer Fetty Wap. His notable guest verses from “Classic Man Remix” by Jidenna and Swift’s “Bad Blood” also landed him nominations.
Album of the Year and Best Rap Album hold the most weight with acknowledgment from one of the most infamous accolades. J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hill Drive went gold without any features, Drake’s album / mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, was surprisingly released and went platinum. Nicki Minaj continues to dominate the female rap scene and showed her seriousness with a lack of costumes and colorful wigs with Pinkprint that showed her Sucka Free and Beam Me Up Scotty roots. Then is Dr. Dre’s long awaited album Compton. A legend is presented and with six already under his belt, this could seem like a cake walk to the veteran.
Kendrick Lamar demonstrated his talent by tackling real issues in his album and created an album need rather than wanted. With the mainstream acceptance of trap music that used to only rumble trunks but now plays alongside “Shake it Off,” Lamar provided a what some needed to hear rather than wanted. While still demonstrating that airways are not completely polluted with crap rap or hip-pop, the 2016 nominations have many great talents competing for the gold-plated gilded gramophone.