It’s that time of year again; the red carpet rolls out, cameras flash at rapid speeds, and the brightest stars step out for music’s biggest night. Ladies and gentleman, it’s Grammy time!
The nominations are out, and like most years, the esteemed nominees take a backseat to high profile snubs.
All eyes have veered towards the prince of pop, Justin Timerlake. The musician turned actor turned MySpace savior finally put out an album for the first time in seven years (actually, two albums). The Magnus Opus that is The 20/20 Experience failed to garner any nominations in the big three categories (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year).
However, JT wasn’t totally left in the dust. With his 2013 partner in crime, Jay Z, the duo scored a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance nom for “Suit & Tie.” HOV also missed the big three with the out-of-nowhere, Samsung-backed Magna Carta Holy Grail. But the Brooklyn emcee still led the field with nine nominations, including Best Rap Album. This category should prove to be a close race, with critically acclaimed discs from Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West also in the running.
Lamar might be the “darling” of the Grammy Awards with the most street-credit ever. The Compton native, poised to seize hip-hop’s torch, is up for Best New Artist (Unarguably the night’s fourth biggest award), as well as Album of the Year for his debut effort, “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City.” While he might not snag the latter (that will probably go to Taylor Swift’s Red), the former is a safe bet.
The last few years have seen The Recording Academy show much love to rap and pop, leaving little adoration for rock. This year is no different, a clear indication of popular music’s direction (sub-par host, LL Cool J, takes the reins for the third year in a row, after all). Also, look no further than the 2014 Grammy Nominations Concert. Performers included a “who’s who” of pop/rap, such as Macklmore and Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, T.I., Katy Perry and Swift (yes, Taylor Swift is pop).
Then again, who knows what will happen come the big night.
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards airs live, January 26 from The Staples Center on CBS.
For a full list of nominees, visit Grammy.com.