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

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  • "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

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  • "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.

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

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  • "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

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  • "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.

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

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  • "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

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  • "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.

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jennifer_hudson_derek_blanks.jpgBest R&B Album

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  • 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

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  • 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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