Your Guide To The 2018 Grammys: Will They Leave Kendrick Out In The Cold Again?

The Grammys are this weekend — Sunday at 7:30PM EST in your native CBS affiliate, to be actual — and as all the time, we’re (nearly actually naïvely) hoping they gained’t suck this time. They in all probability will; they all the time do. Yet because of a considerably promising slate of nominees within the main classes, a equally half-decent listing of performers, obligation — hello @scottgum! — we at Stereogum will all be tuning in anyway, hoping for some chaos within the spirit of ’98 however content material to accept restricted James Corden hijinks and no less than one second we’ll nonetheless bear in mind this time subsequent 12 months.

If you dare be a part of us in our Schumer-level gullibility, listed here are some issues to know up entrance.

The Basics

The Grammys are broadcasting from New York’s Madison Square Garden this 12 months for the primary time since 2003, ending a 14-year stint on the Staples Center in LA. Because Grammy producers love to include outdated music that has zero relevance to our present musical second, a pair of Tony-winners might be available to acknowledge the NYC return by honoring Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Leonard Bernstein: Patti LuPone will reprise her famed function in Webber’s Evita to carry out “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” and Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt will sing a tune from Bernstein’s West Side Story. Don’t be shocked if returning host Corden, who has additionally hosted the Tonys, works some form of Broadway shtick right into a comedy sketch or opening monologue, too, a lot to the delight of people who find themselves far too simply amused. We’ll additionally in all probability hear rather a lot about how that is the 60th annual Grammys as a result of as we at Stereogum can attest, spherical numbers are vital.

The First-Time Nominees

Here are among the extra thrilling and/or noteworthy names up for a Grammy for the primary time: The War On Drugs! Migos! Sylvan Esso! Cardi B! Code Orange! Perfume Genius! Four Tet! Run The Jewels! Kesha! Laura Marling! Body Count! Kevin Hart! Daniel Caesar! Goldlink & Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy! Mura Masa! Meshuggah! Tyler, The Creator (in case you don’t rely his producer credit score on Channel Orange)! Rapsody (in case you don’t rely her visitor characteristic on To Pimp A Butterfly)! Best New Artist nominees SZA, Khalid, Julia Michaels, Lil Uzi Vert, and Alessia Cara! Decemberists facet venture Offa Rex! Spoken Word nominees Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bernie Sanders! Somewhat surprisingly, Iron & Wine! Quite suspiciously, Nothing More! Downright shockingly, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds!

Don’t Miss The Pre-Show

Most of the awards might be handed out on the Premiere Ceremony, the occasion previously often called the Pre-Telecast, which runs from Three-6PM EST in The Theater at Madison Square Garden and can stream stay at and Performers embrace Body Count, India.Arie, Jazzmeia Horn, Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’, and Stile Antico, however extra importantly, a whopping 70 classes might be settled then and there. So in case you’re questioning which grizzled white man will take dwelling Best Alternative Music Album or whether or not No I.D. has an opportunity to win Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nearly solely on the energy of his work on four:44 and the Vic Mensa album, you probably gained’t have to attend till sunset to seek out out.

Who’s Performing?

Part of the rationale the Grammys hand out so many awards forward of time is to allow them to replenish the printed with so many performances, a few of them not even tangentially related to The Year That Was. (Note the aforementioned Broadway bullshit — not that I object to showtunes on precept, it’s simply that there’s already a complete awards present explicitly devoted to that type of factor, ?) I used to be shocked to see how a lot of the leisure lineup this 12 months truly does comprise nominees, however as ever, there are various interlopers.

Among these performances with no connection to any 2018 Grammy race: (1) Broadway efficiency #1, (2) Broadway efficiency #2, (Three) aspiring retiree Elton John duetting with Miley Cyrus on considered one of his traditional songs to advertise the occasion Grammy overlords NARAS are throwing in John’s honor two days later, (four) ascendant Grammy mascot Sam Smith performing music that may undoubtedly be nominated when it turns into eligible subsequent 12 months, (5) ditto U2, (6) ditto Sting, (7) Jon Batiste and Gary Clark Jr. paying tribute to the late, nice Fats Domino as a result of what are the Grammys with out no less than one tribute to the lifeless, and (eight) and Rihanna and Bryson Tiller performing their glorious DJ Khaled-sponsored convergence “Wild Thoughts” as a result of the Grammys are by no means above reserving standard acts with no apparent connection to the ceremony in a craven bid for viewers. At least this time it doubles as a corrective for neglecting to appoint among the best pop songs of 2017.

It’d be good if every Album Of The Year nominee acquired an opportunity to spotlight their work on the Grammys stage, however alas, neither Lorde nor Jay-Z have been tapped to carry out. From that illustrious class we do get a show-opening efficiency from Kendrick Lamar (arguably the reigning king of televised music performances), Childish Gambino presumably doing his Record Of The Year candidate “Redbone,” and Bruno Mars teaming up with Cardi B for his or her new jack swing throwback “Finesse,” all of which have the potential to be very enjoyable. Kendrick and Bruno are additionally up for Record Of The Year, however I wouldn’t be shocked to see their respective nominated tracks (“HUMBLE.” and “24K Magic”) relegated to medley standing or not carried out in any respect; Grammy nominations might stay between October 2016 and September 2017, however Grammy performances are typically dictated by what’s popping within the current. As for the opposite Record Of The Year contenders, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee might be there to do “Despacito” with an help from Zuleyka Rivera, as is just proper for a tune that tied the file for many weeks at #1, and “The Story Of O.J.” won’t be carried out as a result of, as we already established, no Jay-Z.

That leaves eight extra introduced performances, all involving nominees. Country contenders Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne will collaborate with previous nominee Eric Church in tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas taking pictures — which may very well be genuinely transferring contemplating these are three of the standout artists in a largely unremarkable fashionable nation scene. Also with vital tearjerking potential are Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid’s run via their anti-suicide anthem “1-800-273-8255″ and Kesha’s highlight second, ought to it contain her Dr. Luke takedown “Praying.”

Lady Gaga and Pink each focus on awards-show spectacle, so even in case you discover their current output considerably blasé they’ll in all probability entertain you. I’m purported to care about beacons of nation authenticity Chris Stapleton and Loretta Lynn duetting, however God assist me, I don’t care the teeniest, tiniest bit. Little Big Town, nation stars of a barely extra fashionable tilt, will probably decide to exhibit Taylor Swift’s motherfucking craft, nevertheless it’s simple to think about that gig getting misplaced within the shuffle. What won’t be so forgettable is SZA, if her large SNL look is something to go by. Between SZA and Kendrick, it’s not arduous to think about staff TDE producing the present’s two finest moments.

Who’s presenting?

So many memorable awards-show moments contain two in any other case unrelated celebrities posted up at a podium, flubbing their traces or throwing critical side-eye at winners or no matter. Maybe that may occur once more? Dave Chappelle is presenting, so there’s heavy potential there. According to a press launch right now, these different well-known folks may also be current at hand out trophies: Tony Bennett, Kelly Clarkson, NFL participant Victor Cruz, Eve, Jim Gaffigan, Katie Holmes, Nick Jonas, Anna Kendrick, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Shemar Moore, Trevor Noah, Sarah Silverman, Hailee Steinfeld, and outdated child on the block Donnie Wahlberg.

And Now For Some Predictions

Let’s burn via 9 classes of curiosity, lightning-round type, and end up with some ideas in regards to the Album Of The Year race.

Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Gorillaz – Humanz
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Should win: Even although I’d relatively see Josh Tillman’s acceptance speech, American Dream is one of the best of those albums.
Will win: Everything Now, LOL.

Jay-Z – four:44
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Migos – Culture
Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
Should win: DAMN. as a result of rattling.
Will win: four:44 as a result of my colleague Tom Breihan might be proper, and it’s arduous to see Jay shedding Best Rap Album if he’s successful Album Of The Year.

6lack – Free 6lack
Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”
Khalid – American Teen
SZA – Ctrl
The Weeknd – Starboy
Should win: Ctrl as a result of although I like American Teen and Starboy they each have main filler issues.
Will win: Kind of arduous to think about them not giving it to “Awaken, My Love!” contemplating that one’s additionally up for Album Of The Year.

Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains
The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Should win: Beer business lead guitar shit, clearly.
Will win: Metallica, clearly.

Coldplay – Kaleidoscope EP
Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life
Imagine Dragons – Evolve
Kesha – Rainbow
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Ed Sheeran – ÷
Should win: Lana!
Will win: I’d say Ed Sheeran is a lock right here, however do you notice that not solely is Ed Sheeran shut out of the main classes, he’s additionally not even performing?! What occurred between Ed Sheeran and NARAS? He’s obnoxious, however in line with all Grammy precedent, after the 12 months he simply had, he needs to be cleansing up Sunday night time. Do not be shocked to see this go to Gaga or Kesha, each of whom are on deck to carry out.

Calvin Harris
No I.D.
Greg Kurstin
Blake Mills
The Stereotypes
Should win: Calvin Harris on the energy of “Slide” alone.
Will win: No I.D. (or perhaps Greg Kurstin on the off probability Jay-Z isn’t successful Album Of The Year).

Alessia Cara
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels
Should win: Uzi or SZA.
Will win: Any of the opposite three, none of whom can be a disappointing decide apart from Cara. (I’m nonetheless right here for “Here,” however c’mon.)

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee – “Despacito” (Feat. Justin Bieber)
Jay-Z – “four:44″
Julia Michaels – “Issues”
Logic – “1-800-273-8255″ (Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid)
Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”
Should win: “Issues,” although I keep “Uh Huh” is one of the best Julia Michaels single.
Will win: Oh no, it’s going to be the suicide PSA, isn’t it?

Childish Gambino – “Redbone”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee – “Despacito” (Feat. Justin Bieber)
Jay-Z – “The Story Of O.J.”
Kendrick Lamar – “Humble.”
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
Should win: It would solely be proper for everybody else to have to sit down down and be humble.
Will win: Probably “Despacito” — the Grammys keep rewarding business success — however I might see whoever takes Album Of The Year successful this too.

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”
Jay-Z – four:44
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Lorde – Melodrama
Bruno Mars – 24Okay Magic

Should win: Kendrick! Kendrick Lamar ought to win! I say this as somebody who deeply enjoys the Lorde and Bruno Mars albums and sees the advantage of the Jay-Z album and is an enormous fan of Childish Gambino’s TV present: DAMN. was one of the best album launched in the course of the eligibility interval. (Yes, I notice Stereogum named Melodrama the #1 album of 2017 over DAMN. final 12 months; I’m diverging from the corporate line on this one.) I’ve written a bit about how good the Kendrick album is right here and right here, and I proceed to consider it deserves to win this award on advantage alone, setting apart the truth that Kendrick, the best musical artist of this decade, is overdue to win a Grammy for Album Of The Year.

Will win: It’s by no means simple to determine who’s going to win this explicit gramophone. Scratch that — there are years when it’s simple, after which there are years that throw your judgment out of whack even within the simple years. Everything appears inevitable in hindsight, however currently for each “of course Adele/Taylor won” state of affairs there was a genuinely stunning winner alongside the traces of Daft Punk (my preliminary response: wow!) and Beck (my preliminary response: lolwut). Don’t act such as you thought Arcade Fire had been going to win for The Suburbs — not in opposition to Eminem, Ladies Gaga and Antebellum, and (particularly) Katy Perry’s mega-selling hit machine Teenage Dream!

And anyhow, this isn’t a type of years when the winner appears apparent. Among the nominees, the closest factor to an Adele-style gross sales behemoth is DAMN., and we’ve already alluded to the Grammys’ historical past of leaving Kendrick out within the chilly. Stereogum contributor Al Shipley has lengthy superior the statistically verified speculation that the Grammys favor males over 40 and girls below 30, which bodes nicely for Jay-Z and Lorde this 12 months. Given that Melodrama was not the industry-saving gross sales blockbuster Adele and Taylor Swift albums are typically, you may give the benefit to Jay. If I needed to guess, I’d guess on four:44, a type of grand elder-statesman assertion albums NARAS so adores.

I don’t suppose you’ll be able to rule out any of the 5 nominees, although. Bruno Mars was designed in a laboratory to win Grammys, and he’s nonetheless making hits off an album that got here out a 12 months and a half in the past. (The first two hits off 24Okay Magic are up for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year respectively, and he’s performing the third hit at this ceremony. Hmm…) Meanwhile Donald Glover has grown right into a determine with critical clout throughout your complete leisure panorama, he’s acting on the present, his album is as self-consciously retro as Bruno Mars’ album, and along with his Album Of The Year nod he’s additionally up for Record Of The Year for a tune that loved no small little bit of streaming and radio success. It’s not unfathomable that that is the 12 months they’ll lastly coronate King Kendrick. Lorde simply turned 21 and she or he’s already been a Grammy darling for years, and a win for her can be symbolic of the brand new era of pop stars NARAS appears keen to acknowledge this 12 months. Then once more, who’re the Grammys for if not for aged 1-percenters like Shawn Carter?

All issues thought-about, I stay genuinely interested in what’s going to occur Sunday night time. And just a little excited. And greater than just a little terrified — not simply because James Corden will in all probability sing showtunes however due to all of the alternative ways the web might soften down within the aftermath. Imagine the takes, the memes, the backlash that would ensue! For as soon as, it actually does really feel like Music’s Biggest Night™, or no less than it should throughout these pivotal ultimate moments when the Grammy individuals are setting a complete 12 months’s price of storylines in movement with one weighty resolution. Let’s simply hope when it’s throughout we’re saying “damn” for the fitting causes.


In considerably of a nice shock, Camila Cabello is holding down the #1 spot on each main Billboard charts this week. Per Billboard, she’s the primary solo artist to concurrently notch her first #1 single and album since Beyoncé in 2003. And if we’re disqualifying Beyoncé resulting from Destiny’s Child’s #1 achievements, Cabello is the primary to drag off this explicit feat since Britney Spears in 1998.

Perhaps the extra stunning of these two achievements: After seven nonconsecutive weeks at #2, her single “Havana” with Young Thug has risen to #1 on the Hot 100. It’s the primary #1 single for each artists, and it bumps Ed Sheeran’s (and generally Beyoncé’s) “Perfect” again to #2. Post Malone and 21 Savage’s “Rockstar” returns to #Three, knocking Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse” remix right down to #four.

Halsey’s “Bad At Love” reaches a brand new #5 peak and stays her finest charting tune as a lead artist. Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” holds at #6, whereas G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, and Cardi B’s “No Limit” falls to #7. Then at #eight comes Dua Lipa’s “New Rules,” her first ever top-10 hit in America. Closing out the highest 10 are Sam Smith’s “Too Good At Goodbyes” at #9 and Migos, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj’s “MotorSport” at #10 — and sure, that makes 4 weeks in a row with three songs within the high 10 for Cardi.

Cabello’s victory on the Billboard 200 albums chart was no certain factor both. Her album Camila and The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack had been battling to high the chart this week, however finally Cabello pulled it out. The former Fifth Harmony singer debuted at #1 with 119,000 equal album models — outpacing an forecast of about 90,000 — with conventional gross sales accounting for 65,000. The Greatest Showman truly outsold Camila with 70,000 in gross sales, nevertheless it falls to #2 this week with an total complete of 104,000 (a wildly spectacular determine for an album in its sixth week on the chart, and one that would have simply landed it again at #1 for a 3rd straight week in opposition to lesser competitors). Billboard says Cabello is the primary ladies to achieve #1 together with her debut album since Meghan Trainor three years in the past and the youngest to land her debut at #1 since her former duet associate Shawn Mendes, additionally three years in the past.

The remainder of the highest 10 largely contains longstanding hits by Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Taylor Swift, G-Eazy, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Lil Uzi Vert. (Yes, that’s three white rappers lingering within the high 10 — 5 in case you rely famous Future collaborators Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.) At #10 comes a far much less acquainted title, rapper Lil Skies, whose Life Of A Dark Rose makes the soar from #23 largely because of streams: 25,000 of the album’s 28,000 models derive from streaming.


Justin Timberlake – “Say Something” (Feat. Chris Stapleton)
Attempting to recapture the lightning that was the 2015 CMAs efficiency was all the time going to be a idiot’s errand, however after every thing we’ve seen and heard all through this Man Of The Woods rollout, a Justin Timberlake/Chris Stapleton duet might have turned out rather a lot worse. Then once more, all these qualifiers simply go to indicate how far the bar has been lowered for what ought to have been a closely anticipated A-list pop LP. (P.S. Is this tune Timberlake clapping again in any respect the individuals who suppose he ought to publicly apologize to Janet Jackson?)

Zedd, Maren Morris, & Grey – “The Middle”
Not a nasty Zedd single all-told, however isn’t it just a little on the nostril for Maren Morris to construct her craven monogenre crossover try across the lyric “Why don’t you just meet me in the middle?” (Also, alas, no, this isn’t a Jimmy Eat World cowl.)

Rudimental – “These Days” (Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen)
The pop posse cuts carry on coming! I’m undecided whether or not we needs to be dissatisfied or relieved this isn’t a canopy of the Jackson Browne/Nico traditional. That tune is clearly unimaginable whereas this one is clearly not, however I’m undecided I might deal with listening to the true “These Days” subjected to the cultural forces that generated this EDM x Mackle-core shitshow. Glynne’s by no means going to recapture that “Rather Be” glory, is she?

Sia, David Guetta & Afrojack – “Helium”
This tune’s core is principally Sia-by-numbers, however that huge EDM instrumental break is first-rate. Is sax I hear?

Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Trippie Redd, Joji, & Baauer – “18”


  • Ed Sheeran acquired engaged. [BBC]
  • N.E.R.D. will carry out on the NBA All-Star Game. [The Fader]
  • Halsey spoke on the 2018 Women’s March in NYC. [Twitter]
  • Nick Jonas has a brand new assortment with John Varvatos referred to as JV x NJ. [Instagram]
  • Eminem and Dr. Dre hit the studio with Mike Will Made-It. [XXL]
  • Britney Spears is taking her Vegas residency present on tour this summer season. [E!]
  • Lorde dragged GQ over its Jack Antonoff characteristic: “knew there was a way to describe the personal and skilful work that i do turns out it’s ‘singing jack antonoff songs.’” [Twitter]
  • Lil Yachty previewed a joint venture with Takeoff “coming real soon.” [Complex]
  • J. Lo debuted a Skrillex collab at Calibash 2018 and stated a remix from Calvin Harris is on the way in which. [Billboard]
  • Speaking of Calvin Harris, he says he’s retiring the sound of final 12 months’s nice Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, so don’t maintain your breath for Vol. 2, I assume. [Twitter]
  • Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke has a brand new solo single (“Perfect”) out tomorrow. [Twitter]
  • Enrique Iglesias sued Universal over streaming royalties. [Variety]
  • Here’s Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds’ anti-smoking PSA that may air in the course of the Grammys. [YouTube]
  • Ingrid Michaelson is writing a complete album primarily based on Stranger Things. [Complex]