Best Rap Album
Will Win - Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy"
Could Win - Kanye West and Jay-Z "Watch the Throne" or Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday"
Commentary - With such a strong set of nominees, particularly the three mentioned above, it is still shocking and ridiculous that none of them got into Album of the Year. This is a three way race that could honestly go any which way. If Nicki is the leader for Best New Artist, then her popularity and break-out year could get her this prize. Or they could decide that even though West's solo effort is much better, honoring both him and Jay-Z in one fail swoop might be more attractive. That being said, MBDATF is one of the best rap albums of all time and I think the Recording Academy will recognize it.
Best Rap Performance
Will Win/Should Win - Jay-Z and Kanye West feat. Otis Redding "Otis"
Could Win - Nicki Minaj and Drake "Moment 4 Life"
Commentary - I would have loved to have seen something like Monster get in, which would have gotten Nicki, Jay-Z and Kanye, but alas it comes down to two power duets. Moment 4 Life has a lot of support and if they want to spread the love around, this could be the place. Plus it was a huge radio hit. but my money is on the dynamic duo of Jay-Z and Kanye, with a little help from Otis Redding.
Best Rap Song
Will Win/Should Win - All of the Lights
Could Win - Otis
Commentary - Otis and All of the Lights both will most likely win their performance awards, but in this category the fact that All of the Lights got the Song of the Year general nomination helps push it ahead of its competitor.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Will Win/Should Win - Kanye West feat. Kid Cudi and Rihanna "All of the Lights"
Could Win - Rihanna "What's My Name?"
Commentary - My guess is that the Rap Song and Song of the Year nod, pushes All of the Lights ahead of its competitors.