Best Rap Album
Will Win - Eminem "The Marshall Mathers LP 2"
Could Win - Iggy Azalea "The New Classic"
Should Win - Schoolboy Q "Oxymoron" or Common "Nobody's Smiling"
Commentary - Without a lot of popular albums this year, Grammy voters turned to more underground and indie hip-hop artists, and the results are a great list of nominees this year. It is actually kind of a shame that the two leading the pack, aka the two best-selling most popular albums are probably the weakest of the bunch (not bad at all, just in comparison to their competitors). I would love to see Schoolboy Q or Common get some love here, but this race is between Eminem and Iggy Azalea. Grammy voters just have to choose to either honor the veteran (which I think they will), or the newcomer. It will be an interesting race to watch come Grammy night.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Will Win/Should Win - Eminem feat. Rihanna "The Monster"
Could Win - Kanye West and Charlie Wilson "Bound 2"
Commentary - The Monster was a monster, pun intended, radio hit, and well-liked among critics, and of the bunch, it is the recognizable. But watch out for Bound 2. Grammy voters don't have many other major opportunities to reward Kanye West, and while he is controversial, he is well-liked among Grammy voters. He could be the spoiler here.
Best Rap Performance
Will Win/Should Win - Kendrick Lamar "i"
Could Win - Eminem "Rap God" or Drake "0 to 100/The Catch Up"
Commentary - Eminem could sweep his categories, and Drake's record was a huge hit, but I think Grammy voters owe Kendrick Lamar a Grammy, after being shut out last year. i is his most accessible single to date, his Grammy performance last year was the highlight of the show, so you know voters are now paying attention, and honestly, it is a better record than either Eminem's or Drake's, neither of which are anywhere near their best work.
Best Rap Song
Will Win/Should Win - K. Duckworth and C. Smith "i"
Could Win - Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Malik Jones, Che Pope, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson, Ernest Wilson & Cydel Young "Bound 2"
Commentary - Once again, i, is easily the best of the bunch, and I think that Kendrick Lamar is going to take home at least one Grammy this year. But Bound 2 has a lot of great song writers, and is a big Kanye West hit (remember they like him a lot). But this is a category begging for an upset, and it might actually be Anaconda. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is catchy as hell.