Grammy Awards 2013: Guide To Hip-Hop, R&B Nominations

(Nas on his nomination for “Daughters”)

The Grammy board has received their fair share of criticism from the hip-hop community, with artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z openly boycotting the annual awards ceremony, but it looks like Sunday night’s show might offer some possibility for amends. For one, Jay-Z is actually scheduled to show up this year, and if Nas finally takes home a Grammy, some sins might be forgiven. Here’s a hip-hop guide to the 2013 Grammy Awards.

The full hip-hop and R&B nominations list

 Best Rap Album
» Drake, Take Care
» Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1
» The Roots, Undun
» Nas, Life Is Good
» Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
» 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story

Every rap fan will have an eye on Best Rap Album. This is the category to watch with nominees: Veteran Nas is the frontrunner to take the award with his milestone album but don’t discount The Roots, who have enjoyed mainstream and hip-hop success for years or Drake, whose star was bigger than ever in 2012. If you ask Lupe Fiasco, he thinks that Nas will be the winner. In a recent interview, Lu took himself out of the running, saying, “Every album since Food & Liquor, my first official release, has been nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammys. No. Clearly I won’t…I think they’ll give it to Nas,” he continued. “I think they’ll give it to Nas, to be honest.”

Best Rap Performance
» Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “HYFR (Hell Ya F—ing Right)”
» Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
» Nas – “Daughters”
» Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
» Young Geezy feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000 – “I Do”

Hip-Hop At The Grammy Awards: 2013 vs. 2012

Best Rap Song
» Nas – “Daughters”
» Wale feat. Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”
» Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
» Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “The Motto”
» Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
» Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa Featuring Bruno Mars – “Young, Wild & Free”

Best Rap Performance pits Drake and Wayne’s “HYFR” against The Throne’s “Paris” and G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy.” All catchy songs that were hits in their own right. Best Rap Song is also a tight category with Wale’s “Lotus Flower Bomb” going head-to-head with Drake’s “The Motto.” Will America’s love for the term YOLO help Drizzy snag his first Grammy ever? The Grammy voters may go a completely different route and opt for a more positive song, giving the award to Nas for his “Daughters.”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
» Chris Brown, Fortune
» Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
» Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Frank Ocean is the only trace of hip-hop/R&B in Album of the Year for Channel Orange, as well as in Record of the Year for  “Thinkin Bout You.” Not to mention, a nod for Best New Artist. Many speculate that he’s a shoo-in for Best New Artist, given his critically acclaimed music and very public personal life, but the Recording Academy is known to pull some major upsets.

Miguel is the only R&B singer in the Song of the Year category for his sultry “Adorn” but he faces stiff competition from the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Fun’s “We Are Young.”

Get psyched for Grammy night and don’t miss our live Grammy red carpet stream, starting Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET.  Stick with us for complete coverage of the Grammys including Grammy winners and full fashion coverage