Kanye West is the frontrunner to win the Best Rap Song Grammy for the fifth time in the nine-year history of this award as he contends for two tunes. He penned “All of the Lights,” which is also a Song of the Year nominee, with Fergie, Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones and Warren Trotter for his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” And he wrote and recorded “Otis” with Jay-Z for their album “Watch the Throne.” The pair claimed this award in 2009 for “Run This Town” and Jay-Z won last year for “Empire State of Mind.”
“Look at Me Now” marks the first bid by Chris Brown in this category. He was part of an impressive team of co-writers of this tune — which hit the top ten on the Hot 100 — including Diplo, Jean Baptiste, Ryan Buendia, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and Afrojack. If only West was on that list as well, it would be easier to see Brown as a real contender.
“I Need a Doctor” was written by its recording artists Dr. Dre, Eminem and Skylar Grey along with songwriter Alexander Grant. Only Eminem already has a Best Rap Song Grammy, having won for “Lose Yourself” in the inaugural year of the category in 2003. This track also contends for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, but is unlikely to claim either prize.
Lupe Fiasco‘s nomination for “The Show Goes On” is his third in the category. He co-wrote this song with Dustin William Brower, Jonathon Keith Brown, Daniel Johnson and Kane. His previous bids for “Kick, Push” (2006) and “Superstar” (2008) did not result in wins and the same outcome is likely for this Modest Mouse-sampling track.
Newcomer Wiz Khalifa took “Black and Yellow” to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune is up for this award and Best Rap Performance. However, Khalifa was snubbed for Best Rap Album as well as Best New Artist.
Listen to the nominated songs below.