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Best Urban Contemporary Album

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Best Urban Contemporary Album
Free 6lack - 6lack
"Awaken, My Love!" - Childish Gambino
American Teen - Khalid
Ctrl - SZA
Starboy - The Weeknd
  • only_one
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    Gambino may be popular. But SZA has got A LOT of love from the industry.

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    Emmyfan
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    Look out for Khalid!

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    Xtina
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    Honey, I wouldn’t be shocked if Khalid pulled an upset in this category. His album has sold well.

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    Xtina
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    Initially, I thought Childish Gambino was a slam-dunk here due to his AOTY nom. However, I’m not so sure about that now.

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    darrenc95
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    I think SZA is too niche, and hasn’t had enough mainstream prominence, to win this award. (This will also hurt her in BNA.) Looking at past winners, this category has skewed pretty commercial – Pharrell even managed to beat Beyoncé(!) purely on the strength of Happy.

    I’d definitely keep my eye on SZA because she has a lot of buzz, but I don’t think she has the momentum to overtake Childish Gambino.

    Khalid is a nonfactor in this race. So is 6lack, but that goes without saying.

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    PoweR
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    What is “too niche” about SZA? She has had mainstream exposure with the Maroon 5 song and just performed on SNL. She isn’t any less “niche” than Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Snarky Puppy, Gary Clark Jr. and a few others that have won Grammys in the R&B field within the past five years.

    Urban Contemporary generally skews mainstream because mainstream artists take up several key spots there. If we were going with the most mainstream choice, it wouldn’t be Childish Gambino, it would be The Weeknd.

    I also don’t think it’s all doom and gloom for SZA in BNA either. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a Chance moment and won here and BNA.

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    darrenc95
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    What is “too niche” about SZA? She has had mainstream exposure with the Maroon 5 song and just performed on SNL. She isn’t any less “niche” than Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Snarky Puppy, Gary Clark Jr. and a few others that have won Grammys in the R&B field within the past five years.

    Urban Contemporary generally skews mainstream because mainstream artists take up several key spots there. If we were going with the most mainstream choice, it wouldn’t be Childish Gambino, it would be The Weeknd.

    I also don’t think it’s all doom and gloom for SZA in BNA either. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a Chance moment and won here and BNA.

    Lack of pop crossover. Most people who don’t listen to R&B radio aren’t familiar with her, aside from the Maroon 5 song that she is barely noticeable on. Redbone was a pop crossover hit, albeit not a particularly huge one.

    And there’s the fact that the vast majority of her buzz comes from the internet and music critics. Everywhere else, she appears to be a non-factor. You could argue the same was true about Frank Ocean, but he had the best-selling album of that year’s nominees.

    It’s hard to make a case for SZA here when 3/4 of her fellow nominees outsold her, 3/4 of them had pop crossover hits, and one of them is also up for AOTY and ROTY.

    I’m not necessarily saying it won’t happen – I think if anyone can beat Gambino, it’s her – but I don’t think it’s likely.

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    PoweR
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    Your point would have been valid if we were talking about the pop and general fields, but it doesn’t really argue against the examples I named here.

    If it was all about pop crossover success in the R&B field, Rihanna wouldn’t have lost two Grammys last year, and those examples wouldn’t have been winners.

    R&B/Urban Contemporary IS a niche field. I don’t believe Childish Gambino will sweep the R&B field, any more than y’all think Bruno won’t.

    I’m not going with safe predictions across the board, especially after last year’s wins. I’m predicting an upset by SZA here.

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    PoweR
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    Now what I will say about SZA’s chances is that she had similar nominations to Jazmine Sullivan in her rookie year, and Jazmine went home emptyhanded. So there is a strong chance that history will repeat itself. But Jazmine also didn’t go into the Grammy voting with nearly as much buzz.

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    Xtina
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    The reality is, this category is SZA’s best chance at a win. She’s not getting past Alessia Cara in Best New Artist. If Solange can win last year, I guess anything is possible.

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    darrenc95
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    Your point would have been valid if we were talking about the pop and general fields, but it doesn’t really argue against the examples I named here.

    If it was all about pop crossover success in the R&B field, Rihanna wouldn’t have lost two Grammys last year, and those examples wouldn’t have been winners.

    R&B/Urban Contemporary IS a niche field. I don’t believe Childish Gambino will sweep the R&B field, any more than y’all think Bruno won’t.

    I’m not going with safe predictions across the board, especially after last year’s wins. I’m predicting an upset by SZA here.

    That’s fair. I think with predictions a lot of it is just gut feeling too. I remember we were talking before the nominations came out about the possibility of Humble getting a SOTY nom and I kept insisting it wouldn’t, although I couldn’t perfectly describe why. It was just my gut feeling, and it turned out to be right.

    With SZA, I could be wrong. You could be right. We’ll see.

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    PoweR
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    You could be right about this one as well. We shall see. I predicted Chance The Rapper for Rap Album and BNA, which he ended up winning both. I just think her situation is more like Chance’s last year. But she can also end up like Jazmine Sullivan, which I mentioned before. I also have a hard time believing that a female will be slighted entirely in the R&B field. Childish just seemed like his year in music was defined by just “Redbone,” which is where I see him being honored.

    The R&B field has been filled with surprises since the redux of the categories back in 2011. A Bruno/Childish sweep just seems very… predictable, all things considered.

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    Oscar Rodriguez
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    If anything, the most “famous” or “pop crossover” nominee wouldn’t even be Gambino. Both Khalid and The Weeknd had multiple pop radio hits last year. SZA and Bino only had 1 each.

    6lack is a non facto here. The Weeknd’s momentum has sputtered out.

    I agree with Xtina. Khalid could upset. He had 5 nominations this year, same as SZA. However, I believe he’ll get his due in SOTY with Alessia and Logic, while SZA takes BNA and Urban Contemporary.

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    PoweR
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    SZA could also benefit from being the only female in the lineup.

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    kingofrapmusic17
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    I voted for The Weeknd because I feel bad for him. Starboy was a great album and he only got one nomination. That sucks. Don’t expect him to show up or perform. He should do a remix of “Die For You” considering he stated that we are still in the Starboy era. Bruno made it work for “Finesse”.

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