Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco: Who will it be?
As the 2012 Grammys quickly approach, the debates of who will win heighten.
Not only does Kanye West  go head-to-head with himself for Best Rap Album -- "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" battles against his and Jay-Z 's collaborative album, "Watch the Throne "-- but also against Nicki Minaj  and Lil Wayne . The two Young Money artists have dominated the R&B/Hip-Hop charts since the start of their careers.
Minaj continues to climb the charts with her debut album, "Pink Friday." This week, "Pink Friday," released on Nov. 19., climbs two notches on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, from No. 16 to No. 14. "Pink Friday" peaked at No. 1 on Jan. 22, 2011. The album has been on the charts for 63 weeks. Minaj's "Moment 4 Life," featuring Drake , peaked at No. 1 on Feb. 26 and claimed the top notch for five weeks.
Weezy's "Tha Carter IV" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. His ninth studio album sold 964,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It also became Wayne's third Billboard 200 No. 1 album, following "Tha Carter III" and "I Am Not a Human Being."
Though debuting at No. 44 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, "Tha Carter IV" stayed at No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for seven weeks after peaking at No. 1 on Sept. 17.
But ever since The Throne -- composed of Hov and 'Ye -- dropped "Watch the Throne" digitally on Aug. 8, the bromantic duo have been at the tip of tongues, on and off the charts. Jay has been having the best year ever, thus far. Two days after becoming a proud papa to his and Beyoncé 's baby girl, Blue Ivy, Jay debuted an intensely intimate ode to her, titled "Glory." One month later, Jay-Z took the stage for two nights at New York's Carnegie Hall where he basked in a blue hue, performing "Glory" for the first time ever.
"I didn't think I was gonna make it through that one, that was tough," Jay said, bringing forth a round of wails and applauds.
'Ye has been submerged in the fashion scene and working on his label's, G.O.O.D. Music, compilation album with the likes of Big Sean , Frank Ocean , Jay Electronica , Pusha T  and more. Sources told The New York Observer that Mr. West is in discussion of filming a mini-movie in the Middle East, similar to his 30-minute project in 2010.
Though it's obvious that The Throne "can't stop," Lupe Fiasco 's "Lasers" debuted at No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, on March. 26. Fiasco stayed strong at No. 1 for 2 weeks, same as "Watch the Throne." The album's single, "Out of My Head" debuted at No. 94 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and peak d at No. 11 on July, 30.
Close to three months after "Lasers" debuted, Fiasco made headlines by calling President Barack Obama "the biggest terrorist in the United Stated of America." Although that heightened talk of Fiasco at the time, will it help him win the Best Rap Album 2012 Grammy? Or has it been forgiven and forgotten?
Although a fan of both of "Ye's 2012 Grammy nominated projects, and of Jay-Z, I have to go with 'Ye's solo project. The sumptuous soundscapes and honorable storytelling on "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" surpass his competitors' albums, and even his own former projects.
But will 'Ye win when America's hip-hop darling, Nicki, continues to make headlines solely off her debut album while simultaneously lacing her sophomore album, "Pink Friday: Roman's Revenge" (April 3)? What do you think?
Additional Reporting by Karinah Santiago, R&B/Hip-Hop Chart Manager.
- The Juice