Another year, another GRAMMY award show where influential R&B and rap categories are not televised, such as Rap Album and R&B Album.
Surprising, considering the debate which arose from the moment the GRAMMY nominations were announced on December 6. Many argued on who, between Kendrick Lamar or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, deserved to win Best Rap Album.
Both acts have had a championing 2013. Macklemore topped the Billboard charts with back to back hits (“Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” “Same Love”), while Kendrick Lamar graced countless of magazine covers and kept his competition in check with one verse (off Big Sean’s “Control”).
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ nominated album, “The Heist,” garnered mainstream popularity for its pop influence, which rubbed some hip-hop aficionados the wrong way. Kendrick Lamar’s major-label debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.D. city,” is laced with some of the best storytelling and soundscapes rap fans have heard.
But, while almost cut from the GRAMMY awards’ rap categories, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the Rap categories, winning Best Rap Album for “The Heist,” Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Heist” hit, “Thrift Shop.” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also took home the award for Best New Artist.
“We made this album without a record label, we made it independently, and we appreciate all the support,” Macklemore said, when accepting their Best New Artist win. The duo went on to perform a heartfelt performance of “Same Love” alongside Mary Lambert and Madonna. Queen Latifah walked out on stage, mid-set, to officiated weddings for 33 real couples, including Ryan Lewis’ sister Laura according to US Weekly.
Jay Z won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the Justin Timberlake-assisted, “Holy Grail.” After thanking his wife Beyoncé, who blushed from her seat, he shouted out his baby daughter, Blue Ivy, when saying: “I want to tell Blue, ‘Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you.'”
Kendrick Lamar didn’t let the loss get to him. The rapper gave one of the best performances of the night alongside Imagine Dragons. They rocked the stage together, in all white, performing a mash up of “m.A.A.D. city,” “Radioactive,” before dropping a remix “Radioactive” on iTunes.
Even though three wins went to notable stars, all R&B wins were awarded pre-televised broadcast. Alicia Keys, who presented Album of the Year, won Best R&B Album for “Girl On Fire.” Rihanna, not in attendance, took home the award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Unapologetic.” Justin Timberlake won Best R&B Song for “Pusher Love Girl.”
Jazz band, Snarky Puppy, surprised, including themselves, when they won Best R&B Performance for “Something,” featuring Lalah Hathaway. They went up against Anthony Hamilton, Hiatus Kaiyote and Miguel. “I was shocked. I was completely blown away,” band leader Michael League said. “We were sure they (Hiatus Kaiyote) were going to win.”
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