The Bark’s 2018 Grammy Picks hit all the right keys

Grace Bouton

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With the release of the 2018 Grammy nominations, there has been celebration as well as controversy. A lack of nominations for artists such as J. Cole, a veteran rapper, and Juice WRLD, a commanding new artist, coupled with nominations for mainstream artists such as Cardi B, caused fans of hip-hop to question how in touch the Grammys are with the essence of each genre. With that in mind, the nominations and the Bark’s picks for the five main awards are as follows:

Winner: “God’s Plan”: Drake

“God’s Plan” was yet another one of Drake’s record-breaking hits, debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remaining at the top for 11 weeks straight. Through its steady intro and abrupt vocals that lead up to the famed line, “She said do you love me/ I told her only partly/ I only love my bed and my mama, I’m sorry,” Drake cites all those in the industry who failed to challenge his reign at the top and shows how his dominance in the hip-hop industry is all a part of “God’s Plan.” The song’s memorable lyrics and concise beats have allowed “God’s Plan” to become only the second song in history to be streamed on all platforms 100 million times in one week, making it the nominee that clearly surpasses all others.

Winner: “Beerbongs & Bentleys”: Post Malone

With a record-breaking debut, “Beerbongs and Bentleys” was the first album in history to have nine songs break the top 20 ranking on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs such as “Psycho,” “Paranoid” and “Rich and Sad” not only offered memorable soundtracks, but also meaningful lyrics paired with Malone’s unique husky voice. Collaborations with artists such as Swae Lee, Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, YG and 21 Savage produced chart-leading hits such as “Rockstar,” “Spoil My Night,” “Same B**ches” and “Ball For Me.” Malone’s sophomore album not only topped the charts but also demonstrated his deeper lyrical talent, ultimately making it the most qualified choice for Album of the Year.

Winner: “This is America”: Donald Glover, Ludwig Goransson & Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters (Childish Gambino)

Not only a commercial success, “This is America,” by Childish Gambino, brought an original perspective on racism and violence in America that yielded an impact beyond topping charts. Cultural references to past shootings, protests and laws within Gambino’s lyrics famed the music video and embodied the evolution of the racism within America. The 2015 Charleston shooting of nine African Americans in a church was one specific event that was symbolized in the video. Other lyrical and visual references to Jim Crow, a character created to oppress African Americans after the abolishment of slavery, and lyrics such as “Don’t let you slippin’ up” illustrate the barbarity and harshness black men have been subject to since the origins of the United States. Reaching almost 500 million views on Youtube, “This is America’s” lyrics

Winner: H.E.R.

Releasing her first album, “H.E.R. Volume 1 in 2016,” H.E.R (Having Everything Revealed) has made a name for herself within the R&B scene as both a solo and featuring artist. Well-known “Best Part,” a collaboration with Daniel Caesar, showcased the range and depth of H.E.R as a vocalist as well as her ability to produce a commercial success. Other songs such as “Focus,” “U” and “Avenue,” did not reach the same level of tangible success, however, they all demonstrate the unique sound of H.E.R as well as the potential her work has. With chart-topping productions as well as a consistency of unique vocals and lyrics, H.E.R. has been able to carve a future for herself in the music industry, making her the most deserving nominee for Best New Artist.