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Grammy Awards

2019 Grammy’s Watch: Best Rap Song

Drake had an explosive year, but Eminem is the Rap God, who will come out on top?

Ryan Feyre

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CMN’s team of music writers is previewing the 2019 Grammy Awards. The 61st annual ceremony will take place Sunday, February 10 in Los Angeles. You can see all of our Grammy coverage here. 

Drake: “God’s Plan” – Drake is one of the only artists who can churn out an internet meme (“I only love my bed and my mama I’m sorry”) and a Grammy nomination at the same time. He does it again on “God’s Plan,” and that’s why he still continues to garner commercial success. The song itself is catchy, and earned the title of “longest Drake track on the Billboard Hot 100.”

Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake: “King’s Dead”– Also featured on Jay Rock’s Redemption album, “King’s Dead” represents Kendrick Lamar’s artistic versatility to the fullest. Whether it be the catchy chorus, Future’s scratchy vocals, or Jay Rock’s uber-confident bars, “King’s Dead” fits the frenetic nature of the Black Panther aesthetic perfectly.

Eminem and Joyner Lucas: “Lucky You” – Between the negative reviews from critics (Pitchfork gave Kamikaze a 5), and backlash for controversial lyrical content, it’s surprising to see Eminem receive a Grammy nomination. Nonetheless, here he is, acquiring one for “Lucky You,” a track that features him and fellow speedster Joyner Lucas trade bars about the problems with mumble rap.

Travis Scott, Drake and Swae Lee: “Sicko Mode” – The second single off Astroworld showcases why Travis Scott is an innovator within the trap sub-genre. Much like the rest of the album, “Sicko Mode” contains a myriad of different stylistic choices that come together in a coherent, yet rhapsodic manner.

Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar: “Win” – Jay Rock’s album Redemption capped off what was a capstone year for Top Dawg Entertainment (a year that included The Black Panther Soundtrack as well as the TDE summer tour). It’s no wonder the triumphant horn section, and ear worm chorus stuck with so many fans on Jay’s lead single, “Win.” The track itself is a victory lap for the flourishing label, and continues to be the perfect opening song for any sporting event on ESPN.

Who Will Win:

Drake. No matter what year it is, you can’t go wrong with a Drake song, especially since at the point of its release, “God’s Plan” was the most streamed song of all time on Spotify. The lyrics contained some of the biggest memes of the year (which will help Drake, considering he won an award for “Hotline Bling” for similar reasons).

Who Should Win: 

Travis Scott. Again, who had a more hyped, and critically-acclaimed album than Travis Scott in 2018? No one. And “Sicko Mode” was the culmination of that buildup.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Ryan is a Communications major student at Salem State University. He’s written for the pop culture websites, The Young Folks and Fansided. Currently, Ryan is working to finish his degree, and in his free time, he enjoys listening to music, going to the movies, and playing basketball.

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