Grammys: Idealized

Ian Sherry, Cub News Writer

On February 5 the 65th annual Grammys will be held in Los Angeles. As usual it’s no surprise that this year’s Grammy nominations have been somewhat controversial. When evaluating an incredibly broad field such as an entire genre of music, narrowing candidates down can be difficult, however, they always manage to do worse than I expected. This year’s disturbing choices include the nomination of the song “abcdefu” by Gayle – a TikTok song that I used to be happily unaware of – as well as DJ Khaled’s bloated and overplayed album God Did, Jack Harlowe’s bland attempt at a reflective album, and a whole plethora of baffling exclusions. 

Now it’s time to make up for their incompetence and soothe the frustrations of the die-hard music fan. I picked the most worthy artist from each category, and then I picked the artist I believe should win regardless of whether or not they were nominated. I am sharing my rationale for the four most prominent awards and providing listings for any remaining categories I feel qualified to pick. I am primarily selecting who I think is deserving to win, but I’ve included predictions as well. Enjoy.


Record of The Year

I will admit, right out of the gate, this is the hardest category to pick. The difference between song of the year and record of the year is that SOTY is more focused on songwriting and message, while ROTY is evaluated purely on the musical composition. This makes for an extremely broad category, so I am not upset by the ROTY nominations. My selection from the Grammy nominees would be Beyonce’s “BREAK MY SOUL”. It is an upbeat genre crossover powered by the incredible talent that is Beyonce, and it deserves the praise it receives. My personal selection is “born yesterday” by Quadeca. His 2022 album I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You is a favorite of mine and this song encapsulates the emotion and musical metamorphosis showcased throughout this landmark release. Either way you can’t go wrong, and in a strong musical year like this, you shouldn’t.

Best Of The Nominees: “Good Morning Gorgeous” – Mary J Blige

My Pick: “Born Yesterday” – Quadeca

Prediction: “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyonce


Album of The Year

I think there is a clear issue when none of the AOTY nominees delivered the best album in their given discographies. The only new album you could argue for is Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE. So, Beyonce is 2/2 to start. However, as much as I loved this album, it is not my choice for album of the year. While RENAISSANCE has many great tracks, some stick out in a bad way. By contrast, Wet Leg by Wet Leg is an album with no weak songs. This British duo took the Indie music scene by storm in early 2022, and for good reason. Their debut project is a masterclass in consistency, creativity, swagger, and sonic flexibility. I could go on and on about what makes Wet Leg great, but what’s more impressive, is I can’t come up with a reason they aren’t. This is the album of the year and if you haven’t heard it yet you need to.

Best Of The Nominees: RENAISSANCE – Beyonce

My Pick: Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Prediction: RENAISSANCE – Beyonce


Song of The Year

The Grammys made it easy on me here. In a category that leans towards the songwriter, Kendrick Lamar is always a great candidate. His song “The Heart Part 5” sent a major message to his fanbase and the industry as a whole. He seamlessly addresses many societal issues which he considers fundamental and he does so in a concise fashion accompanied by a powerful music video. Fittingly, he samples Marvin Gaye, one of the greatest voices of commentary in our country’s long cultural history. The way Kendrick has performed over the last decade, I believe it’s his time to enter that conversation as well, and a well-deserved win this year would only add to his recognition and multifaceted influence.

Best Of The Nominees: “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

My Pick: “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

Prediction: “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar


Best New Artist

To me there is a clear winner here. Wet Leg is Grammy-nominated and any other pick feels ludicrous to me. 

My one note is this: they will not pick Wet Leg. The clear trend in this category is selecting the most popular, mainstream, semi-new pop/hip hop artist available. There are plenty of well deserving artists that have lost or been fully excluded from nominations. Just in the last ten years, all of the following artists lost: Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, James Blake, Anderson .Paak, Lil Uzi Vert, SZA, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Black Pumas, Rosalia, Phoebe Bridgers, Kaytranada, and Baby Keem. And, those are just the artists that were nominated. To be fair it’s an incredibly broad category, but the trend clearly points to this year’s winner: Latto. Oh well.

Best Of The Nominees: Wet Leg 

My Pick: Wet Leg

Prediction: Latto

If I haven’t lowered expectations too much, please enjoy this year’s Grammys, and the following categories I have selected.


Best Pop Solo Performance

Best Of The Nominees: “About Damn Time” – Lizzo

My Pick: “Sunshine” – Steve Lacy

Prediction: “As It Was” – Harry Styles

Best Pop Vocal Album

Best Of The Nominees: 30 – Adele

My Pick: MOTOMAMI – Rosalia

Prediction: 30 – Adele



Best Dance/Electronic Recording

Best Of The Nominees: “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyonce

My Pick: “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyonce

Prediction: “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyonce

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album

Best Of The Nominees: RENAISSANCE – Beyonce 

My Pick: RENAISSANCE – Beyonce 

Prediction: RENAISSANCE – Beyonce



Best Rock Performance

Best Of The Nominees: “Wild Child” – The Black Keys

My Pick: “Taking Me Back” – Jack White

Prediction: “Broken Horses” – Brandi Carlile

Best Rock Album

Best Of The Nominees: Lucifer On The Sofa – Spoon

My Pick: Lucifer On The Sofa – Spoon

Prediction: Lucifer On The Sofa – Spoon    



Best Alternative Music Performance

Best Of The Nominees: “Certainty” – Big Thief

My Pick: “Certainty” – Big Thief

Prediction: “Certainty” – Big Thief

Best Alternative Music Album

Best Of The Nominees: Wet Leg – Wet Leg

My Pick: Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Prediction: Fossora – Bjork



Best R&B Performance

Best Of The Nominees: “VIRGO’S GROOVE” – Beyonce

My Pick: “VIRGO’S GROOVE” – Beyonce

Prediction: “Here With Me” – Mary J Blige

Best R&B Album

Best Of The Nominees: Candydrip – Lucky Daye

My Pick: age/sex/location – Ari Lennox

Prediction: Good Morning Gorgeous – Mary J Blige



Best Rap Performance

Best Of The Nominees: “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

My Pick: “Walkin” – Denzel Curry

Prediction: “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap Album

Best Of The Nominees: It’s Almost Dry – Pusha T

My Pick: It’s Almost Dry – Pusha T

Prediction: Come Home The Kids Miss You – Jack Harlow