Complaining about the Grammy Awards is always real fun and all, but the main problem (besides Neil Portnow’s sexism) is that we don’t get to vote ourselves. Introducing, the first inaugural RoseandbloGrammy Awards.

There will be a lot of similar categories, as well as some fresh new faces, and you, the reader, will be allowed to vote for every single one. What’s more, if you don’t like the nominees that I’ve presented for you, then just write in whatever song, album, or artist you think should win. If enough people agree, then I’m wrong and you’re right, and there’s nothing better than that. (note: only music released in the window of Oct. 1, 2017 to Sep. 30, 2018 is up for consideration).

Voting is now closed, but thank you to everyone who took the time to give their thoughts. The nominees and the winners are now listed below:

  • BEST POP SONG

    • WINNER: Ariana Grande – “no tears left to cry”
    • BTS – “FAKE LOVE”
    • Janelle Monáe – “I Like That”
    • Khalid – “Better”
    • Mahalia – “I Wish I Missed My Ex”

All amazing pop songs in their own right, nothing on the list seemed to hit as hard as Ariana Grande’s “no tears left to cry,” her big comeback after the devastating terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester, England.

  • BEST POP ALBUM

    • Ariana Grande – Sweetener
    • Taylor Swift – Reputation
    • WINNER: Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
    • BTS – Love Yourself: Tear
    • Camila Cabello – Camila

As big as Ariana’s 2018 was, however; none could hold a candle to the latest project from Janelle Monae, whose album Dirty Computer blended her talents together in what might have been her best album yet.

  • BEST R&B SONG

    • Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
    • Drake – “Don’t Matter to Me (feat. Michael Jackson)”
    • Blood Orange – “Charcoal Baby”
    • The Weeknd – “Call Out My Name”
    • WINNER: Teyana Taylor – “Gonna Love Me”
  • BEST R&B ALBUM

    • Blood Orange – Charcoal Baby
    • WINNER: Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.
    • The Oh My’s – Tomorrow
    • Jeremih & Ty Dolla Sign – MihTy
    • The Internet – Hive Mind

If anyone was snubbed in 2018, it was Teyana Taylor. The fifth and final project of Kanye West’s summer production features, Teyana shocked and awed with what might have been the best offering of the five releases.

  • BEST RAP SONG

    • Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”
    • WINNER: Brockhampton – “Weight”
    • Childish Gambino – “This is America”
    • J.I.D. – “151 Rum”
    • Saba – “LIFE”

The follow-up verse to Kevin Abstract’s fantastic “JUNKY,” the boy band/rap group Brockhampton pulled out all the stops for the two track combo of “WEIGHT / DISTRICT” off of their fourth project in 2018, Iridescence. After the exit of Ameer Vann following sexual assault allegations, the group came back stronger than ever, and they’re one of the most exciting groups to watch out for come 2019.

  • BEST RAP ALBUM

    • WINNER: Saba – Care For Me
    • Noname – Room25
    • Brockhampton – Saturation III
    • Pusha T – Daytona
    • Travis Scott – Astroworld

What hasn’t the Roseandblog not said when it comes to Chicago emcee and producer Saba. Care for Me was not only Roseandblog’s 2018 Album of the Year, but a record that somehow just flew under the radar completely. One of the greatest rap records in over a long time, front to back.

For all of the amazing verses and records that entered the competition for Verse of the Month in 2018, I have to hand it to Cardi B for being the most surprising winner. Black Thought of the Roots has dominated Verse of the Month winnings in 2017 and 2018, as well as a speed-of-sound breaking verse from Busta Rhymes, but it was Cardi B’s verse on “I Do” that hopefully opened up the flood gates for female emcees to shine for rap fans worldwide. Shout out to Noname’s amazing “Self” verse as well.

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BIG BIG PEPSI !😤😤

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  • MAN OF THE BOUNCE 2018

    (a category for the bounciest and most braggadocios song of the year, named after the ScHoolboy Q song, “Man of the Year.” For reference, Man of the Bounce 2017 went to Vince Staples for “Big Fish.” Even though the award is titled “Man of the Bounce,” the winner of course can represent any gender)

    • Maliibu Miitch – “Give Her Some Money”
    • WINNER: Anderson .Paak and Busta Rhymes – “Bubblin’ (Remix)”
    • Mac Miller – “What’s the Use?”
    • Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”
    • A$AP Rocky and Skepta – “Praise the Lord (Da Shine)”

He might not won past his nomination for Best Rap Verse of the Year, but Busta Rhymes came through on this track to highly complement Anderson .Paak’s amazing “Bubblin’,” one of the most braggadocious and infectiously bouncy tracks of the year. With lines such as “Got me hot as a laser/My posse deep in our rating/We act a fool for the paper/Had a dream and I made it,” and a truly spectacular beat by Jahlil, Anderson and Busta are the clear Men of the Bounce for 2018.

  • BEST SAD INDIE GIRL SONG

    (Grammys must acknowledge the sad indie girl as one of the best genres of music today)

    • Mitski – “Old Friend”
    • Snail Mail – “Pristine”
    • Soccer Mommy – “Your Old Dog”
    • Frankie Cosmos – “Being Alive”
    • WINNER: Julien Baker – “Appointments”
  • BEST SAD INDIE GIRL ALBUM

    • WINNER: Mitski – Be the Cowboy
    • Snail Mail – Lush
    • Soccer Mommy – Clean
    • Frankie Cosmos – Vessel
    • Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights

Like I said in the description, the “sad indie girl” trope of 2018 produced some of the greatest music of the year, with female led rock music taking 2018 by full force. Mitski and Soccer Mommy’s releases were some of my favorite albums of the year, let alone genre category, and proved that indie rock was not dead, just male-led indie rock. Julien Baker’s “Appointments” was one of the most hauntingly beautiful tracks of the year, if not the most of all-time, and Mitski’s Be the Cowboy showed the singer truly come into her own and reach new heights.

  • MOST DISILLUSIONED BLUESY BEARD GUY

    (like sad indie girl, the disillusioned bluesy beard guy was also a heavy category in 2018)

    • Father John Misty
    • WINNER: Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys)
    • Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
    • The Edge (U2)
    • Colter Wall

With the “death of indie rock” and fans finally caring to hear what female artists had to say, the men of the rock world got sad to say the least, and the genre I call “disillusioned bluesy beard guy” seemed to really take shape. Artists such as Father John Misty might hold the nomination for as long as he makes music, and rising country star Colter Wall could lull any person to sleep, but I have to hand it to Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys for literally writing a record where he can be the gloomy lounge pianist in a deserted hotel complaining about the world. If you’ve heard their latest record Tranquility Base + Hotel Casino, you know exactly the vibe I’m talking about here.

  • BEST ROCK ALBUM

    • Ghost – Prequelle
    • WINNER: Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
    • Parquet Courts – Wide Awake
    • Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
    • St. Vincent – Masseducation

Possibly the new queen of rock, Courtney Barnett took this award easily. Not to say that fellow nominees St. Vincent and Ghost didn’t surprise me with how much I enjoyed their records, especially when it came to the latter’s metal-Queen sound of Prequelle, but Tell Me How You Really Feel, with tracks such as “City Looks Pretty” and “Nameless, Faceless,” there isn’t another rock musician around that can even compare.

  • BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

    • Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  • BEST LATIN POP ALBUM

    • Rosalía – El mal querer

These two categories aren’t genres that I usually pay attention to, along with metal, which is why the nominations only consist of the artists I wish to highlight. Kacey Musgraves is making waves in the world of pop-country, and if there’s anyone who could get me interested in country music, it might just be her. Likewise, with Rosalia’s fantastic El mal querer, and her recent feature on James Blake’s Assume Form, Rosalia might be one of the biggest stars in the making, let alone her genre.

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  • BEST MUSIC VIDEO

    • Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
    • Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer (Emotion Picture)
    • The Carters – “Apeshit”
    • WINNER: Tierra Whack – Whack World
    • Rosalia – “Malamente”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Grammy’s go with the Louvre-borrowing “Apeshit” or the politically poignant “This Is America,” which are both nominated here as well, but there’s something to be said of artists that create entire visual albums for this category.

Two other artists also represented in both the Grammy’s nominations and mine, are Janelle Monae and Tierra Whack, but unlike my inclusion of the entire project, The Grammy’s chose one song from Janelle, “PYNK,” and a track for Tierra Whack, “Mumbo Jumbo,” which isn’t even on Whack World. Maybe the category needs to be amended, maybe it needs to be seperate awards, but if I make a 40 minute music video like Janelle Monae did, and you only nominate a tenth of that project, it doesn’t feel right.

  • PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

    • Boi-1da
      1. Cardi B – “Be Careful”
      2. Drake – “God’s Plan,” “Mob Ties,” and “Diplomatic Immunity”
      3. The Carters – “Friends” and “Heard About Us”
    • WINNER: Kanye West
      1. Pusha T – Daytona
      2. Kanye West – ye
      3. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
      4. Nas – Nasir
      5. Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.
    • Pharrell Williams
      1. The Carters – “Apeshit”
      2. Justin Timberlake – Man of the Woods
      3. N.E.R.D. – No One Ever Really Dies
      4. Migos – “Stir Fry”
      5. Ariana Grande – Sweetener
    • Ludwig Goransson
      1. Black Panther soundtrack score, “Opps”
      2. Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer,” “This is America,” and “Summertime Magic”
    • Hit-Boy
      1. Tinashe – “Joyride”
      2. Ariana Grande – “Better Off”
      3. Jay Rock – “Wow freestyle (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
      4. Travis Scott – “Sicko Mode” and “Carousel”

I don’t feel great about it, I mean, do I want to award Kanye West for the year he’s had? No, not really. But at the same time, I can’t ignore how stellar his production was for the five records he produced in the Summer. This was honestly one of the toughest categories to choose, however; not just because I have a background and interest in music production, but because everyone on this list just knocked it out of the park.

Pharrell, whether you liked all of his production or not, had one of the most lucrative years of his career, and Ludwig Goransson straight-up murdered the score to Black Panther, but Kanye West proved this past Summer that, for all his disappointing antics and MAGA ravings, he’s still one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KID CUDI 🐐✨ PHOTO BY @NICKYFILMS.

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  • BEST NEW ARTIST

    • Chloe x Halle
    • Mahalia
    • Soccer Mommy
    • Ella Mai
    • WINNER: Tierra Whack

This bright-eyed new star’s only Grammy nomination being a track for Best Music Video is a complete shame. There aren’t many artists I’m as excited for as Tierra Whack in 2019, and given the right resources, she has the range to seemingly do pretty much anything. Who the Grammy’s will give it to?: probably H.E.R., she’s the only artist here that also has an Album of the Year nomination

  • RECORD OF THE YEAR

    (the recording/production)

    • Childish Gambino – “This is America”
    • Ariana Grande – “God is a Woman”
    • Kids See Ghosts – “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)”
    • Travis Scott – “Stop Trying to be God (feat. Stevie Wonder and James Blake)”
    • WINNER: Blood Orange – “Hope (feat. Puff Daddy and Tei Shi)”

I might have given Kanye the award for Producer of the Year, Travis Scott’s James Blake & Stevie Wonder collab was unprecedented, and Ariana sounded amazing on “God is a Woman,” but I have to go with the dark horse that is the combo of Blood Orange and Puff Daddy. Featuring Tei Shi’s amazing vocals and a beautifully recorded piano, “Hope” is one of the smoothest sounding this year. Everything is in its right place, and the groove is heavenly. Who the Grammy’s will give it to?: either “This is America” by Gambino if they want to be political, if not, “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile.

  • SONG OF THE YEAR

    (the song/impact)

    • Kendrick Lamar and SZA – “All the Stars”
    • Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
    • Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
    • WINNER: Ariana Grande – “no tears left to cry”
    • Drake – “Nice for What”

Like I said when I gave Grande Best Pop Song at the top of the awards list, “no tears left to cry” is the new anthem for the young singer and it perfectly encapsulates her amazing response to the Manchester attack, and her stellar 2018. Who the Grammy’s will give it to?: They didn’t nominate Ariana Grande so probably “Shallow” from A Star is Born.

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  • ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    • WINNER: Saba – Care for Me
    • Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
    • Ariana Grande – Sweetener
    • Various Artists – Black Panther soundtrack
    • Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

For readers of the Roseandblog, this shouldn’t be a surprising pick. All props and shout outs for Janelle Monae winning Best Pop Album, Teyana for taking Best R&B Album and Song, and Ariana Grande tasking Best Pop Song and Song of the Year, but Saba, also the winner of Rap Album of the Year here, takes the grand prize.

My pick for Album of the Year in my Top 25 Albums of 2018 year-end list, and again here for the RoseandbloGrammy’s, Care for Me is a beautiful, masterfully put together, contemporary hip-hop record, and I hope one day other critics will talk of Saba as one of the greats.

Who the Grammy’s will give it to?: the pop/rap votes will be split between Drake, Cardi B, Black Panther, and Post Malone, with the R&B votes split between Janelle Monae and H.E.R., if they don’t also run into a problem with the pop crowd, which leaves just Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves.

Brandi is up for both song and record, as well as album, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out in regards to a possible all-Carlile sweep, but there’s a good showing in the vote spread for Kacey Musgraves to take it home as well. Not that I want Carlile to take it all, but that’s usually how a broken voting system like the Grammy’s work.

For more info about how the Grammy Awards choose their nominees and select their winners, read here.

What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.