Picking on the Grammys — with their elderly nominees, obvious misses, and bizarrely specific categories (Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album?) — is easy. But that doesn’t mean we won’t do it! As usual, this year’s nominations include a raft of head-scratching decisions. Here are five of them.
1. You know who Grammy voters really love? Adele. She won Best New Artist and Female Pop Vocal last year, and she’s up for Female Pop Vocal again this year. She has not, in the time between the two ceremonies, released a new album.
2. An Eric Clapton live album got nominated for Best Rock Album. How good must the stage banter be on that thing?
3. Kid Cudi’s “Day-n’-Nite” was nominated for Best Rap Solo performance. The eligibility period for releases is October 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009; “Day-n’-Night” was officially released as a single in February of 2008, but we remember seeing Cudi do the song at the Hiro Ballroom way back in 2007. It gets by on the “first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year” technicality, but don’t tell that to people who have the Internet. Elsewhere in hip-hop, Flo Rida was nominated for Best Rap Album, which is an award that, ostensibly, rewards one’s ability to rap.
4. We don’t really care that Lady Gaga was declared ineligible for Best New Artist, and seeing as she’s up for all the big awards, we’re sure she doesn’t either. But we’re just curious how the Silversun Pickups, who put out their debut album in 2006, plus an EP in 2005, end up in that category? Surely there are some crystal-clear bylaws that explain that away.
5. LL Cool J hosted the Grammy nomination show, which is funny enough, but he also opened with a rap about the night’s nominees. Sample lyrics: “It’s not Hugh Jackman, yes it’s a black man / and you know we love Black Eyed Peas, maestro if you please.”
Then again, “I’m on a Boat” was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, so we take it all back.
Earlier: Silly Grammy Nominations Announced