Check out our predictions for the rock categories here.

When it comes to hip-hop at the Grammys, you should know one thing, generally speaking. If Eminem or Kanye puts out an album in any given year, it’s pretty much curtains. Either Mr. Mathers or Mr. West has won the Best Rap Album category just about every year in the past decade (with breaks to honor Lil Wayne or Ludacris.) Kanye finds himself in an interesting position this year, as he’s competing against himself-most of his nominations in the rap categories find his My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy up against his Watch The Throne album with Jay-Z. While you’d expect a situation like that to result in split votes, I still think ‘Ye will emerge victorious in many of the categories he finds himself nominated in, particularly after he was absolutely robbed of an Album Of The Year nomination for Fantasy.

Anyway, here are your nominees:

Category: Best Rap Performance

Nominees: “Look At Me Now” (Chris Brown feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne), “Otis” (Jay-Z & Kanye West), “The Show Goes On” (Lupe Fiasco), “Moment 4 Life” (Nicki Minaj feat. Drake), “Black & Yellow” (Wiz Khalifa)

Should Win: This one’s a no-brainer. Jay and Kanye set their swag on “stun”, looped up Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” and created three minutes of the best hip-hop of the year. And the song had no hook. Take that, Chris Brown.

Will Win: I don’t see this one going to any song other than “Otis,” although “Black & Yellow” could be a sleeper, seeing as it was easily the biggest hit of the bunch.

Category: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Nominees: “Party” (Beyonce feat. Andre 3000), “I’m On One” (DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne), “I Need A Doctor” (Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey), “What’s My Name?” (Rihanna & Drake), “Motivation” (Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne), “All Of The Lights” (Kanye West, Rihanna, Fergie & Kid Cudi)

Should Win: Drake & Lil Wayne each find themselves in this category twice, as does Rihanna. Those nominations should split allegiances and cancel each other out, leaving the category a two song race between Dre & Em and Beyonce & Andre, and I’m not sure if Kanye’s strong enough to be a front runner here. All four artists are well-loved by Grammy brass, but in the end I think it comes down to politics. Dre’s old guard right now, as establishment as they come. Plus, “I Need A Doctor” marked his first new music in a decade. If he could win for his appearance on Em’s woeful “Crack A Bottle” a couple of years back, this should be money in the bank. I wouldn’t count out Kanye, though. He might sweep the rap categories he’s in just as a consolation for getting jerked in the major categories. Actually, fuck that. Kanye’ll win.

Will Win: “What’s My Name” crackled with legitimate sexual energy, and to this day I can’t get that “oh, na na” hook out of my head. Drake dropped one of his wittier rhymes on this song, too. I dig “Party” a fair amount, but this award should go to Rih-Rih.

Category: Best Rap Song

Nominees: “All Of The Lights” (Kanye West, Fergie and three others), “Black & Yellow” (Wiz Khalifa & Stargate), “I Need a Doctor” (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Skylar Grey & Alex Da Kid), “Look At Me Now” (Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne & four others), “Otis” (Jay-Z, Kanye West, and the songwriters behind the Otis Redding & James Brown samples), “The Show Goes On” (Lupe Fiasco and 3 others, plus the members of Modest Mouse for the “Float On” interpolation)

Should Win: “Otis” is, from a lyrical standpoint, the best written song here, although Eminem’s verse on “I Need A Doctor” almost elevates the song to a higher level. Also, how cool would it be for Lupe Fiasco (whom I dislike) to win just so Modest Mouse could finally get a fucking Grammy?

Will Win: “All Of The Lights” is nominated for Song of the Year. I can’t see this one losing. Can we take Fergie’s portion of the award and give it to someone else? Even if her part on “Lights” wasn’t particularly annoying, she still deserves to be punished for “London Bridge” and “Fergalicious.” Although maybe we should punish for that one.

Category: Best Rap Album

Nominees: “Watch The Throne” (Jay-Z & Kanye West), “Tha Carter IV” (Lil Wayne),  “Lasers” (Lupe Fiasco), “Pink Friday” (Nicki Minaj), “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (Kanye West)

Should Win: Fantasy was the best album of 2011. It was certainly the best hip-hop album made during the qualification period and was arguably the best album in any genre made during this time period. Who cares if he’s nominated twice in this category? He should take this award home, no question.

Will Win: I  must admit to being slightly worried that the two Kanye albums will split his vote and allow Nicki Minaj to slip through with the win. Then again, you’ve gotta wonder who the Cash Money/Young Money vote will go to-Nicki or Wayne? I think we can all agree that Lasers isn’t winning in this category-that album sucked. I say Fantasy takes this, although Minaj could slip through for the surprise win.

Up next: does Grammy have soul??

We will be live-blogging the Grammys this coming Sunday. Make sure you stop by the site or our chatroom to hang out with us!!

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