See the 2018 Grammy Nominations

See the 2018 Grammy Nominations

Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar lead the pack, but who else surprises?

Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar lead the pack, but who else surprises?

Text: Jake Viswanath

At long last, the nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards are in, and surprisingly, Jay-Z has emerged as the man to beat. The rapper takes the lead, clocking in at an impressive eight nominations, including a nomination in Album of the Year for 4:44, his most personal and intimate record yet, and nods for “The Story of O.J." in Record of the Year and his confessional track "4:44" in Song of the Year. His newer peer Kendrick Lamar is right behind him with seven nominations while Bruno Mars trails with six, with both receiving acknowledgment in the three big categories.

The nominations are especially striking this year as the majority of the nominees in the general field are minority artists, a welcome and necessary change amid the intense scrutiny on award shows for the diversity of their nominations. Perhaps this is a charged response to Adele taking home Album of the Year last year over expected winner Beyoncé, which opened up a much-needed conversation about how the Recording Academy (the committee that determines everything about the Grammys) tends to award safe albums from white artists rather than more experimental and artistically triumphant records from black artists.

Other notable nominees include Lorde, who got in Album of the Year for her critically acclaimed sophomore record Melodrama. But perhaps the biggest shock of the list is the notable absence of Ed Sheeran, who was widely expected to show up in the big three categories for his smash album Divide and garnered only two nominations in the pop categories. Peep the main nominations below, and head here for the full list.

Record of the Year

“Redbone” — Childish Gambino

“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

“The Story Of O.J.” — Jay-Z

“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Album of the Year

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino

4:44 — Jay-Z

DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama — Lorde

24K Magic — Bruno Mars

Song of the Year

“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)

“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)

“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)

“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)

“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara

Khalid

Lil Uzi Vert

Julia Michaels

SZA

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Love So Soft” — Kelly Clarkson

“Praying” — Kesha

“Million Reasons” — Lady Gaga

“What About Us” — P!nk

“Shape Of You” — Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Something Just Like This” — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

“Thunder” — Imagine Dragons

“Feel It Still” — Portugal. The Man

“Stay” — Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best Pop Solo Album

Kaleidoscope EP — Coldplay

Lust For Life — Lana Del Rey

Evolve — Imagine Dragons

Rainbow — Kesha

Joanne — Lady Gaga

÷ (Divide) — Ed Sheeran

Best Rock Album

Emperor Of Sand — Mastodon

Hardwired…to Self-Destruct — Metallica

The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Nothing More

Villains — Queens Of The Stone Age

A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs

Best Alternative Music Album

Everything Now — Arcade Fire

Humanz — Gorillaz

American Dream — LCD Soundsystem

Pure Comedy — Father John Misty

Sleep Well Beast — The National

Best R&B Performance

"Get You” — Daniel Caesar featuring Kali Uchis

“Distraction” — Kehlani

“High” — Ledisi

“That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars

“The Weekend” — SZA

Best R&B Song:

“First Began” — PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton)

“Location” — Alfredo Gonzalez, Olatunji Ige, Samuel David Jiminez, Christopher McClenney, Khalid Robinson & Joshua Scruggs, songwriters (Khalid)

“Redbone” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)

“Supermodel” — Tyran Donaldson, Terrence Henderson, Greg Landfair Jr., Solana Rowe & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (SZA)

“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Free 6LACK — 6LACK

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino

American Teen — Khalid

Ctrl — SZA

Starboy — The Weeknd

Best Rap Performance

“Bounce Back” — Big Sean

“Bodak Yellow” — Cardi B

“4:44” — Jay-Z

“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

“Bad And Boujee” — Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Best Rap/Sung Performance

“PRBLMS” — 6LACK

“Crew” — Goldlink featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy

“Family Feud” — Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé

“LOYALTY.” — Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna

“Love Galore” — SZA featuring Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

“Bodak Yellow” — Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)

“Chase Me” — Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer,

songwriters (Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi)

“HUMBLE.” — Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

“Sassy” — Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)

“The Story Of O.J.” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)

Best Rap Album

4:44 — Jay-Z

DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar

Culture — Migos

Laila’s Wisdom — Rapsody

Flower Boy — Tyler, The Creator

Best Music Video

“Up All Night” — Beck

“Makeba” — Jain

“The Story Of O.J.” — Jay-Z

“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar

“1-800-273-8255” — Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid

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