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Rone & Dante's 2021 Grammy's Preview & Predictions

The 63rd Grammy Awards are tonight, airing at 8 eastern 7 central on CBS, and hosted by Trevor Noah.

I hit Rone up for his picks tonight because he did a Grammy prediction blog two years ago that blew me away and I'm pretty sure he swept the board. 

So for this blog, I'll run through each category's nominees, then give Rone's and my picks with a little bit of background. You can still get your bets in on the main 4 categories, or you can just take all the knowledge we'll give you and look cool in front of your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/parents/dog/cat tonight when you're watching. Consider this a cheat sheet.

Tonight's telecast will be different than in past years obviously, due to the pandemic: the show's new producer, Ben Winston, has promised a very intimate experience geared to viewers at home, as opposed to the live audience that won’t exist. 

Winston told Rolling Stone it will be “part Grammys, part Abbey Road studio session” and also a “bespoke night of music that I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to repeat.”

Planned performances for tonight will be from Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, BTS, Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Black Pumas, Brittany Howard and Chris Martin, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak as Silk Sonic, Brandi Carlile, HAIM, Harry Styles, John Mayer and Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Lil Baby, Miranda Lambert, Post Malone, Roddy Ricch, and others.

Let's begin with the Country specific awards.

Best Country Solo Performance

  • "Stick That in Your Country Song" — Eric Church

  • "Who You Thought I Was" — Brandy Clark
  • "When My Amy Prays" — Vince Gill
  • "Bluebird" — Miranda Lambert
  • "Black Like Me" — Mickey Guyton

Rone's Pick - Miranda Lambert - Bluebird

Dante's Pick - Eric Church - Stick That In Your Country Song. 

Make no mistake I love that "Bluebird" song, I think Miranda Lambert is an amazing song writer even if she is a shitty person in real life. (Her song "Settling Down" is awesome). I'm going with Church because I know that I don't know shit about country music (I'm learning) but one thing I do know is the outsider has been disrespected for years and years… until this past year. He's finally getting the recognition, (and awards) he deserves so I think they continue to kiss his ass with him winning here tonight.

Best Country duo/group

  • "All Night" — Brothers Osborne
  • "10,000 Hours" — Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
  • "Ocean" — Lady A
  • "Sugar Coat" — Little Big Town
  • "Some People Do" — Old Dominion

Rone's Pick - Dan and Shay -10,000 hours

Dante's Pick - Brothers Osborne - All Night

I love this Brothers Osborne track. Dan and Shay are my guys but that song with Bieber, as commercially successful as it was, was not their best work. It will be funny if they do win though and the only award Bieber receives tonight is for a comedy category after he bitched up a storm about being put in the "Pop" category and not the R&B category… 

Best Country Song

  • "Bluebird" — Miranda Lambert
  • "The Bones" — Maren Morris
  • "Crowded Table" — The Highwomen
  • "More Hearts Than Mine" — Ingrid Andress
  • "Some People Do" — Old Dominion

Rone's Pick - The Highwomen - Crowded Table

Dante's Pick - Maren Morris - The Bones

I fuckin love Maren Morris and her songs. "The Bones" is perfect. Well written, great tune, great message.

Best Country Album

  • Nightfall" — Little Big Town
  • "Wildcard" — Miranda Lambert
  • "Never Will" — Ashley McBryde
  • "Lady Like" — Ingrid Andress
  • "Your Life Is a Record" — Brandy Clark

Rone's Pick - Miranda Lambert - Wildcard

Dante's Pick - Ashley McBryde - Never Will

One interesting thing with this category is you'll notice it's all females this year. Miranda Lambert's Wildcard is being touted as her best of her career so far so she's a strong pick but if the academy does the right thing they'll give it to Ashely McBryde who put out an actual "country" album without the pop tendencies that has become so customary in country music recently. She's an incredible songwriter. I'll never forget the first time I heard "Girl Going Nowhere" and how blown away I was. I'm a huge fan. 

Best Rap Performance

  • "Deep Reverence" — Big Sean featuring Nipsey Hussle
  • "Bop" — DaBaby
  • "What's Poppin" — Jack Harlow
  • "The Bigger Picture" — Lil Baby
  • "Savage" — Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
  • "Dior" — Pop Smoke

Rone's Pick - Lil Baby - Bigger Picture

Dante's Pick - Pop Smoke - Dior

This one could go any which was honestly. Lil Baby and "Bigger Picture" is probably the smart money play here for the songs meaning and everything that transpired over the course of this last year, but "Dior" is my pick because it's my personal favorite out of these selections. Don't be shocked if "Savage" wins because Megan Thee Stallion is all of a sudden a megastar and this could be a huge night for her.

Melodic Rap Performance

  • "Rockstar" — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
  • "Laugh Now Cry Later" — Drake featuring Lil Durk
  • "Lockdown" — Anderson .Paak
  • "The Box" — Roddy Ricch
  • "Highest in the Room" — Travis Scott

Rone's Pick - Anderson.Paak - Lockdown

Dante's Pick- DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch - Rockstar

Going with "Rockstar" here simply because it's such a banger. (p.s. - never liked and still can't stand "The Box")

Rap Song

  • "The Bigger Picture" — Lil Baby
  • "The Box" — Roddy Ricch
  • "Laugh Now Cry Later" — Drake featuring Lil Durk
  • "Rockstar" — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
  • "Savage" — Megan thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Rone's Pick- Roddy Rich - the Box

Dante's Pick- Megan thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé - Savage

"Savage" became such a movement and women's anthem this past year. Can't see it losing here.

Best Rap Album

  • "Black Habits" — D Smoke
  • "Alfredo" — Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
  • "A Written Testimony" — Jay Electronica
  • "King's Disease" — Nas
  • "The Allegory" — Royce da 5'9"

Rone's Pick- Freddie Gibbs - Alfredo

Dante's Pick- Nas - King's Disease

So here's the deal. Nas has been nominated for 15 Grammy's in his life and never won. Think about that. Was King's Disease his best work? Not at all. Was it a really solid album in a career of incredible work? Absolutely. So I see the academy pulling a make-up here and giving Nas the hardware.

Rock Performance

  • "The Steps" — HAIM
  • "Stay High" — Brittany Howard
  • "Not" — Big Thief
  • "Shameika" — Fiona Apple
  • "Kyoto" — Phoebe Bridgers
  • "Daylight" — Grace Potter

Rone's Pick- Big Theif - Not

Dante's Pick- Fiona Apple - Shameika

Yes Fiona Apple is still very much relevant. Her newest album Fetch The Bolt Cutters was a huge success and her nominated single "Shameika" should bring this award home.

Best Rock Song

  • "Kyoto" — Phoebe Bridgers
  • "Lost in Yesterday" — Tame Impala
  • "Not" — Big Thief
  • "Shameika" — Fiona Apple
  • "Stay High" — Brittany Howard

Rone's Pick- Tame Impala - Lost in yesterday

Dante's Pick- Phoebe Bridgers - Kyoto

My heart says Fiona Apple again here again but my head says she won't win for the same song twice so I'm going with everybody flavor of the month Phoebe Bridgers and "Kyoto" here.

Best Rock Album

  • "A Hero's Death" — Fontaines D.C.
  • "Kiwanuka" — Michael Kiwanuka
  • "Daylight" — Grace Potter
  • "Sound & Fury" — Sturgill Simpson
  • "The New Abnormal" — The Strokes

Rone's Pick- Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury

Dante's Pick- Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury

Not even a question here. Just hope Sturgill gives a memorable speech without pissing off too many people.

Best Alt Album

  • "Fetch the Bolt Cutters" — Fiona Apple
  • "Hyperspace" — Beck
  • "Punisher" — Phoebe Bridgers
  • "Jaime" — Brittany Howard
  • "The Slow Rush" — Tame Impala

Rone's Pick- Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

Dante's Pick- Fiona Apple- Fetch the Bolt Cutters

This is Fiona's year. 

Best Metal Performance

  • "Bum-Rush" — Body Count
  • "Underneath" — Code Orange
  • "The In-Between" — In This Moment
  • "Bloodmoney" — Poppy
  • "Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)" — Power Trip

Rone's Pick- Power Trip - Executioner’s Tax (swing of the axe)

Dante's Pick- Code Orange - Underneath

Not gonna lie, I hit up my buddy Lee, who is a big Code Orange fan, and asked him if they're gonna win this tonight and he said "without a fucking doubt" so that's all the info I need.

Best R&B Song

  • "Better Than I Imagine" — Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello
  • "Black Parade" — Beyoncé
  • "Collide" — Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG
  • "Do It" — Chloe x Halle
  • "Slow Down" — Skip Marley & H.E.R.

Rone's Pick- Skip Marley and H.E.R. - slow down

Dante's Pick- Chloe x Halle  - "Do It"

Even though logic says Beyonce will win this one tonight I'm taking the dark horse, her proteges Chloe x Halle here. 

Best R&B Performance

  • "Lightning & Thunder" — Jhené Aiko featuring John Legend
  • "Black Parade" — Beyoncé
  • "All I Need" — Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
  • "Goat Head" — Brittany Howard
  • "See Me" — Emily King

Rone's Pick- Beyoncé - Black Parade

Dante's Pick- Beyoncé - Black Parade

This one's as close to a lock you'll see all night.

Best R&B performance

Rone's Pick- Brittany Howard - goat head

Dante's Pick-

Progressive R&B album

  • "Chilombo" — Jhené Aiko
  • "Ungodly Hour" — Chloe x Halle
  • "Free Nationals" — Free Nationals
  • "F*** Yo Feelings" — Robert Glasper
  • "It Is What It Is" — Thundercat

Rone's Pick- Thundercat - It is What It Is

Dante's Pick-   Jhené Aiko - Chilombo

Although Flying Lotus’s Producer of the Year nomination is so well deserved because the work done on the Thundercat album is amazing, I think Jhene Aiko is just too hot right now to lose.

Dance Recording

  • On My Mind" — Diplo & Sidepiece
  • "My High" — Disclosure, Aminé and Slowthai
  • "The Difference" — Flume featuring Toro y Moi
  • "Both of Us" — Jayda G
  • "10%" — Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis

Rone's Pick- Diplo - on my mind

Dante's Pick-   Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis- 10%

Even though Jayda G and "Both of Us" deserves to win this award I think "10%" wins here.

Dance Album

  • "Kick I" — Arca
  • "Energy" — Disclosure
  • "Planet's Mad" — Baauer
  • "Bubba" — Kaytranada
  • "Good Faith" — Madeon

Rone's Pick- Kaytranada - Bubba

Dante's Pick-   Kaytranada - Bubba

Even though I am obsessed with Madeon and think he's an alien because no human should have the talent he does at such a young age, Kaytranada just had way too big of a year, and he's running up against a buzzsaw.

Pop Solo Performance

  • "Yummy" — Justin Bieber
  • "Say So" — Doja Cat
  • "Everything I Wanted" — Billie Eilish
  • "Don't Start Now" — Dua Lipa
  • "Watermelon Sugar" — Harry Styles
  • "Cardigan" — Taylor Swift

Rone's Pick-  Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar

Dante's Pick- Dua Lipa - "Don't Start Now"

Now we're into the pop categories. If you take nothing away from this blog, remember tonight as the night Dua Lipa becomes one of the biggest stars on the planet. 

I am well on the record as one of her biggest fans,

she overtook Taylor Swift as my #1 last year, 

sorry Taylor

We're also on the record as asking why she isn't one already, she's got the hits, the stats, the look, everything. Tonight she takes home the hardware (lots of it) to cement the fact. 

(Sidebar- academy selected the wrong Harry Styles song here. "Adore You" is 10 times the song "Watermelon Sugar" is)

Pop Duo Performance

  • "Un Dia (One Day)" — J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy
  • "Intentions" — Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
  • "Dynamite" — BTS
  • "Rain on Me" — Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
  • "Exile" —  Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Rone's Pick-  Taylor Swift, Bon Iver - exile

Dante's Pick- Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande - Rain On Me

I'm torn here. Rone could be right and we see Taylor take this category but something tells me there's just way too much star power on the "Rain On Me" record for it to lose.

Pop Vocal Album

  • "Changes" — Justin Bieber
  • "Chromatica" — Lady Gaga
  • "Future Nostalgia" — Dua Lipa
  • "Fine Line" — Harry Styles
  • "Folklore" — Taylor Swift

Rone's Pick-  Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Dante's Pick-  Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

See above. Gonna be a MAJOR night for Dua Lipa

Song Of the Year

  • "Black Parade" — Beyoncé
  • "The Box" — Roddy Ricch
  • "Cardigan" — Taylor Swift
  • "Circles" — Post Malone
  • "Don't Start Now" — Dua Lipa
  • "Everything I Wanted" —  Billie Eilish
  • "I Can't Breathe" — H.E.R.
  • "If the World Was Ending" — JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Rone's Pick- Circles - Post Malone

Dante's Pick- Dua Lipa - Don't Stop Now

See above. I'm not playing. It's Dua's night.

New Artist

  • Ingrid Andress
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Noah Cyrus
  • Chika
  • D Smoke
  • Doja Cat
  • Kaytranada
  • Megan Thee Stallion

Rone's Pick-  Phoebe Bridgers

Dante's Pick- Megan Thee Stallion

Listen, do you want me to tell you who to bet on and who I think is going to win, or who I deserves to win? 

Megan thee Stallion, like her or not is winning this award. Even though Rone's selection, Phoebe Bridgers deserves the award. Those are the breaks.

Megan Thee Stallion would become the first female hip-hop artist to win here since Lauryn Hill 22 years ago. She became a major star last year, landing two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She would become the seventh artist who notched two or more No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 prior to winning best new artist.

Record of the Year

  • "Black Parade" — Beyoncé
  • "Colors" — Black Pumas
  • "Rockstar" — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
  • "Say So" — Doja Cat
  • "Everything I Wanted" — Billie Eilish
  • "Don't Start Now" — Dua Lipa
  • "Circles" — Post Malone
  • "Savage" — Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Rone's Pick-  Dua Lipa - Don’t Start Now

Dante's Pick- The Weeknd - Blinding Lights ….. Just kidding, the idiots at the academy didn't even nominate it. Dua Lipa - Don’t Start Now

Six of these eight records were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The only ones that weren’t were “Black Parade” (which peaked at No. 37) and “Colors” (which has yet to crack the Hot 100).

They don't make pop records like "Don't Start Now" often these days. They make tons of pop trash yes certainly, but nothing with an actual shelf life and staying power like "Don't Start Now" has had. That's how you know it's special.

Album Of the Year

  • "Chilombo" — Jhené Aiko
  • "Black Pumas" (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
  • "Everyday Life" — Coldplay
  • "Djesse Vol. 3" — Jacob Collier
  • "Women in Music Pt. III" — Haim
  • "Future Nostalgia" — Dua Lipa
  • "Hollywood's Bleeding" — Post Malone
  • "Folklore" — Taylor Swift

Rone's Pick-  Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa

Dante's Pick- Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

I'm not sure how else to put it. It's Dua's night. Although I am so pumped to see Black Pumas getting some love here with this nomination. (Blog coming later on them)

A win here for Taylor Swift though would put her in rarified air -

This would be Swift’s third album of the year award, making her only the fourth artist in Grammy history to win three times in this category. The first three were Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon (counting a Simon & Garfunkel album). Swift would be the first woman to become a three-time winner -- just as she was the first woman to win twice in the category as a lead artist.

That does it. Should be a pretty uneventful night with the award presentations, and performances being remote and all but nonetheless at least we're getting live music, and we'll get to see Dua Lipa's big breakout night.