It seemed like a forgone conclusion to those in the mainstream hip-hop world. Kanye West’s fifth solo album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” would be nominated for Album of the Year along with Adele’s “21,” an obligatory rock album and maybe a country record.
Yet “Fantasy” is the first straight-ahead solo rap album by West (excluding “808s & Heartbreak”) that wasn’t nominated in that category. However, Rihanna’s “Loud,” Bruno Mars’ “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” “Wasting Light” by Foo Fighters, Adele’s “21” and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga all received nominations. Nonetheless, West leads the pack with seven nominations overall.
While many of his fans and music journalists took to social media outlets to claim that he was robbed, West blamed himself for the Album of the Year snub during a stop in his hometown of Chicago during the “Watch the Throne” tour.
“Something I figured out earlier today, because you know everybody came to me last night like, ‘Congratulations,’ because you know I’m leading-I have the most Grammy nominations once again, like we always do at this time,” said West while performing at the United Center last Thursday. “But, you know, people focus, they say, ‘You ain’t have Album of the Year or Record of the Year.’ I figured it out though. That’s my fault for dropping ‘Watch the Throne’ and ‘Dark Fantasy’ the same year. I should’ve just spaced it out, just a little bit more.”
“Fantasy” is nominated for Rap Album of the Year along with “Watch the Throne,” West’s collaboration album with Jay-Z. Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday,” Lupe Fiasco’s “Lasers” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” are also nominated in that category.
In the running for R&B album of the year are “Second Chance” by El DeBarge, “Love Letter” by R. Kelly, “Kelly” by Kelly Prince, “Pieces of Me” by Ledisi and “F.A.M.E.” by Chris Brown. While the last name may be a shock to a few, Brown’s album was No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and has spawned three R&B hits with “Look at Me Now,” “She Ain’t You” and “Wet the Bed.”
For those looking for a more “conservative” R&B sound, Eric Benet, Cee-Lo Green and Melanie Fiona, Betty Wright and the Roots, Raphael Saadiq and R. Kelly are all nominated in the Traditional R&B Performance category.
In the Best R&B Song category, in which songwriter Marsha Ambrosius is nominated for “Far Away,” Cee-Lo Green and Melanie Fiona are also nominated for “Fool For You,” Kelly Price and Stokley find themselves in the category for Mint Condition’s “Not My Daddy,” Ledisi’s back in this category as well with “Pieces of Me” and Charlie Wilson rounds out the category with “You Are.”
The Grammys will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.