The Only 2014 Grammy Awards That Matter

There are many talented artists out there, but only so many have the star power necessary to snag a golden gramophone at the annual Grammy Awards. Herein, we break down your favourite rap and R&B artists who took home awards in 2014.

Jay Z congratulated by LeBron James for best music video and rap collab
The part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets has scored his 17th Grammy win in the best music video and best rap/sung collaboration categories for “Holy Grail,” which features Justin Timberlake. The mogul also earned nine nominations ahead of the awards, beating out Kendrick Lamar (also known as Nick Young’s rapper cousin) and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who received seven nominations apiece. LeBron James congratulated his “Big Homie” on Instagram with a snap of his Roc-A-Fella chain, an accessory Jay Z gifts to his good friends.


Photo: San Francisco Foghorn/Creative Commons

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis snag best new artist (plus best rap performance, album and song)
This duo sparked much unwarranted controversy after winning a raft of awards for their music, which some critics argued seems to be more pop music than true hip-hop. “Thrift Shop” picked up two statues, while their album, “The Heist,” picked up a third. Haters proposed Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid Maad City” and Kanye West’s “New Slaves” as more worthy alternatives, but the thrifty Grizzlies fan and Lamar quietly proved behind the scenes that everyone’s trying too hard with this timely—and unfortunately necessary—Instagram post.


Photo: Still image from broadcast/Grammy Awards

Pharrell Williams is the producer of the year
Williams took to the stage wearing a large, Canadian mountie-style hat for his work on projects that included “BBC” by Jay-Z, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, the latter of which was nominated for record of the year. Williams was also nominated for five other awards, for a total of six. Oh, and that hat is by famed bridal designer Vivienne Westwood, according to interviews.


Photo: The Queen’s Hall/Creative Commons

Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway take best R&B performance
“Something” by Snarky Puppy & Lalah Hathaway earned the singers best R&B performance. The jazz band Snarky Puppy has been in action for over 10 years and includes a whopping 12 band members. They had a breakout year in 2013, which afforded them increased international acclaim. “Something” beat out Miguel and Kendrick Lamar, as well as Tamar Braxton and Hiatus Kaiyote.


Photo: Sweet Alize/Creative Commons

Gary Clark Jr.’s ‘Please Come Home’ wins best traditional R&B performance
The soul man behind the album “Blak and Blu” was also the first ever to be nominated for both best rock song and best traditional R&B performance, the latter of which he took the prize for. “Please Come Home” puts his guitar skills to the test and beat out Fantasia, Maysa, Gregory Porter and Ryan Shaw. If anything, the man seems to have a habit of winning—or at least that’s what we’d call dating Victoria’s Secret model Nicole Trunfio.


Photo: Still image from video/“Stay”/The Island Def Jam Music Group

Rihanna has no apologies for sweeping best urban contemporary album
“Unapologetic” had sold over a million albums by its 27th week out, making it Rihanna’s fastest-selling album and a her first number one hit. The success of the album likely contributing to the support for Rihanna taking her 22nd award, which makes her fifth in the running for most golden gramophones won. Her album beat Tamar Braxton’s “Love and War” and Fantasia’s “Side Effects,” among others.


Photo: Still image from video/”Girl on Fire”/Sony Music Entertainment

Alicia Keys croons her way to best R&B album
14-time Grammys winner Alicia Keys has added another notch to her belt for her album, “Girl on Fire.” The vulnerable album included collaborators such as Frank Ocean, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj and more. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, to boot (something that she’s accomplished four times before). This proves that even after 10 years, she still has it.


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