They have announced the nominees for Best Rap Song at the 2024 Grammys. There are some songs people probably expected in the group and some surprising choices. Over the years, people have criticized the Grammys for multiple reasons. One of the biggest is how they treat their rap/hip-hop category. This time around, they've nominated songs that touch several segments of the genre, but no matter who they choose, there will be people who are not satisfied. This year's nominees are trendy songs, many of them being used for sounds all across TikTok. Some songs came out this year while others came out last year, a testament to the specific eligibility period that all nominees must meet. No matter who wins, all the nominees' streams will increase since their music will be exposed to a new audience.
"Attention" - Doja Cat
Doja Cat enters the 2024 Grammys with a different approach from previous years. Listeners know Doja for her chart-topping pop hits, but even some of those have moments of her rapping. Now, in 2023, she has gone all in with her rapping and did so in her own unapologetic way. This track, "Attention," was the first single for her 2023 album Scarlet. It established where she was going for the latest stage in her career. The track still features Doja's singing on the hook, but she rapped all her verses.
Production came from Y2K and Rogét Chahayed, who crafted a smooth and confident soundscape for Doja to share her truth. The rollout for the single featured a promotional image of Doja naked and drenched in blood. Once the music video was released, viewers saw the image came directly from it.
"Barbie World" - Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice With Aqua
It's only right that the 2024 Grammys have a song from one of the year's biggest movies as a nominee. It pairs Ice Spice, one of the biggest women in rap this year, with Nicki Minaj, one of the biggest women in rap of all time. This is their second collaboration this year. Both rappers weave references to the Barbie brand in their verses and use them to brag creatively. Production comes from Ice Spice's go-to collaborator RIOTUSA, who used drill and Jersey Club elements. Aqua, who created the original song "Barbie Girl," is also sampled on this new version. The song is short but has still accumulated over 346 million streams and hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Just Wanna Rock" - Lil Uzi Vert
This nominee at the 2024 Grammys is a song that was played on the radio many times. People credit it for bringing the subgenre of Jersey Club to mainstream listeners. Users all over TikTok were emulating the moves from the song's music video, and it became a staple for social events. The song's simplistic lyrics made it easy for listeners to rap along and for it to get stuck in their heads. "Just Wanna Rock" was released in October 2022 and continues to be used across multiple forms of media. Uzi's hometown of Philadelphia took pride in the song, and the Philadelphia Eagles used it during their entrance at their NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Much to the joy of their fans - they won. Uzi also performed the song at WrestleMania 39 at SoFi Stadium in California.
"Rich Flex" - Drake & 21 Savage
Drake's Grammy speech from 2019 was a monumental moment, but they still nominated him at the 2024 Grammys. This track comes from his collab album with 21 Savage, Her Loss. This is the first song on the album and its most popular, with over 677 million streams. In fact, "Rich Flex" is the source of the "21, can you do somethin' for me?" meme that took over social media. Meme status aside, listeners praised the collaboration.
21's verse takes a moment to interlope Megan Thee Stallion's flow from "Savage" in his own creative way, which surprised all listeners. They also liked how 21's signature ad-libs fit in during Drake's hook but praised the song's beat switches most. Drake sings over a soulfully sparse beat at the song's halfway point, which switches again as an aggressive trap beat comes barreling in. Naturally, Drake adjusts his delivery to match it.
"Scientists & Engineers" - Killer Mike Feat. André 3000, Future & Eryn Allen Kane
This song might be the most surprising choice in this category at the 2024 Grammys. They often overlook lyricism-focused songs, especially ones from nonmainstream artists. However, "Scientists & Engineers" was an exceptional song for rap fans. As expected, as soon as the André 3000 feature on it was announced, listeners were clamoring for the song's release. Much like any release from the past decade with an André 3000 feature, they were ready to declare his verse the best one of the year. Additionally, Future's feature on the song initially shocked many listeners, but they commended him for his contribution to the track. The song comes from MICHAEL, the Grammy-nominated album by Killer Mike that many have called one of the best rap albums released this year.
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