Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's Best Grammy Chances
We rank the Seattle hip-hop duo's best bets to bring home Grammy gold.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's amazing run of success has included No. 1 singles, promotional tie-ins galore, and even being mere feet from Richard Sherman's NFC Championship-clinching play. But this Sunday night at the Grammy Awards could potential be their crowning achievement. They're nominated in seven categories, the most of any artist this year. The Grammy Awards air on CBS this Sunday (January 26) starting at 8pm and will feature a performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. (Though, astoundingly, CBS still tape delays the broadcast for West Coast audiences. Have they ever heard of Twitter?)
To prepare for the big night, we decided to throw out predictions about which golden gramophones they're most likely to bring back home to Seattle. While Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are favorites in almost every category, here are our victory predictions from least to most likely:
7. Best Rap Song - "Thrift Shop"
While "Thrift Shop" is a blast, the novelty of the subject matter might hurt it when going up against heavy hitters like Kanye West's "New Slaves," Drake's "Started From the Bottom," and "Holy Grail" by Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake. Plus there's the fact the "Thrift Shop" was released in the summer of 2012. But actually honoring music the year it came out has never been the Grammys' strong suit. (Side note: I'm still a bit confused how "Same Love" is up for Best Song, but not in this category. Is "Same Love" not a rap song? Rapping + Mary Lambert = Not Rapping?)
6. Best Rap Performance - "Thrift Shop"
If you can cogently explain the difference between Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, congratulations! That makes one of us. With Kanye West and Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake being absent from this category, it seems the slightly better bet of the two indistinguishable honors.
5. Best Music Video - "Can't Hold Us"
The general public doesn't care about this catagory because the MTV Video Music Awards exist, and there are some odd winnners in this category's past (see: Weezer's "Pork and Beans"). This year, Captial Cities' "Safe and Sound" has the best visual effects, Jay-Z's "Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film" isn't really a traditional music video (surprisingly, it's a performance art film), and Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" and Jack White's "I'm Shakin" are just boring. There's no question the globetrotting clip for "Can't Hold Us" has the biggest scope. It's a slight favorite.
4. Best New Artist
While on the surface this seems like the easiest win for the duo, this category is consistently the wonkiest the Grammys has to offer. Keep in mind that in 2011 Esparanza Spalding beat out Drake, Mumford and Sons, Justin Bieber, and Florence and the Machine. While Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are massive betting favorites (–600 on online gambling site Sportsbook), it's really a toss up. Don't be shocked if Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran walk away with the trophy. (Though if James Blake wins, be very, very shocked.)
3. Album of the Year - The Heist
When it comes to the biggest category of the night, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are installed as slight favorites (–150 on Sportsbook). The biggest threat to a victory is Kendrick Lamar, who is unlikely to win for his album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, but could steal votes from the hip-hop-minded voting contingent. If that's the case and the voters suffer from Taylor Swift award show fatigue, there's an outside chance that super long shot Sara Bareilles (+1200) could steal a win. Still, the safe bet is the Seattle boys.
2. Best Rap Album - The Heist
Since they're favored to win the Album of the Year, one would assume the genre-specific album category would be a near lock. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City looks to be the only competition (since it's the only other rap Album of the Year nominee), but there's an outside chance voters could give Kayne West's Yeezus a bump after seeing it on top of so many year end album lists. That said, this should be Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's for the taking.
1. Song of the Year - "Same Love"
Despite being the only category in the lot that they're not favored to win (Lorde's "Royals" is the odds on favorite on Sportsbook), it almost seems unfathomable that "Same Love" wouldn't win. Considering it's the songwriters' award (as opposed to Record of the Year), it's hard to see Lorde's teenage fantasy musings about being queen bee (or Pink, Katy Perry, or Bruno Mars) trumping Macklemore, Lewis, and Mary Lambert's LGBT rights ode. It's the only nominee with a social message, and Grammy voters likely want to appear progressive. In that case, there's no question which song is more important.