Who’s On Trend This Year: Justin Timberlake topped the album charts this year, and Bruno Mars finished in the top five. So basically, if you’re wondering on Monday why all the super cool pop ladies lost to an album no one claims to like and doofy Bruno Mars, don’t say we didn’t give you historical precedent.
Mitigating Factors: Lorde is so very much the flavor of the moment, in terms of young talent expected to be the Big Thing for years to come. The only danger is that she could get her votes leeched from her via the low-energy charms of Lana Del Rey.
The One That Seems Like It Has No Chance and Thus Will Probably Win: Lana is the real answer here, but Robin Thicke might have just as good (bad) a chance, since “Blurred Lines” is almost certainly going to be seen as a single phenomenon and not part of a greater artist movement.
Best Rap Performance
"Started from the Bottom" – Drake
"Berzerk" — Eminem
"Tom Ford" — Jay-Z
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" — Kendrick Lamar
"Thrift Shop" – — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
The Trend: Jay-Z or Eminem has been the trend for over a decade, each of them winning this category four times.
Who’s On Trend This Year: Here’s where you say, “Yeah, but Jay-Z’s album has been the most reluctantly praised of 2013, and Eminem is arguably the least relevant he's ever been!"
Mitigating Factors: Judging by the Album of the Year nominees, the battle for hip hop at the Grammys this year will be fought between Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore. Either this will be a consolation prize for Kendrick not winning any of the big categories, or it'll be a stat-padder for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
The One That Seems Like It Has No Chance and Thus Will Probably Win: Well, it's Eminem, honestly. But what does it say that nobody's talking about Drake, last year's winner for Best Rap Album? Maybe we should be.
Best Rap Album
Nothing Was the Same – Drake
Magna Carta... Holy Grail — Jay-Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar
Yeezus – Kanye West
The Heist – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Trend: Not Jay-Z, who's been nominated nine times, but hasn't won since Hard Knock Life in 1999. In that span, Kanye West has won four times (Eminem has won five times, but he's no important right now).
Who's On Trend Right Now: Kanye, and also Drake, who won last year for Take Care. This would be the place were any pockets of Yeezus support would be most likely to show up.
Mitigating Factors: Once again, Macklemore vs. Kendrick Lamar rears its head.
The One That Seems Like It Has No Chance and Thus Will Probably Win: There are actually no slouches in this category. When the least likely to win are the defending champion and Jay-Z, it's tough to be truly surprised by anyone as a winner.
Best Song Written for Visual Media
"Atlas," Coldplay (from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
"Silver Lining (Crazy 'Bout You)," Jessie J (from Silver Linings Playbook)
"Skyfall," Adele (from Skyfall)
"We Both Know," Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw (from Safe Haven)
"Young and Beautiful," Lana Del Rey (from The Great Gatsby)
"You've Got Time," Regina Spektor (from Orange Is the New Black)