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The 2018 Grammy Nominations: 6 things you need to know

Danielle Cheesman

 // Nov 28, 2017

The 2018 Grammy nominations have been announced and while it's, of course, anyone's game and we'll have to wait until January 28 to find out the true winners, there are some notable nominations—a few of which could result in history-making wins—that need our immediate attention. Here are six things you need to know.


THIS IS THE FIRST TIME NO WHITE MEN WERE NOMINATED FOR 'ALBUM OF THE YEAR' | This year, the top award will either go to JAY-Z (4:44); Kendrick Lamar (DAMN.); Bruno Mars (24K Magic); Childish Gambino (Awaken, My Love!); or Lorde (Melodrama). (That's the most minority nominees since 2005, when Ray Charles, Kanye West, Usher and Alicia Keys were nominated.) While some folks are arguing that 1999 was actually the last time there were no white male nominees for Album of the Year (because it was Lauryn Hill, Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, and Garbage who received the nods), it has to be remembered that, despite being fronted by Shirley Manson, Garbage is a band with three white male members.

IF JAY-Z WINS 'ALBUM OF THE YEAR', HE COULD MAKE HISTORY | He'd be the first non-white artist to win the top honor in a decade. The last to do so was jazz pianist Herbie Hancock in 2008 with his River: The Joni Letters album. Since then, both Taylor Swift and Adele have each won the award twice, and the other winners were Daft Punk, Beck, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. (Plus, he could avenge last year's Lemonade loss for his wife!)

SZA IS 2018'S MOST NOMINATED FEMALE ARTIST | Though JAY-Z leads the nominations with eight nods, SZA represents for the women with five of her own: Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album (Ctrl); Best R&B Performance ("The Weekend"); Best R&B Song ("Supermodel"); and Best Rap Song ("Love Galore").

DESPITE EARLIER REPORTS, IF "BODAK YELLOW" WON 'BEST RAP SONG,' SO WOULD CARDI B | In a now-deleted tweet, The FADER accidentally claimed that Cardi B would not be able to take home an award for "Bodak Yellow" if it won 'Best Rap Song' because the honor goes to the track's writers and not its performers. The tweet alleged that her real name, Belcalis Almanzar, was not listed in the track's credits, but ASCAP's site clearly states otherwise. Plus, a rep for the Grammys told Billboard that Cardi is credited as a songwriter under the pseudonym 'Washpoppin.' Kodak Black (real name Dieuson Octave) is also credited as a writer as Cardi's hit song references the Florida rapper, borrows his "No Flockin'" flow, and interpolates some of its lyrics.

"DESPACITO" COULD MAKE HISTORY IF IT WINS 'SONG OF THE YEAR' | A Spanish-language song has never won in that category. And the last time anything remotely Latin was recognized in one of the four major Grammy categories (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist) was back in 2000 when Santana's "Smooth" (which boasted words like "muñequita" and "barrio") and Ricky Martin's "Livin La Vida Loca" went up against one another. Even in 2006, the most recognition Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" got ("Cómo se llama, bonita, mi casa, su casa") was a 'Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals' nod. Ultimately, the last time a foreign-language song won SOTY was in 1959, at the very first Grammys(!), but it was the Italian-sung "Volare" by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci.

DAVE CHAPPELLE NABBED HIS FIRST-EVER NOMINATION | The comedian received a nod for 'Best Comedy Album' for his two Netflix specials Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin. He's up against Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, and Jim Gaffigan.

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