XXL’s Real Grammy Ballot, Vote For the Best of the Best

This Sunday, January 31, is the music industry’s biggest night of the year as the 52nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles. While hip-hop acts are among the many nominees, there are definitely a few suspect names on some of those ballots. Namely, comedy act The Lonely Island’s hokey, T-Pain–assisted “I’m on a Boat” being selected as one of the five Best Rap/Sung Collaboration candidates.

It’s a sad day for the culture when a marginally humorous side project from Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg actually gets recognized by the Grammy committee. Well, XXL is tired of the joke being on us and decided to scrap the Grammy’s rap ballot nominees in favor of our own. Who better than us to know what’s hot in hip-hop, right? And who better than you, the real fans, to decide who should get the nod?

Abiding by the Grammy’s official rules for eligibility, we selected songs/albums released between October 1, 2008, and August 31, 2009 for XXL readers to vote on. From now until, February 9 readers can cast their ballot in our five rap categories to decide on who wins. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Click through the following pages to see who the XXL Real Grammy nominees are…

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  • http://www.@justice.gov.za Chiliz

    MJ’s kids will b’ on stage 2 accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.
    Now that sumttin 2 watch,the rest is naahhhhhhh!

    • wayne carter

      fuck mj bitch

  • ReppinChi-Town

    How can 808s & Heartbreak be nominated for best Rap Album when it’s not even a Rap Album? Kanye said himself that it wasn’t a Rap Album…Where’s Paper Trail & BP3?

    • jba3

      bp3 came after the deadline

    • 93

      Paper Trail cant be nominated be cause it was nominated for the 09 grammys

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Chiliz

    MJ’s kids will enter the stage 2 accept his Lifetime Achievement Award = Good look!
    The rest is of the grammy = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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  • http://webs.geoffbrennan.com Gebra

    If you readers can explain in a comment how the hell Relapse is better than Deeper Than Rap without resorting to Officer Ricky snubs and actually judge it on quality, i’d love to see what you have to say (ps- leave the trailer trash, surfing-the-internet-at-the-library talk alone).

    Also, for thee comment above, Paper Trail was up last year but lost to Tha Carter 3 – BP3 came out too late this year, thats why so many singles of Jay’s are nominated – he woulda scratched out the judges while they slept. ILLUMINATI!

    • Lowedwn

      Lyrics….simple and plain. Deeper than Rap was definitely a solid album, but it can’t lyrically compare to what’s being spit on Relapse. None of Ross’s songs are coming close to the MC’ing Em does on songs like 3AM, Stay Wide Awake, Medicine Ball & Undergorund.

      And what’s your argument for Deeper than Rap being better than Relapse? You want someone to explain their side, but you gotta make your case known. You’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s just mine.

      • mav

        u trippin i actually downloaded 3am and underground on limewire just cuz you said that and those songs r wack as hell i deleted that shit asap that shit made me delete all my eminem shit on my computer talkin that crazy ass serial killer nonsense that shit dead

    • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

      Not to mention that, if we judge on quality, we should also judge on other aspects, such as credibility of the artist putting out the album. Therefore, Deeper Than Rap loses.

      Now compare “Deja Vu” to “D.O.A.”, Jay-Z wins. D.O.A. had a much larger impact.

    • http://yahoo.com BlackWallin

      i like ems shit over ross anyday but ross put out one of the greatest albums ever he was on cant nobody take that from him so give the nigga some props and em deserved a nomination and if u dont agree than theres something wrong with u and em gets a spot everytime only white rapper and dude sold the most albums this decade

  • alderman j


    • jtm

      lmao relapse was not the eminem’s best album but if you think officer ricky’s deeper than crap album was better than relapse than you are smoking crack that is all i have to say

  • abdul SOSA


    • jtm

      i agree

  • http://xxlmag.com Blakout615

    XXL I thought yall was bout to take a different turn with dis 1 but ur nominees look like sum Grammy shit! I feel bad for the local/underground cats out there who put their heart and soul in their music,only to have it go unnoticed because apparently doing songs about being “on a boat” are better artistically.
    Oh well,there is always the B.E.T. hip hop awards…..

    • WeKnow402


      Where da fuck is OBFCL part Deux

      • BGZ


        Fuck these non-Raekwon-nominating-ass mothafuckas!

  • CJ2792

    Co sign Blackout

    OJ Da Juiceman, Soulja boy and Kid Cudi but no Raekwon, Clipse, Skyzoo or Slaughterhouse? I realise the last 4 acts arent on the same level when it comes to sales and mass appeal but I thought includin acts like that was the point in this xxl version…..

  • Deadly MIME

    Damn man I knew this XXL ballot had to be a joke. I voted for the songs based on popularity and on all five I was right. How can XXL critize the grammy’s for not having good nominees in rap when they just did the same thing? Every answer I picked was so predictable. Dude the grammys will never recognize real hip-hop this is a fact. But whats even more disheartening is that XXL don’t know good hip-hop either.


    Best Rap Song (IMO) should have been The Clipse, Im Good. im not sure when it came out or nothing, but that shit deserves some recognition. its a timeless classic. But, none of those other songs would stand a chance against D.O.A…. shit is hot fiiya!

  • just joe

    well not a big surprise with all the jay votes, but Em- relapse…..really?

  • NotoriousAGC

    why is DRAKE in every fucking poll, that dude is a fucking TOOL for xxl

  • KS

    i thought more people would have voted for the renaissance….tip did his thing that album was ridiculous. atleast def better than 808′s

  • KS

    wow i didnt realize rick ross was above tip and mos def too…for shame xxl voters for shame

  • JbzTheTruth

    This is based on quality of music, and you left out Brother Ali’s newest album, “US”. This cd is killin’ everything that has dropped in a long time.

    And That’s The Truth!

  • JbzTheTruth

    Co-Sign what Blakout615 said.

    And That’s The Truth!

  • AZ40

    People like kanye and jay are always gonna win album of the year not only based on commercial success and quality but the power of the music they release, yeah DTR was solid, but obviously solid doesn’t cut it, as well as his sales didn’t match the amount of promotion he got it was one of the most heavily promoted albums but still failed to go gold, he barely managed to outsell artist on the same label who had less promotion i.e Jadakiss and Fabolous

  • MAC 10

    this is a fucking joke. you call this the REAL nominations and even you guys snub kid cudi’s album? oh and put a fucking pop album in the category in there instead? complete joke

  • Chris S

    1. all of your nominees are ASS

    2. 808′s is not a rap album.

    3. do you know who Brother Ali is?

  • gaddic

    RAEKWON JAY-Z AND EVEM EM (one of my fav rappers) didn’t even come close to the quality material on this lp!
    incredible albums that sell low numbers don’t get grammys just plain and simple

    BEST LP 08- UNTITLED (+ gold sales)
    GRAMMY WINNER- C3 (4 mill+ #1 billboard hits)


  • Curtis75Black

    I just fucked with the best Album category and even that had missing people !! XXL wasn’t any better than the Grammy panel. Just as mainstream.

  • El Tico Loco

    Ya’ll coulda kept that shit to yourselves at least Mike Bigga will be happy you included DTR, I expected an underdog poll most of them motherfuckers got nominations in the real thing. I clicked expecting Slaughterhouse, some Doom, Raekwon, La Coka you know, niggas that could give a fuck about grammys but put out quality music.

    Bad enough the radio does it stop trying to hypnotize people into liking garbage.

  • latino heat

    i agree that 808′s and Bullshit should not be nominated for best rap album. especially if the artist admits that it’s not a rap album!

    lol at anybody that thinks Jadakiss deserves a nomination for anything. Jada can’t drop a solid album to save his life. every album has at least 20 songs and only 7-8 of them are actually hot. the rest of his albums are attempts at crossover material that never actually crossover, give it up Jada! his mixtapes >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> then his actual albums.

  • o towns finest

    xxl hates real hip hop

  • brand-new

    what about fashawn’s boy meets world? that made the deadline didn’t it?

  • Anotha Gangsta

    Fuck Soulja Boy and Drake. Where the hell are real artists such as Jay Rock, The Clipse, Jadakiss and Nipsey Hussle? Mainstream Top 40 my ass.

  • http://www.jango.com/music/EmCDL EmCDL

    XXL is garbino with these polls….SMDH….

  • mav

    im wit most of yall this poll was kinda wack raekwon or kiss coulda been in there i clicked on this and voted almost exclusively for jay and that album was whack and dont like that church bashin he be doin just shows u what kinda year it was and eminem…i really like eminem but after he made the eminem show
    all his singles been garbage for like 7 years besides crack a bottle dre cant even make him a hot track drake puttin him on forver was the best thing to happen to him in a while

  • mav

    oh yeah one more thing… i think its sad that jay-z has been so scrutinized for those weird ass videos and freemason sponsored clothing but eminem says the antchrist is back on underground and nobody says a word..y is he still rappin like that anyway them drugs really fucked his brain up…


    Relapse being the most voted album as the best should tell you somethin about the state of the industry as a whole. Im a huge fan of Eminem but I personally think only half of the cd was fire,the other half not so much. When a album by him comes out it smashes anything else out, he raps circles around 90 percent of the rappers out. So by it being the most voted it is a testament that rap this last couple years is in bad shape, if he sucked it wouldnt be the most voted and for anyone sayin Rick Ross deeper than rap is hot needs to check into rehab and with a psychiatrist.Rick Ross is a fake ass bitch who cant even be creative enough to come up with an original stage name.He has to jack a real life drug dealers name and fabricate stories about him bein this big boss.Fake shit will never amount to anything.His carer is in decline fast and thank god.
    Beautiful should have been the song that was for voting it is by far one of the best songs to come out in years.


    Oh and shut the fuck up with the hatin on Eminems style,obviously more people like it than people who dont. So stay in the minority and shut the fuck up.

  • mikel

    what a bunch of bullshit these nominees are fuckin awful

  • ppl are sheep?

    I like that XXL did this but how do you have Jay-z in almost every category but hes not nominated for best rap album? That makes no sense lol. I know hip hop has haters but almost every comment I read was pretty much biased hate. It seems like people want to talk all this shit but imagine someone talking all that shit about you. Funny shit.

  • CBS

    We need none of the above. All of them fucking suck.

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  • Equilibrium

    Terrible…Just terrible…The list above is shit and the people that collected all the awards at the Grammy’s are shit too…Straight garbage…As an old school listener that has been around since Sugarhill and Grandmaster came out and has been down since then it’s sad to see the decline of hip-hop and rap. Where are the nominations for the real shit? WTF?

    – Raekwon – OB4CL…PTII
    – KRSOne & Buckshot – Survival Skills
    – Method and Red – Blackout 2
    – Clipse – ‘Til The Casket Drops
    – Wale – Attention Deficit
    – Wu Tang – Chamber Music

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  • Soundwave

    I’m tired of the Rick Ross is fake argument. You all realize that just about every rapper is fake right? So Rick Ross doesnt sell drugs and maybe raps about boss shit that he doesnt do.

    Does Eminem really do all the crazy serial killer shit that he raps about? Nah right? I dont see anyone hating on Eminem because he doesnt stick 9-inch nails into his eyelids.

    Lets judge the music for what it is music. Rick Ross had the best album of the year hands down. It’s really a slap in the face to everyone who worked on that album. J.U.S.T.I.C.E League should have cleaned up at the grammys.

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