Kanye West Leads 2012 Grammy Nominations

The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! aired last night (November 30) on CBS and hip-hop is once again leading the pack with nominations.

While his name was actually only called once during the telecast, Kanye West walked away with seven nods, including Song of the Year for “All of the Lights” off his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. ‘Ye is also pinned against himself this year, as both Watch the Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy each received Rap Album of the Year nominations.

Lil Wayne follows Kanye with five nominations as his Tha Carter IV is up for Best Rap Album among other acknowledgements. The other nominees in that category are Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne, Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers, Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday and Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Additionally, J. Cole and Nicki Minaj will battle it out for the Best New Artist win, while Nicki is also up for Best Rap Album with her Pink Friday debut.

“Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww,” Cole tweeted last night, seemingly in response to his nomination.

Meanwhile, the Best Rap Performance will have the following artists battling it out: Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes for “Look At Me Now;” Jay and Kanye on “Otis;” Nicki featuring Drake on “Moment 4 Life,” Wiz Khalifa with “Black And Yellow” and Lupe Fiasco for “The Show Goes On.”

“#LASERS got 3 Grammy Nods folks! #TeamLasers,” Lupe tweeted shortly after the nominations were made public. “Oh #BestRapAlbum is one of them!”

While Kanye led the nominations, the biggest snub of the night for hip-hop was arguably for his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as fans immediately took to Twitter shortly after the announcement to say he should’ve been nominated for Album of the Year.

The Best Rap Song will pin “All Of The Lights” against Wiz Khalifa’s “Black And Yellow,” Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor,” Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” Hov and ‘Ye’s “Otis” and Lupe’s “Lasers.”

The Best Rap/Sung Collaboration will eventually go to Andre 300 for his “Party” duo with Beyoncé; DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne for “I’m on One”; Dr. Dre and Eminem for their collabo with Skylar Grey, “I Need a Doctor”; Drake for his joint track with Rihanna, “What’s My Name?”; Lil Wayne for the Kelly Rowland track, “Motivation”; or, again, Kanye West and Kid Cudi for their work with Rihanna and Fergie on “All of the Lights.”

The Grammy Nominations Concert Live, hosted and co-produced by rap legend and Grammy winner LL Cool J, helped celebrate all the nominees last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. LL opened the show by introducing the first performer, Lady Gaga, before being joined by Nicki Minaj on stage.

Rocking a pink wig and a skin-tight teal dress, Nicki presented the nominees for Record of The Year, before having an impromptu fan moment with LL.

“It’s LL Cool J…Ahhh!” Nicki shrieked. “Queens in the house!”

The show also included an appearance by Ludacris, who assisted country singer Jason Aldean on his “Dirt Road Anthem” track, and an unbelievable rendition of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message,” which featured the likes of the world-renowned DJ himself on the wheels of steel, Common, Lupe Fiasco and legendary Furious Five members Melle Mel and Scorpio. LL even joined the performance, first providing ad-libs, before taking the stage himself and spitting a verse off the song.

The 54th Grammy’s will air February 12 at 8p.m. EST on CBS. –Mark Lelinwalla