Kanye West Sweeps Rap Categories at the Grammys, Nicki Minaj Premieres New Song

Kanye West was the big hip-hop winner at the 54th annual Grammy Awards, although he wasn’t even in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night (Feb. 12).

Kanye won three early Grammys and picked up a fourth within the first hour of the live show on a night in which Whitney Houston’s death the previous day cast a huge shadow over the prestigious Awards show. Houston was announced dead at the age of 48 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11). An autopsy of Houston’s body had been completed by Sunday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Although Kanye lost to Adele for the vaunted Song Of The Year award and wasn’t even nominated in the Record and Album Of The Year categories, ’Ye took home four Grammy Awards by thoroughly dominating hip-hop. His three early Grammy wins for the Best Rap Album (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), Best Rap Song (“All Of The Lights”) and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“All Of The Lights”) were all announced before the actual telecast started on Sunday night at 8p.m. EST. Then, Kanye and Jay-Z picked up a Grammy win for Best Rap Performance for “Otis,” one of their hit singles off Watch the Throne, just past the 30-minute mark of the show. Presenters Fergie and Marc Anthony accepted the Grammy on their behalf, as neither Kanye or Jay-Z were in attendance.

The former two categories had Kanye outdoing himself, as Watch the Throne and “Otis,” were both nominated for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song as well, respectively. For Best Rap Album, he also beat out the likes of Lil Wayne (Tha Carter IV), Lupe Fiasco (Lasers) and Nicki Minaj (Pink Friday). He edged Wiz Khalifa (“Black And Yellow”), Dr. Dre (“I Need a Doctor”), Chris Brown (“Look at Me Now”) and Lupe Fiasco (“The Show Goes On”) in The Best Rap Song category.

Hosted by two-time Grammy winner LL Cool J, the bow-tied, Kangol-wearing rap legend kicked off the 54th annual installment of the show by addressing Houston’s passing.

“There’s no way around this: We’ve had a death in our family,” LL told the crowd. “For me, the only thing that seems right is to begin the night with a prayer for our sister Whitney Houston.”

Following the prayer, LL presented a tender clip of Houston singing “I Will Always Love You” on the Staples Center’s big screen. Others, including a touching tribute by Jennifer Hudson, acknowledged Houston throughout the night.

Other highlights from the show, included Nicki Minaj performing her new record “Roman Holiday.” The Young Money princess began the over-the-top performance by rapping to a priest through a makeshift confessional. It ended with the same priest performing an exorcism on her alter-ego Roman with a ministry of singing monks in the background. The performance was memorably zany. This was much after Nicki arrived to the show, wearing a Vatican-inspired Versace dress.

Although folk band Bon Iver beat out Minaj and J. Cole for the Best New Artist award earlier.

Before that, in a separate performance, her Young Money boss Lil Wayne joined Chris Brown and David Guetta during Guetta’s colorful performance of “I Can Only Imagine.” A few quick bars later and an exclamation of “Young Moola, baby” and Weezy had made a quick exit off the stage.

Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt, Rihanna and Coldplay, and Bruno Mars also lit up the Grammy stage with performances.

Common and Drake had no time to resume their beef, as both were busy as Grammy presenters. Common, with the help of actor Taraji P. Henson, presented the award for Best R&B Album, while Drake introduced the performance of his Young Money cohort Nicki Minaj.

British soul singer Adele was the night’s big winner, taking home six Grammy’s, including Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year. —Mark Lelinwalla

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  • tumi

    At least sanity prevailed and Yeezy got the Best Rap album ahead of bullshit that is Carter 4 & Pink Friday.

    it will hopefully reduce the pain of being snubbed for Album of the Year

  • yung soulja

    kanye west is garbage along with the rest of them illuminati puppets.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ThisIsPrestige PRESTIGIOUZ

      Ok so what if they are in the “ILLUMINATI” what are you going to do about it???? DO SOMETHING OR STFU… I hate you little dumb ass niggers. Trying to sound intelligent is still ignorance. Everybody who believes the “ILLUMINATI THEORY” is the new Jim Jones Cult & I bet your stupid ass think I’m talking about Dipset. lol

    • waaah

      U mad carter 4 didn’t win?

  • katt

    Na, no snub.. although MBDTF is an excellent album.. it does not compare to the “21″ album. Yeezey did good though. Whats that make? 20 grammys now for Kanye

    • Catfish

      Maybe it didn’t compare to “21″, but it sure as FUCK compared to Rihanna’s Loud, and it was definitely better than Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans. They get nominated but MBDTF doesn’t? THAT’S a snub.

    • tatsumaki

      I honestly think that MBDTF does compare to “21″. It either equals it or surpasses it. I think the reason why people won’t recognize it as such is because, even some hip hop fans have yet to accept Hip Hop as a legitimate art form. If someone can sing well and narrate a story as well, it is seen as better than rapping a story or a central theme. Not you, but some would compare commercial and critical standpoints, which I believe shouldn’t be the judge of a great album (and the Grammy’s thank goodness don’t do that). “21″ was the best selling album this year, and sold much more than “MBDTF”, but “MBDTF” had much more critical praise than “21″, an average 94 rating, to Adele’s average 76 rating by Metacritic according to Wikipedia. But Adele’s an amazing singer, and “21″ is a great album nonetheless.

  • melvin

    i dont see why only the wack songs by wiz get put up for nomination. put one of is better songs up like smokin on or damn it feels good to be a taylor

  • http://www.twitter.com/ThisIsPrestige PRESTIGIOUZ

    YMCMB went donuts last night 0fers… When’s the last time they won a Grammy since Tha Carter III? They (YMCMB) love to use that Willie Lynch method of turning rap fans against one another, men v women light skin v dark skin & especially YOUNG v OLD. First off let me tell these brain washed idiots some facts Birdman is 43 years YOUNG, Lil Wayne turns 30 this year,let kids who buy their music tell it that’s old. After watching Kanye-34 & Jay-42 win Grammys last night further proves my theory. Contrary to POPular belief G.O.O.D music never gets OLD! Eat Crow!

    • land lord

      It really makes Weezy look stupid since he dissed Hov the night B4 da grammy’s. 4 those who know,Wayne was always on Hov’s d*ck until they collab’d on C3 & Wayne became the biggest poser N music. Now everytime u turn around Wayne is taking shots…….

  • http://Xxlmag.com Da Big D

    Sht.i hate dis thing of givin an artist more than 2 awards!!. it sucks,big time!. 5 0Cent complained last time about dis bullsht!. 2 awards is enough 4 an artist!,let the others get the cake too. Man phuk diz awards sht!.+ dat sht abou Whitney Was jusȂ

    • WilJr

      Hold up, so if I work hard and do my best to deliever quality material and its good across the bar, are you saying that I shouldnt be recognized just because I win more then some other people? Thats like a dude in the olympics turning down his third gold trophy because he feels bad for the competition. F that, every man for himself, Lions dont sit back and let Hyenas get the kill for the day just because he ate yesterday. “2 awards is enough” sounds like the guy who barely got one would say.