Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and More Earn VMA Nominations

Every year, MTV honors the best in music videos at the VMAs. Earlier today, the 2012 nominees were announced and, not surprisingly, some of rap’s biggest names made the cut.

Drake led the way with five total nominations, including for Video of the Year with his Rihanna collaboration “Take Care,” off of his sophomore album of the same name (the pop star songstress also grabbed five total noms). “Take Care” also earned a nomination for Male Video, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction. Another of the videos for a big-name collaboration off of the project, “HYFR,” featuring Lil Wayne, earned a nomination for Best Hip-Hop Video.

The rest of that category was rounded out by Childish Gambino’s “Heartbeat,” off of his retail debut, Camp, Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz’s G.O.O.D. Music offering “Mercy,” the lead single to the upcoming crew compilation Cruel Summer, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne smash “Paris,” and Nicki Minaj’s 2 Chainz-assisted, “Beez in the Trap.”

Nicki also secured a nod for Best Female Video for “Starships,” while with Wiz Khalifa’s help, Maroon 5 earned a nom for Best Pop Video with “Payphone.” The Best Video With A Message category included two rappers, as K’Naan and Nelly Furtado’s “Is Anybody Out There?” as well as Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” made the cut. “Otis” was also included in the Best Direction category.

Three rap videos found their way into the Best Editing category, as A$AP Rocky’s “Goldie,” Jay and ‘Ye’s “Paris” and G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy” all will be vying for the award.

The show will air on MTV later this year. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)