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Kanye: It's Just A Pleasure To Win And Not Enough To Be Nominated

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 8, 2005 3:02PM

Nominations for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards were announced today and thank God Kanye West was nominated several times or we would never hear the end of it.

2005_12_08_kanye.jpgAs expected, West’s “Gold Digger” picked up nods for Record of the Year and Best Rap Solo Performance while Late Registration was tapped for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album (“Diamonds In Sierra Leone” pulled a songwriting nod for Best Rap Song).

Common, another member of the Chicago’s three hip-hop musketeers, snagged three nominations for Best Rap Solo Performance (“Testify”), Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group (“The Corner”), and Best Rap Album (sorry Twista: better luck next year). Common and Kanye also were nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collabo for “They Say” from Be).

Other Chicago and Illinois artists had a good morning as well. Wilmette’s own Fall Out Boy got some good news and bad news with a nomination for Best New Artist. Gretchen Wilson scored four nominations for work on her album All Jacked Up, Buddy Guy scored a nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and Old Town School of Folk Music stalwart Ralph Covert got some props in the best Musical Album for Children category for the Ralph’s World album Green Gorilla, Monster and Me).

Buried in the 100 or so nominations were nods for Senator Barack Obama’s spoken word version of his book Dreams From My Father, R. Kelly’s “Trapped In The Closet Chapters 1-5” video, and one for Eddie Blazonczyk and the Versatones—the kings of Chicago polka.

Chicagoist is now taking bets on the following: how many news stories between now and February will we see where Kanye threatens to leave the music industry if he doesn’t win Album of the Year (the over/under is 3).

In the run-up to the nominations, West shot his mouth off in typical fashion with his unique mix of ego and nonsensical ramblings. In an interview with MTV, he said he’d “have a problem” if he didn’t win Album of the Year. He theorized that he’d be robbed of a win due to anti-Bush comments he made in the wake of Katrina. He also blathered on about how he’s not getting enough love from Vibe or Source and that he’s “in the hole” about $600,000 because of Late Registration. Chicagoist recommends Kanye sell a necklace or two since we know those cable knit sweaters don’t buy themselves.

Frankly, we’d have a problem if Kanye lost Album of the Year too. Though the category includes Paul McCartney’s best album since forever and one of the best pop albums of the last five years (Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music, Baby), we think Kanye deserves the win. But everybody loves a “story” so we’re worried Mariah’s comeback record The Emancipation of Mimi will take it home instead (for U2 it was just nice to be nominated).

Other random thoughts on the Grammys:
* The Grammys are looking less impervious to the march of time but popular success still rules over critical favorites. While the Arcade Fire and Franz Ferdinand picked up nominations, only a lack of imagination would lead the Academy to nominate U2 and Green Day two years in a row for work on the same album (even if it was for different works).

* While some pre-nomination stories believed the rise of Kelly Clarkson from American-Idol-machine creation to artist in her own right would net her an Album of the Year nomination, it was fellow Idol crooner Fantasia who picked up the most nominations with four to Kelly’s two.

* The lack of recognition for Shakira’s Oral Fijación Oral Vol. 1 can only mean she’s too pop for rock and too rock for pop, which is confusing for American audiences. She’ll have to settle for taking over the rest of the world instead.

* Final thought: does Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine have blackmail photos of Grammy president Neil Portnow having sex with a horse? That's the only reason we can think of for their nomination for a track from a live album. Good Lord.

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