Nas, DMX & J. Cole Are 2022 Hip-Hop Grammy Nominees

This afternoon (November 23), the 2022 Grammy Awards nominations in 86 categories were announced in real-time from the Recording Academy’s Grammy Museum. For Hip-Hop Heads, there is plenty to unpack.

In the “Best Rap Album” category, Nas and Hit-Boy look to go back-to-back. Following this year’s win for King’s Disease in the category (Nas’ first-ever Grammy win), the MC’s album sequel, King’s Disease 2, will compete in 2022’s ceremony. That LP, featuring Eminem, EPMD, and Ms. Lauryn Hill, battles against J. Cole’s The Off-Season, Kanye West’s Donda, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, and Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost.

Nas Is In The Second Prime Of His Career

Selections from all five nominated albums are currently on the Ambrosia For Heads playlist:

This also means that 2020 holdover Extinction Level Event 2: Wrath Of God by Busta Rhymes does not earn any Grammy consideration.

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Notably, Kanye’s Donda also competes in the Grammy’s most coveted award, “Album Of The Year,” squaring off against Lil Nas X’s Montero, and stars from other genres. Ye has competed in this category three times, making history after his first three LPs all earned nominations. None of those titles took him a win in the category. He last received the nod for 2016’s The Life Of Pablo.

Nas also earned a Grammy nomination care of a guest verse. DMX’s “Bath Salts,” featuring Nas and JAY-Z, earned the accolade. While nominated for three trophies at the 2001 and 2002 ceremonies, X never won a Grammy Award. The song (which originally debuted during a Swizz Beatz and Just Blaze beat battle in 2017 and then-featured Jadakiss) appeared this year’s posthumous DMX album Exodus and will compete against Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s “family ties,” Kanye West and Jay’s “Jail,” J. Cole, 21 Savage, and Morray’s “My Life,” and Saweetie and Doja Cat’s “Best Friend.”

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Cole, who won his first Grammy alongside 21 Savage as a feature, takes “My Life” as a competitor in the “Best Rap Performance” category. That song takes on “family ties,” Drake, Future, and Young Thug’s “Way 2 Sexy,” Cardi B’s “Up,” and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Sh*t.”

J. Cole also earned a spot in the “Best Melodic Rap Performance” category. His Lil Baby collaboration “Pride Is The Devil” competes with Kanye’s “Hurricane,” featuring Lil Baby and The Weeknd, Doja Cat’s “Need To Know,” Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s “Industry Baby,” and Tyler’s “Wusyaname,” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Ty Dolla $ign.

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Other noteworthy nominations are Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder, and Kamasi Washington’s Dinner Party: Dessert going for “Best Progressive R&B Album,” Questlove’s Summer Of Soul documentary competing for “Best Music Film,” Kevin Hart’s Zero F*cks Given competing for “Best Comedy Album,” Mac Miller’s Swimming competing in an album packaging category, and Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open” going for “Song Of The Year,” “Record Of The Year,” “Best R&B Performance,” and “R&B Song.”

This year’s nominations arrive after a shakeup in the voting process and the Recording Academy’s leadership. According to Pitchfork, this year’s awards now feature a first-time inclusion rider following a voting pool expansion to include more voters from “traditionally underrepresented groups.” The moves come with shifts at the top, as interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, Jr., now occupies that role on a more permanent basis.

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The 2022 Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, California on Monday, January 31, broadcasting live on CBS.

#BonusBeat: A recent episode of Ambrosia For Heads What’s The Headline podcast discussing why Nas’ King’s Disease 2 shows why he’s in the second prime of his career: