2021 Best Rap Performance Grammy Nominees:
• Deep Reverence, Big Sean featuring Nipsey Hussle
• Bop, DaBaby
• What’s Poppin, Jack Harlow
• The Bigger Picture, Lil Baby
• Savage, Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce
• Dior, Pop Smoke
Megan Thee Stallion ruled 2020, and she’s the standout name in the Best Rap Performance category. The Beyonce remix of “Savage” hit #1 on Billboard and became one of the biggest hits of the year. It wasn’t just a smash hit – it also picked up rave reviews from music critics. That combination is almost impossible to beat at the Grammys.
Can anyone stop Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce from winning Best Rap Performance? Perhaps the only real contender is Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture.” The track was Lil Baby’s take on the racial justice protests of this summer and debuted at #3 upon its June release. It’s also nominated for Best Rap Song (which goes to the songwriter), so this protest song clearly resonated with members of the Recording Academy.
Btw, if you’re wondering where most of the big hits from 2020 are (“Rockstar,” “The Box,” “Laugh Now Cry Later”), those are all nominated in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category. That award honors tracks that feature both rapping and singing. This award is for rapping only.
So who else does that leave? Jack Harlow is a surprising nominee for “What’s Poppin.” It features an undeniably catchy piano riff, but that’s not enough to win this award. DaBaby “Bop” is a solid track that came out back in November 2019, so it’s mostly old news by now.
Both Pop Smoke and Nipsey Hussle sadly passed away in recent years. Pop Smoke won Best New Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Hip Hop Awards, and his track “Dior” is a worthy nominee. Nipsey Hussle is nominated as a featured artist on Big Sean’s “Deep Reverence.” Both will be sentimental favorites, but we don’t see the Academy sending enough votes their way for either to win this award.
Best Rap Performance Prediction
There’s not too much to analyze here. Best Rap Performance is one of the more obvious categories to predict at the 2021 Grammy Awards. “Savage” is probably going to win, unless enough voters decide to reward the powerful and timely “The Bigger Picture.” That would be a surprising but welcome result.
Megan is a bigger household name, her song was more commercially successful, and it features Beyonce. While some of those factors probably shouldn’t matter, they definitely do matter to many voters. Megan and Beyonce are going to triumph.
2021 Grammy Awards: Best Rap Performance Prediction
Deserves to win: “Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce
Will win: “Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce
Should have been nominated: “Life is Good,” Future featuring Drake
See also our complete list of 2021 Grammy predictions. And here’s a list of every Best Rap Album winner and nominee in history.