Every year, the GRAMMYs celebrate rap's lyricism with the Best Rap Song category. Houston's own Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé, Lil Baby, DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, and Drake and Lil Durk are all up for the award next year.
Check out the 2021 GRAMMYs nominees for Best Rap Song below, and tune into the 63rd GRAMMY Awards Sunday, March 14, on CBS to find out who will take home the award.
Lil Baby "The Bigger Picture"
After Black Lives Matter protests erupted in Atlanta this year, Lil Baby, Noah Pettigrew and Rai'shaun Williams penned a protest song that captures the country's 2020 racial reckoning, calls out police brutality and institutional racism and references the killing of George Floyd. "I find it crazy the police'll shoot you and know that you dead/But still tell you to freeze/Fucked up, I seen what I seen/I guess that mean hold him down if he say he can't breathe," Lil Baby raps in one verse. The track also gets personal, touching on the rapper's own experiences with police, and also expresses his fears for his own family.
Roddy Ricch "The Box"
Roddy Ricch's "The Box," written by Ricch and Samuel Gloade, packs in references about the NBA, Trayvon Martin's killer, street life, cars and money—all within three minutes and 16 seconds. The single, off his debut album, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, was the last one to make it on the project, but it's been among his most successful. In the song, he shouts-out Compton, Calif., one of West Coast rap's most influential cities and his hometown. "I got the pink slip, all my whips is key-less/ Compton, I'm about to get the key to the city," he raps.
Drake Feat. Lil Durk "Laugh Now, Cry Later"
In "Laugh Now, Cry Later," Drake, alongside D. Banks, R. Chahayed, D. Jackson and R. LaTour & R. Martinez, pens a song whose chorus hits on one of life's realities: "Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but I guess you know now, baby," the Canadian rapper sings. The track celebrates the good times and leaves the bad times for later as he raps about partaking in drugs in moderation, being over beefs with other rappers and taking the opportunity to flex what his success has earned him. The track, featuring Lil Durk, will be on Drake's next album, Certified Lover Boy.
DaBaby Feat. Roddy Ricch "Rockstar"
DaBaby likens himself to a rock star on his single in which he makes clear what he carries around isn't a guitar but a gun. "Have you ever met a real n rockstar? (Yeah)/This ain't no guitar, btch, this a Glock (Woo)," he raps. The self-made rap star—"It's safe to say I earned it, ain't a n*gave me nothin'," he raps on the track—gets personal when describing how he says he's used a gun to protect his family in the past. The song, also written by Ross Joseph Portaro IV and Roddy Ricch, the latter of whom lays out his own verse about his own weapon, is featured on DaBaby's 2020 album, Blame It On Baby.
Megan Thee Stallion Featuring Beyoncé "Savage"
Two Texas titans come together on the "Savage" remix, Megan the Stallion's single on her new debut album, Good News. On the track, Meg uses her quick rhyming skills to unleash a rap about her boss way of life, but the track only gets hotter with Beyoncé on the remix. "I'm a boss, I'm a leader, I pull up in my two-seater," Bey raps about her own savagery. Songwriters Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terrius Nash, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White add extra heat to the track.