2018 VMAs: Who Will Win and Who Should Win (Part 2)

Here is the second part of my 2018 Video Music Awards (VMAs) predictions, you can find part one here. My list of the worst snubs at the 2018 VMAs can be found here.

Best Collaboration

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The Nominees: “Meant To Be” (Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line), “Finesse (Remix),” (Bruno Mars & Cardi B), “APESHIT” (The Carters), “Dinero” (Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, & DJ Khaled), “1-800-273-8255,” (Logic, Alessia Cara, & Khalid), “Lemon” (N.E.R.D. & Rihanna)

Who Will Win

Here we have yet another stacked category. I don’t think “Dinero” or “Lemon” will take this home which is unfortunate because “Lemon” is a great music video. Logic/Alessia/Khalid gifted the VMAs with a showstopping moment last year that was viral and political, but I don’t think their combined fanbases will be able to beat the last three videos. Cardi B has undeniably owned this year (I reviewed her album here) so she could scoop up a win here. In an effort to show some love to country music, rising star Bebe Rexha (I also reviewed her album, here) and country superstars Florida Georgia Line could snatch this win. And, of course, one can never doubt the power of Beyoncé, Jay Z, and the Beyhive. If I had to place a bet, I’d go out on a limb a choose “Meant to Be” for the win.

Who Should Win

I made it clear in part one that “APESHIT” is one of the best videos of the year. Nevertheless, the quirky effervescence of “Lemon,” the emotional deft of “1-800,” and the feel-good throwback vibe of “Finesse (Remix)” all make for excellent music videos.

Best New Artist

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The Nominees: Bazzi, Cardi B, Chloe x Halle, Hayley Kiyoko, Lil Pump, Lil Uzi Vert

Who Will Win

This is basically Cardi‘s award to lose. She has the stats, clout, and fanbase to justify a win. The only surprises I can foresee are Chloe x Halle on Lil Uzi Vert somehow pulling through with a surprise win.

Who Should Win

Definitely Cardi. Her album was solid, she owned the spring with “Finesse (Remix)” and the summer with “I Like It,” played at Coachella, had a baby, and so much more. She deserves this one.

Best Video With A Message

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The Nominees: “This Is America” (Childish Gambino), “Liberated” (Leon Bridges & DeJ Loaf), “Pynk” (Janelle Monáe), “Gatekeeper” (Jessie Reyez), “1-800-273-8255” (Logic, Alessia Cara, & Khalid)

Who Will Win

There is no doubt that “This Is America” will win. Now, I’m not particularly a fan of the way Gambino sensationalizes black pain for the white liberal gaze, but the video is undeniably well shot and well directed. Gambino’s video is provocative, but also redundant; women have been making videos with the same message (but better and deeper) and haven’t even been nominated for awards like these. Giving Gambino this particular award would feel odd given his vast history of unsettling comments about women, specifically those of color. Regardless, the video was a gargantuan hit and for that alone, it will most likely win.

Who Should Win

Janelle Monáe’s “Pynk” and its study of black women and sexuality is unequivocally the best video in this category. The video is absolutely stunning and every frame is picturesque. I named Monáe’s Dirty Computer the best album of the year (so far), and “Pynk” is a standout visual.

Song of the Year

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The Nominees: “Finesse (Remix)” (Bruno Mars & Cardi B), “Havana” (Camila Cabello & Young Thug), “God’s Plan” (Drake), “New Rules” (Dua Lipa), “Perfect” (Ed Sheeran), “rockstar” (Post Malone & 21 Savage)

Who Will Win:

Hmm if Camila Cabello or Drake lose their other nominations, I think either one of them will take this one home. But, I’m leaning towards Dua Lipa winning for “New Rules.” This song was everywhere and the video was one of the most talked about of the year. She could take this one!

Who Should Win:

I think Drake should win, he owned this year with three consecutive #1 singles and “God’s Plan” was the biggest. Nevertheless, “Havana,” “Rockstar,” and “New Rules” ruled the eligibility period so they wouldn’t be undeserving as well.

Artist of the Year

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The Nominees: Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Drake, Post Malone

Who Will Win:

Just based on numbers this is Drake’s award to lose with Post Malone, Cardi B, and Bruno Mars posing mild threats. Regardless, this is fan-voted so my money is on Ariana Grande. With 125 million followers on Instagram and 57 million followers on Twitter, the “God Is A Woman (read my review here)” singer’s fan base is certainly grande.

Who Should Win:

Drake has ruled the charts with Scorpion (which I reviewed here), “God’s Plan,” “Nice For What,” and “In My Feelings.” Cardi ruled the airwaves with “I Like It” and various songs from Invasion of Privacy (which I also reviewed here). But, Ariana Grande pulled off a flawless comeback with excellent pop music in a hip-hop and rap dominated music landscape, and for that, she deserves the win.

Video of the Year

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The Nominees: “No Tears Left to Cry” (Ariana Grande), “Finesse (Remix)” (Bruno Mars & Cardi B), “Havana” (Camila Cabello & Young Thug), “APESHIT” (The Carters), “This Is America” (Childish Gambino), “God’s Plan” (Drake)

Who Will Win

Something tells me “Finesse” will take this home. “Tears” is an undeniably great video, but a tad too lightweight. “This Is America” will put up a good fight, but it’s a bit heavy and didn’t have much staying power. “Havana” feels a bit too old, and Cabello’s fanbase is quite small compared to the likes of Beyoncé and Ariana Grande. If The Carters show up and perform they could probably take this home, especially if they sweep the professional categories. “God’s Plan” is also a good bet, but I don’t think anyone, even Drake, can stop Cardi B’s momentum right now. Important to note, I wouldn’t count “Tears” completely out of the race, Grande’s fanbase is no joke.

Who Should Win

Hands down, The Carters. Between Beyoncé’s last two solo albums and Jay’s 4:44 (read my review here)music’s reigning power couple have proven that they are simply on another level when it comes to music videos. “APESHIT” is absolutely incredible and it deserves the VMA for Video of the Year.

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