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THE 2001 GRAMMYS | RAP

No Shock Here--Eminem's a Sure Bet

February 18, 2001|SOREN BAKER

Eminem caused the most controversy in the pop world last year, but don't expect any outcry if he wins in the rap categories. The Detroit rapper's second major-label release, "The Marshall Mathers LP," was the best hip-hop album released in 2000 and it should win in the best rap album category, unless Nelly's "Country Grammar" gets a surprise nod.

The "Country Grammar" single is also strong competition against Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" single for best rap solo performance. Given Eminem's immense popularity, however, a victory here too wouldn't be a surprise. Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass" is likely to be viewed as too raunchy by the voters, though its entertainment value is undeniable.

For best rap performance by a duo or group, Jay-Z deserves to be the winner with "Big Pimpin'," his ode to lavish living. Eminem appears in this category via his appearance on Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" single, which is a contender here because of Eminem's presence. Actually, Dre's other nomination in the category--"The Next Episode," which features Snoop Dogg--is superior to "Forget," but it probably can't compete against the Eminem onslaught.

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