From Pop to Jazz, to Hip-Hop and R&B, with a dash of Urban Contemporary, Black artists showed up and out in 2018.


With Janelle Monáe dropping her alter ego and delivering some ravenous, android funk, Cardi B's bloody-shoed boasts, and an all-star force representing for Wakanda, 2018 wrapped up to be one of the best years for Black artists.

Though vastly different in tone and technique, Black artists echoed similar themes of Black American political disillusionment, good and bad relationships, female empowerment, the struggle for higher standards, and the pressure to maintain an authentic version of oneself. With the 61st Grammy Awards coming up, hosted by 15-time Grammy award-winner, Alicia Keys, check out the list below to discover the innovative, formidable Black artists nominated this year:

Janelle Monáe

Colette Aboussouan/Time Out

Janelle Monae

Nominated for: Album of the Year and Best Music Video

Last year, Janelle Monáe released Dirty Computer, where she admittedly stripped away her alter ego and created what is considered her best work yet. In this coming-out album, Monáe celebrates female power and "Black girl magic." With songs about Black womanhood, queerness, sexual liberation, and accepting oneself, Monáe shows that in the act of revealing your true self, you can create a lustrous, transcending work of art.

Top Songs: "Django Jane," "Screwed" (ft. Zoe Kravitz), "I Like That," "I Got the Juice" (ft. Pharrell Williams), "Pynk," and "Make Me Feel"

The Grammys airs on Sunday, February 10 at 5 pm PST/8 pm EST.

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