7. “Otis,” Best Rap Performance (2011)
Our first guess as to which trophy received a golden shower was obvious — that is, until we remembered that Kanye West’s Watch the Throne LP (with golden-embossed artwork designed by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci) actually lost Best Rap Album honors to Yeezy’s own My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. So instead, we’ll swap that pick with this single from the aforementioned collaborative Jay-Z album. Otis Redding didn’t deserve this.
6. “Niggas in Paris,” Best Rap Song; Best Rap Performance (2012) (tie)
Alas, a clue! Ye’s pissy Twitter post reads, “Trust me… I WONT STOP.” You remember how many cotdamn times he and Hov would consecutively run back this song during their international Watch the Throne tour run? Bet the Paris concertgoers — who heard this shit 12 times in a row, damn near an hour straight of the same track — felt like it’d never stop.
4. “No Church in the Wild,” Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (2012)
Between leading a traveling choir and dropping the most head-scratching gospel album ever, Kanye has been upfront about his sharp pivot toward righteousness in recent years. So you’ve gotta wonder if he plays back this record — in which he proposes polyamory as his new religion — and flushes with shame.
3. “Run This Town,” Best Rap Song; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (2009) (tie)
C’mon, let’s be honest: Kanye definitely pee-peed on a trophy with Jay-Z’s name on it.
1. “Swagga Like Us,” Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (2008)
Are we ready to talk about how this is one of rap’s most overrated posse cuts ever? You take four of hip-hop’s biggest artists of the era (T.I., Ye, Lil Wayne, and Jay), flip an instantly classic M.I.A. vocal sample, and get… this mediocre slop of a single that recalls the days when Auto-Tune was approaching its breaking point. Kanye has always been willing to call out awards shows; maybe this is his belated protest against himself. (Plus, is there a more obvious giveaway than the lyric, “How it feel to wake up and be the shit and the urine?”)
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