With less than a week to go to the big day, there has been more excitement than we’ve ever seen pre-MOBOs. The pre-MOBO Awards show saw nothing but good vibes and a lot of momentum built up for the main event. Using the pre-MOBO Awards show as an opportunity to reveal 3 category winners, Kanya King’s platform gave us a taste of what is to come this coming Wednesday. The winners were announced for the Best RNB/Soul Act, Best Jazz Act & Best Gospel Act where we saw Craig David take home the Best RNB/Soul Act.
In the past week the MOBOs has dropped some surprises on us and we know it’s going to be lit!! Surprises have included news that Maya Jama will be hosting this years event alongside Marvin Humes; former JLS member as well as new acts added to this years line-up such as Nigerian-star Davido who after a good year of music releases takes on the UK audience. Let’s see if he can get the audience to fall in love with him.
Anyway back to the main reason why we’re here; the predictions. We’re going to give you the drop on who we think will win in the remaining categories and why as well as who we would prefer to win. Below you’ll find the categories at this years ceremony alongside our prediction and our preferences. If you would like to see our reasons why then continue to read on below that:
MOBO Prediction: Not3s
Kinde LDN Choice: Yxng Bane
Best Grime Act:
MOBO Prediction: Stormzy
Kinde LDN Choice: Stormzy
Best Hip-Hop Act
MOBO Prediction: Giggs
Kinde LDN Choice: Giggs / Nines
Best International Act
MOBO Prediction: Cardi B / Drake
Kinde LDN Choice: Wiz Kid
Best Reggae Act
MOBO Prediction: Popcaan / Alkaline
Kinde LDN Choice: Popcaan
Best African Act
MOBO Prediction: Mr Eazi
Kinde LDN Choice: Wiz Kid
Best Video in association with Link Up TV
Bossman Birrdie - Walk the walk
J Hus - Spirit
Loyle Carner - the Isle of Arran
Mist - Hot Property
Stomrzy - Big for your boots
MOBO Prediction: J Hus - Spirit
Kinde LDN Choice: J Hus - Spirit
J Hus - Did You See
Kojo Funds - Dun Talkin
Not3s - Addison Lee
Stormzy - Big for Your Boots
Yungen - Bestie
MOBO Prediction: Yungen - Bestie
Kinde LDN Choice: J Hus - Did you See
J Hus - Common Sense
Nines - One Foot Out
Sampha - Process
Stormzy - GSAP
Wretch 32 - Growing Over Life
MOBO Prediction: Stormzy - GSAP
Kinde LDN Choice: Stormzy - GSAP / Nines - One Foot Out
Best Female Act
MOBO Prediction: Stefflon Don
Kinde LDN Choice: Stefflon Don / Little Simz
Best Male Act
MOBO Prediction: Stormzy
Kinde LDN Choice: Stormzy
Here's our analysis of why we made those predictions...
So here’s our reasons why. Let’s start off with the Best Newcomer category, the boys from Brum Town (Lotto Boyz) have sure had a breakthrough this year with their debut song ‘No Don’ that has been shutting down dances and the radio. Since their recent rise to fame they have been consistently dropping bangers including a remix to ‘No Don’ featuring Chip & Not3s. Now Not3s is also up in this category and is our prediction to win this award; he has every right to be here with his work rate over the last year; dropping Addison Lee which caught the attention of many music listeners who warmed to him and stuck with him as he followed up nicely with songs such as Aladdin, Notice, Celebration, Trophy and most recently My Lover - all with 2 million + views on YouTube. We can’t explain how much of a good year he has had. Similarly Dave has had a decent year with Drake jumping on a remix to ‘Wanna Know’ and songs such as Samantha, Question Time and No Words has definitely left us questioning how great he could become. However can his music catalogue and appearance on Ebro’s Hot 97 show compete with Not3s consistent bangers? Well we’ll see on the day but if we question that we can also question whether Mabel has done enough to become Best Newcomer. There is no doubt she is a good singer and has a few tracks to show for but the song that caught most of our attentions was Finders Keepers which featured Kojo Funds who also appears in this category.
Kojo Funds is the kind of guy you need on your song to add flavour to it and he has been the secret ingredient for many songs created this year even the ones that go unnoticed such as Ride With Me featuring Asco and Fantasy with Jamila Jones. He has definately added a lot of flavour to the scene but has he had a major impact on it? We might be able to say different about his homeboy Yxng Bane who is our preference for this category and would love him to win as he has created a very unique path for himself - from covering Ed Sheeran’s shape of you which had attention on him from all angles including Ed Sheeran himslef and then went to support Yungen with Bestie but ended up owning the song just as much as Yungen. We chose him because we think that he has made a unique path for himself which we can see being a potentially long and successful one. Remaining artists in this category include Jorja Smith, Mist, Loyle Carner and Stefflon Don who have all done a lot of this year and more noticeably Stefflon Don who has attracted a lot of attention from US artists such as French Montanna who featured on her latest hit ‘Hurtin Me’ as well as being a guest artist at Futures European Tour.
Now onto the Best Grime Act; who do we have here. Well; AJ Tracey, P Money, Chip, Skepta, Stormzy & Wiley. With previous winners in this years category, can the remaining acts be any sort of competition to the title holders. With Chip winning last year and Stormzy; two consecutive years before that it may be hard for the others to compete. I bet you’re thinking but the Godfather (Wiley) & King of Grime (Skepta) are in the category, well we know it may be a tough one but when looking at who should be crowned winner for any category we look at who has represented their genre in the best way possible or who has made the biggest moves. Well it goes without saying that we predict Stormzy to take this home and is also our preference. However we could be wrong, with Chip releasing his first independent album ‘League of My Own 2’, Skepta dropping his long awaited EP ‘Vicious’ and Wiley dropping his 11th album which was awarded an ‘Outstanding Ciontribution to Music’ award by NME Magazine or did AJ Tracey secure the bag with the release of his fifth EP. We still go with Stormzy but lets not rule anyone out yet.
Next up is the Best Hip Hop Act, where we have predicted Giggs to take this one for the streets, and we have also included him in our preference winner along with Nines. If anyone deserves this award it is Giggs, from the days of Talking Da Ardest till now Giggs has kept it consistent and has kept it real. It has been a long journey but his time has come and has been long overdue. As well as us die hard fans that have been supporting him from the days of bum titty bum, he has received unexpected attention from international stars, more specifically Drake who had Giggs feature on two songs from his recent playlist. Whilst us UK heads were happy for him US Drake fans weren’t so positive about his 2-track feature which lead to a UK vs. US Twitter beef however Giggs later responded with ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ a 13-track mixtape featuring artists such as 2 Chainz, Popcaan and Dave. Nines also dropped the anticipated album ‘One Foot Out’ not long after getting signed to XL however we haven’t heard much from him since then as usual but Nines may be an exception with the ‘less is more’ phrase. We’re really waiting for him to take Church Road to Hollywood. Who else can win this category though. Well we have the females Stefflon Don & Little Simz who I must say have done bits this year especially in the states or Loyle Carner who was nominated for a Mercury Prize award this year.
Long gone are the days when the MOBO categories were filled up with mostly international acts. We as a nation have now developed enough to own a majority of the categories leaving the rest of the world with a few categories to treasure such as Best African Act, Best Reggae Act and Best International Act. Now with Best International Act we take those who artists who have been dominating the music scene globally and their music has reached many corners around the earth. For example Drake took on a ‘Boy Meets World’ tour and Cardi-B broke records with her hit single Bodak Yellow. They both feature in this category alongside the likes of Migos, Jay-Z, Sza, Travis Scott, Wiz Kid & a few more. Our prediction to win the MOBO is both Cardi-B & Drake who have both set a lot of levels over the past year however we would love it if this category could go to Wiz-Kid as we believe he has almost sole handedly taken African music to the rest of the world whilst collaborating with some of the World’s biggest artist and selling out his show in the Royal Albert Hall, London. However Wiz Kid also appears in the Best African category where he also belongs but has a number of contenders ranging from London to Africa. Having been amongst legends to have previously won it and the fact that he is going head to head with world stars such as Jay-Z and DJ Khaled, does this mean that he will top the group. Well even though he has taken our choice as the winner let’s not forget the likes of Mr Eazi and Davido who have made bangers this year especially Mr Eazi who has attracted likings from stars from other genres such as French Montanna, Major Lazer and Travis Scott. We think Mr Eazi may just take this one home.
Next up we’re talking Best Reggae Act. Some may say reggae/bashment music is a dying breed since Vybz Kartel got incarcerated and Mavado has taken a back seat but there are some decent ones who have attempted to take up the title such as Popcaan & Alkaline who has managed to make a few interesting collaborations and I’m sure Aidonia has done a few bits and bobs too. However do they compete with the son of legend Bob Marley: Damian Marley - well we think Popcaan or alkaline might be able to grab this one and our personal choice is also Popcaan which we would base solely on his features.
It is evident that the UK is getting better and better at the creation of videos. We usually see video content as an important asset to a song and sometimes we even think that this is just as important as the song itself if not more. Platforms such as SBTV, Link Up TV & GRM Daily have made this happen over the years whilst they all have acquired a more quality way of producing videos. The Best Video category in association with Link Up TV includes videos such as J Hus - Spirit, The Isle of Irran by Loyle Carner or Stormzy - Big For your Boots. All the videos in this category have contributed to the success of the song so we have to big up the directors for this as well. Well without blabbing on too long we have predicted this award to go to J Hus’ Spirit as well as being our personal favourite. J Hus has had a good year with his nomination for a Mercury Prize, realeasing his debut studio album as well as being nominated for 4 awards in this years MOBOs. One of his most noticeable work was his video for his song ‘Spirit’ where he went to Gambia to shoot the video capturing the raw and the real of a typical Gambian. As well as the quality of the video when looking at great videos we have to look at how the video supports the song and integrates well, the creativity, the effort and most importantly the positive vibes it gives you. J Hus has ticked all the boxes for this and we’re sure he’ll win this one. However the other videos in this category may have also ticked a lot of boxes such Stormzy with Big For your Boots.
There has been a number of songs that has made us buss a one two step at a dance or has even had us moving mad on the dance floor. We’ve had the songs that get non-stop play on the radio and those that has made a lot of sing-a-long’s happen. Now when we’re talking about the best song, we’re talking about what song has had longevity or what song has had impact or reached new audiences. It’s fair to say that everyone has their personal choice but I can guarantee you most of us have at least some in common such as Kojo Funds with Dun Talkin or J Hus with Did You See. Our personal choice would be J Hus with Did you See however a part of me thinks that it may go to Yungen & Yxng Bane with Bestie as we believe the song accessed many levels of audiences including a lot of radio play as well as charting with the top 10 single.
With an Album we believe the aim is to create a body of work with singles that act as body parts and allow the body to function as a whole. One wrong single and the whole album could be at fault. This may mean creating songs for different audiences or taking the audience on a journey through the album that will end with a conclusion. Stormzy dropped Gang signs & Prayers, Nines dropped One Foot Out, J Hus dropped Common Sense, Wretch 32; Growing Over Life & Sampha; Process. Of course to be nominees all of these albums done well but to be a winner it deserves to go to the album that has probably had the most impact and it would only be right to go to Stormzy with GSAP. Stormzy returned from some time away from the scene with GSAP and this reflected in the quality of the album has he touched on many things including his absence from the scene. The album told a story which also had a hint of many genres in it including Gospel, a bit of R’n’B and even a skit from one of Grime’s incarcerated legends. GSAP is our prediction for this years MOBOs as well our personal favourite but of course we had to put Nines there with One Foot Out as he examines a journey from street life to music success. We hope he can win it.
And now for the final showdown, we’re talking beyond music. We’re talking who has made impacts in other areas besides the success of their music? Who has stood out the most ? Who has gained recognition from unfamiliar places and done remarkable/unbelievable things? Well if we can answer those questions then we’ll have our winners for the Best Male Act & the Best Female Act. Without spending too much time on what everyone has done this year because we'll be here forever - we would just like to say what a great year it has been for all the nominees in both male and female categories. Some of our nominees have made hits, some have collaborated with big brands whilst some have received praise from politicians. Let's get down to the predictions, we think Stefflon Don may just grab the female act whilst Stormzy may be taking his one of many awards home for the Best Male. However there are some contenders who may be a threat such as Little Simz who literally moves in silent but is a killer in disguise with the quality of music she produces and the moves she makes behind scene. Or can Giggs take it for the many years of greatness he has had but has yet to be awarded; would this be his first one….well we’ll see what Wednesday night brings us as we draw closer to it.