Best R&B/Pop Record (Mainstream) of 2011
How many artists could put a quietly desperate drunk-dial to music and end up with one of the biggest hits of the year? To answer my own question, one, and his name is Drake. Featuring the Young Money megastar pouring out his heart to a woman he can't have over the liquor-numbed synth grooves of Noah “40” Shebib, Take Care promo single “Marvin's Room” perfectly encapsulates the combo of vulnerability, understated swagger and ennui that makes Aubrey Graham's musical persona so compelling.
Frank Ocean - Novacane
Miguel's success didn't come overnight, but when it came, it came in full. Having finally broken through with All I Want Is You, the young L.A. crooner proved his popularity was about much more than a J. Cole feature on Sure Thing, a Happy Perez produced track that pushed his futuristic brand of pop and R&B into the spotlight. A supremely romantic record anchored with touches of charisma and humor, in retrospect Sure Thing's rise to the top was a...well....you know.