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The 2017 MTV VMA Nominations: Can Anyone Stop Kendrick Lamar?

Kevin Winter/Handout/Frederick M. Brown (Getty)
Kevin Winter/Handout/Frederick M. Brown (Getty)

Summer is in full swing, so that can only mean the MTV Video Music Awards are just around the corner. Check out this year’s nominees, led by the most “humble” Kendrick Lamar.

Like clockwork, MTV announced this year’s nominees for the VMAs almost one year to the day 2016’s noms dropped. However, after just once glance at the competition, it’s clear 2017 doesn’t hold much of a candle to last year’s impressive battle supreme for Video of the Year.

That said, there are still some great nominees in the running, including this year’s leader of the pack, Kendrick Lamar, with eight total nods. Following not-so-closely behind is The Weeknd with five nominations, and a whole bunch of folks with four or less, including Bruno Mars and DJ Khaled.

The format is getting a bit of a shake-up this year in the wake of the MTV Movie Awards having such success with the single “Best Actor” award. Rather than having a Best Male and Best Female Artist, the 2017 VMAs will honor just one winner in the Best Artist category. That’s actually a very tight race between all the artists, if you consider the only rivalries stemming from acts big here in the states.

Additionally, new category “Best Fight Against the System” offers a category unlikely to be seen at any other music awards program. In an era where there are countless ceremonies and awards shows, MTV is certainly doing what it can to ensure the VMAs remain relevant. Whether or not celebrating just one artist supreme and focusing on videos with a political message pays off will remain to be seen until this August.

The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards take place on August 27. You can vote once per category, per day until voting closes ahead of the show. Check out the full list of nominees below, and best of luck to all those in the running.

Video of the year:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful”
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”
The Weeknd – “Reminder”

Artist of the year:
Bruno Mars
Kendrick Lamar
Ed Sheeran
Ariana Grande
The Weeknd
Lorde

Best new artist:
Khalid
Kodak Black
SZA
Young M.A
Julia Michaels
Noah Cyrus

Best collaboration:
Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore”
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”
D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey – “Closer”
Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels”
Zayn &Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)

Best Pop:
Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better”
Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”
Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times”
Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane – “Down”
Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm”
Miley Cyrus – “Malibu”

Best hip-hop:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
Big Sean – “Bounce Back”
Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs”
D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”
Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad & Boujee”
DJ Khaled feat.Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – “I’m The One”

Best dance:
Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay”
Kygo x Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me”
Calvin Harris – “My Way”
Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MØ – “Cold Water”
Afrojack feat. Ty Dolla $ign – “Gone”

Best rock:
Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams”
Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace”
Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul”
Green Day – “Bang Bang”
Foo Fighters – “Run”

Best fight against the system:
Logic feat. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan”
The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”
Big Sean – “Light”
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful”
Taboo feat. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”
John Legend – “Surefire”

Best cinematography:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Scott Cunningham)
Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (Matthew Wise)
Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill” (Steve Annis)
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak” (David Proctor)
Halsey – “Now or Never” (Kristof Brandl)

Best direction:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Dave Meyers & the little homies)
Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Mathew Cullen)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Cameron Duddy & Bruno Mars)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Aaron A)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Glenn Michael)

Best art direction:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Spencer Graves)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Alex Delgado)
Katy Perry feat. Migos – “Bon Appetit” (Natalie Groce)
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Damian Fyffe)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Creative Director: Lamar C Taylor / Co-creative Director: Christo Anesti)

Best visual effects:
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Company: Timber/Lead: Jonah Hall)
A Tribe Called Quest – “Dis Generation” (Company: Bemo/Lead: Brandon Hirzel)
KYLE feat. Lil Yachty – “iSpy” (Company: Gloria FX/Leads: Max Colt & Tomash Kuzmytskyi)
Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Company: MIRADA) Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Company: ONE MORE/Lead: Cédric Nivoliez)

Best choreography:
Kanye West – “Fade” (Teyana Taylor, Guapo, Jae Blaze & Derek ‘Bentley’ Watkins)
Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj – “Side To Side” (Brian & Scott Nicholson)
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Dave Meyers)
Sia – “The Greatest” (Ryan Heffington)
Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Sean Bankhead)

Best editing:
Future – “Mask Off” (Vinnie Hobbs of VHPost)
Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” (Ryan Staake & Eric Degliomini)
Lorde – “Green Light” (Nate Gross of Exile Edit)
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey – “Closer” (Jennifer Kennedy)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Red Barbaza)

The Best Albums of 2017 (So Far)

Next: The Best Music Videos of 2017 (So Far)

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