Before YouTube, Netflix, and even a robust cable lineup, there was the limited channels of network television. ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX were staples in American households and us, Americans, typically engaged with certain major moments as a unit whether surrounded by family, friends, or even co-workers. The annual GRAMMY Awards show was one of those special times when people would gather and watch some of America's best and most popular entertainers perform and be awarded for their incredible work. There was a certain standard that had to be cemented before reaching this status, leaving its nominees and winners honored to be considered among so many talented artists. Granted, there were probably some artists that were questionable as far as talent but overall, there was an undeniable level of excellence amongst the GRAMMY recipients. Also, the GRAMMY Awards gave many of them a grand platform to showcase their best performances, guaranteeing a win whether with a golden record player or in the hearts of its broad and huge audience. Over time, the GRAMMY awards have seemed to lose its luster which is due partially to the music industry's shift away from artistry making the voting committee more concerned about politics and less about raw talent, especially when it comes to Black artists. So with that said, I am about to get my Kanye West on and explain 3 (of many) specific reasons why I can't take the GRAMMY awards seriously anymore. And yes, I'll admit, it is my opinion so you don't have to agree but I know a lot of people are going to feel me on these examples so let's go!
1) In 2008, Alicia Keys won over Jill Scott, Fantasia, Mary J. Blige, and Chrisette Michele with the Best Vocalist of the Year award for the hit, No One. Now before the A. Keys fans start coming for me, let me preface this by saying that I actually have a love for Alicia. I am not saying she didn't deserve any of her GRAMMYs but this one, in particular, struck a chord with me because there was such obvious favoritism being played out due to industry politics. No One was arguably one of Alicia's worst vocal performances and she still won against some of the best R&B vocalists of today. Now I know when her fans read this, they are going to be like...
I'm sorry. Just stating my honest opinion. The Diary of Alicia Keys is still one of my favorite recent R&B albums, though. Does that soften the blow? Probably not. Okay onto the next one.
2) Taylor Swift joined the elite club of winning Album of the Year more than once which features Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, U2, and Paul Simon. Ain't that some shit? She beat Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton just to name a few. Yes, she got some catchy songs and she can craft a song decently but I'm sorry, I really believe she is totally overhyped; and she, for damn sure, is not in the same league as a Stevie Wonder. He won Album of the Year three times for Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Songs In The Key Of Life. You mean to tell me, GRAMMY committee, that Fearless and 1989 is on the same level? My answer?
I mean sometimes I wonder where was Kanye in those moments but I know that would be rude regardless but I can't lie and say I didn't have that fantasy in my head.
3) This Year's Uninspiring Nominations. I was going to write a post about my personal picks for GRAMMY Awards and then I saw the list and I was just like ...
Sure, some of the nominations make sense to me like Adele's Album of the Year, even Beyonce's although I believe Rihanna and Solange deserved the nomination more but that's just my two cents. The mini film for Beyonce's Lemonade was incredible but I thought the actual album was a little underwhelming, especially lyrically but lyrics have never been a strong suit for Bey though. Sorry Bee Hive. I am just stating facts with that one. I'm still hoping that she will eventually do one album with brilliant songwriters that can craft her some really incredible wordplay. Bey is great for catchiness but many artists of the past have proven that you can be catchy <i>and</i> crafty with the words but I digress. I also thought the nominations for the Best New Artist seemed fair, although, I was like where is Alessia Cara? I guess just overall, I thought there was so much amazing music released over the last few years and the award nominations just didn't really capture that magic, holding onto name recognition for ratings versus bringing out the true talent that is out there. And honestly, as a music lover, it is just sad to see this with such a well-respected entity like the GRAMMYs but I guess it is what it is.
Nevertheless, an artist should never need an outside stamp of approval to be validated. At the end of the day, it is really not about competition; it is about the people and what their ears feel moved by so hopefully, more people are in tune with their vibe and less with the mainstream anyway, especially genuine music lovers. But I still can't help myself at times with these awards and wonder...
Hmm... maybe I can ask Sway about this. He may just have the answers for this.
How do you feel about the GRAMMY Awards? Do you think it still holds its weight? If not, what are some additional reasons why you don't take the GRAMMYs seriously anymore? Let me know below!
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