Grammy Awards have developed a reputation to make some of the most weird and unexpected decisions and the 2017 edition of the awards was no exception.
It was almost inevitable that either Adele or Beyonce would swoop the big 3 categories at the Grammy Awards (the 3 being “Record Of The Year”, “Song Of The Year” and “Album Of The Year”) and it was Adele who won in all 3 of them.
But to me, that’s not the point. I love Adele and her music and I’d have been cool either way if Bey or Adele won the top awards because their albums were great.
Which brings me to my main point as to why I think that why the once prestigious Grammy Awards have become a joke, especially when it comes to dealing with artists who make hip-hop and rap music in particular.
This year, we had some pretty big names like Kanye West, Drake, Big Sean and Chance The Rapper competing for the big honors in the hip-hop and rap category but there were some MAJOR BLOOPERS.
The most sognificant blooper came to us when Drake won the award for the Best Rap Song and the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for his worldwide hit, “Hotline Bling”.
EXCEPT THE FACT THAT HOTLINE BLING IS NOT A DAMN RAP SONG AND HAS NO TRACE OF RAP MUSIC IN IT.
Add that to the fact that there were much better nominees out there like Beyonce’s collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper or the demigod himself, Kanye West in both the categories.
The unfair treatment of TRUE hip hop artists is not a new topic of controversy surrounding the Grammy Awards.
It has become a trend in recent years which was also replicated at the AMAs (American Music Awards).
Here are a couple of incidents detailing the same :
1. In 2014, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (being white artists) were given the major hip hop awards at the Grammy Awards main event and there was almost unanimous worldwide social media outrage that Kendrick Lamar (who happens to be an African American artist) was snubbed by the Grammy panel, even though he had a far better album which was given the status of an instant modern day classic by critics and listeners alike.
However, a couple of years later, justice was served to Kendrick Lamar as he won 2 major Grammys for his next album but the damage had already been done.
2. A similar trend was replicated at AMAs a few years ago when Nicki Minaj was given the award for her pseudo feminist tweets whereas Eminem was snubbed, yet again the fact that he had a far better album being totally ignored.
But the comparison here is made only to the 2014 case of the Grammy Awards since both the artists who got the award but shouldn’t have (Drake and Macklemore) got the award based solely on the mainstream and commercial appeal of their songs and not actual, gritty hip-hop or rap material.
The favoritism towards mainstream music and snubbing the good content is a catalyst for further letting average music come out in the future, which further degrades the postion of hip-hop and rap as a mainstream genre and only sees independent or underground artists make quality music.
There will always be one (or two) Kendrick Lamar(s) or J. Cole(s) who continue to push the boundaries and make music which is appealing to the core crowd as well as the masses but the overall position of hip hop and rap will eventually be challenged.
So in order to keep the people happy and artists motivated, it would be really good on the Grammy panel’s part to select their winners carefully and avoid bias, be it (allegedly) racial, feminist and mainstream.
Till then, continue listening to the hymns and chants from Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.