2018 Grammy Awards: Review

The Sound is a column on all things music written by Charles Park (’20) and Mark Park (’20). -Ed.

Once again, the Grammys turned a deaf-ear, ending the night with a disappointment. Despite these rising trends of alternative genres such as Hip-hop and Indie rock, Grammys never recognized their presence in their awards. It had its highlighting moments, but it just couldn’t amend the hole of Hip-hop. 

So, let’s face it, nowadays, the Grammys are simply irrelevant.

Image result for grammys white rose
Source: New York Times

From the guest appearance of Hillary Clinton to the Time’s up and #MeToo political movements (sexual harassment awareness), Grammy’s desperate attempts to follow the trend could be seen in the Red Carpet. Yet the Grammys’ nominations and performance line ups do not reflect the message . In the last six years of Grammys, out of 899 nominees, only nine percent were women. This year, Lorde’s Melodrama was the only female album nominee for Album of the Year. The Grammys failed to focus on the message, finishing the night with no recollection of the speeches and white pins. Furthermore, none of the winners of the Grammy officially recognized the Time’s up pins from the movement nor gave a shout out.

Moving away from the movements, let’s talk about the awards…

Image result for bruno mars, kendrick

Again, all the big awards went to the wrong person (sorry, Bruno). Take a look at the Record of the Year category, “24K Magic” beat Kendrick’s “Humble” and JAY-Z’s “Story of O.J.” Unlike Bruno’s light-hearted fun, Kendrick and JAY-Z have produced a , creating meaningful impacts to the whole society. We can solely see Grammy’s utter contempt for Hip-hop as a whole. Furthermore, in the Best Album category,  it was down to Kendrick and Tyler the Creator. But, just like last year, Kendrick lost to a pop album, Bruno’s 24K Magic.  Now, Kendrick’s album is on the third losing streak, losing to Macklemore, Taylor Swift, and now, Bruno Mars. Hip-hop has been relevant and on the trend for several years, and still only one hip-hop album (OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below) has won album of the year. Yet, what raged the internet most was the Best New Artists category. SZA, a newly rising R&B soul singer, lost to Alessia Cara, who did not post any new albums this year. SZA was able to put out one of the best albums in 2017, ranking in top 10 for the Billboard’s top album list. On the other hand, Alessia only featured in couple hit songs and never produced an album. This put JAY-Z and SZA in a complete loss with no Grammy awards even though they were the most nominated artists this year.

Performances were great, but not the best…

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There were performances that were powerful and meaningful as Kendrick’s such as Kesha’s performance, ‘Praying’. She was able to convey a deep performance, acknowledging to the #MeToo movement. There was also Logic’s 1-800-273-8255, doing an amazing speech, tackling suicide and depression issues. But the stars of the performance were Kendrick and Dave Chappelle. Along with Dave Chappelle short joke, “I just want to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America,” Kendrick opened a fiery performance with U2. However, the performances were smooth until U2 took the stage by themselves later on. Sure, we do love U2 and their old albums. But, it’s time to let go. They are irrelevant.

Grammys was once the most prestigious music award in the world. Now, it’s a complete embarrassment. Their desperate efforts to keep up with the trends were disorganized, ending the show with no memory of the movements. Their awards were all rigid and against Hip-hop. Some of their performance lineups were completely irrelevant to the awards and this year’s theme.

Let’s really face it, Grammys are out of trend. 

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