Yes, The Grammys Suck (And Have Sucked For Some Time), But Why? » VSB

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Yes, The Grammys Suck (And Have Sucked For Some Time), But Why?

 Prince (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

 

The Grammys suck.

This is neither a new nor a particularly provocative statement. It’s not even an opinion. We all know the Grammys suck. We continue to watch, talk, and write about them — hoping with each year that they might suck a bit less — but the slow burn of shitty continues. There is nothing — not Prince being as Black as one can be in a Faygo Orange slipsuit or Beyonce’s lightskinned privilege — that can prevent it from happening. It is Anton Chigurh with the stun gun; relentless, unabating, inevitable, final.

But why?

The easy answer here is the music. The show — the music industry’s best opportunity to show its best and brightest — is just a reflection of it. If the Grammys suck it’s because popular music sucks. I won’t disagree with that, but I wonder how much blame we (fans) have to accept.

The Grammys seemed to suck much less 15 years ago. Because the music seemed to suck much less. But we also consumed music much differently. We’ve evolved, and what we’re seeing is them attempting to adapt to us. Trying to devise formulas and crack algorithms to understand what works now and what doesn’t anymore. Some are succeeding. Some are not. But all have changed. And, we really can’t put too much of the onus on them because this evolution happened faster than our own ability to process it. We are the proverbial shitty partner who’s always mad at their mate for not meeting expectations they haven’t actually articulated yet. We don’t know what we want, but we exist in a state of perpetual underwhelm because they’re not providing it. Iggy Azelea exists because, well, we created her, and she — and, by extension, they — sucks because we do right now too.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • iamnotakata

    I stopped watching Award show a good 10 years ago, but thanks to the likes of Black twitter I know what’s going on minute by minute…All I really have to contribute is I am so glad that that White Chicks reject did not win a d@mn thing tonight!! I don’t know why she was acting like she would have even been considered for album of the year girl good bye!! Oh and Prince is everything!! “Albums matter, like books and black lives, albums matter” Hopefully Igloo will disappear back into the backwoods of Australia or something..

    • At this point, I’m wondering if Iggy Azalea is onto something with the sexism thing. People were tight with Macklemore, but they at least let him rock and charged the shenanigans to the Grammy committee. Chicks seem to want to burn ol’ Igloo at the stake all while burning the Australian flag for some reason. I’m not a huge fan, but the way people go HARD in the paint on her seems a bit much. She’s a White chick from Australia with a fake a$$ who came up with a summer banger. In 10 years, she’ll be a trivia question. Let her LIVE.

      • uniquebeauty79

        In 10 years, she’ll be a trivia question. Let her LIVE…..
        if that isn’t what I was thinking. She is more like the Tamagotchi, or hell even a beanie baby. Few people are still crazy about them. But they happened. It was a fad. It has also passed.

      • nylahou

        Funny, but I didn’t like Macklemore’s music but I liked him. He seemed like a genuine guy (though I still think Kendrick was robbed). I actually liked Iggy’s music, but I’ve come to not like her. Had she stopped with her comeback to Snoop, I would’ve been fine. But she’s been bad PR since then. Plus, it feels like she’s using elements of the black community to get ahead, and not being her true self. I didn’t get that from Macklemore. While it’s not right how hard everyone’s coming at her, she’s coming hard too, and surely she knows that’s not how to sooth the Twitter beast.

        • Angel Baby

          Right! Totally agree with everything you said. She’s like how Pink was when she first started. You seem like you like this music. But you’re genre is about to change quickly so don’t “lie to kick it”. LOL

          • MeridianBurst

            lol! I agree with this. It is kind of lame when people do that but it’s profitable. You borrow someone else’s cool factor, make it your own, and you’re suddenly more relevant than you’d ever be on your own merit. Usually it’s flattering when people attempt to align themselves but Iggy legitimately thinks it’s her own talent and greatness that got her to the mediocre spot she’s in.

            Most annoying sh*t in the world that people actually compare her and Nicki Minaj solely because Nicki is the person she’s aspiring to be. Nicki is that girl’s role model, not her competition. Whatever gets your foot in the door I guess, but I wonder if it hurts her soul to know she has to wear a costume of another woman in order to have appeal.

            Pink’s first album was dope as h*ll as was her sophomore album. She was actually against the R&B direction but she honestly did it well. I like her as an artist all around. I think they wanted to do the Iggy thing with her but she had enough integrity to just do things her way and it turned out well for her. The rock thing was her pocket and she prospered in it.

      • Todrica “Aggy” LePouletPlusSal

        Sorry pops, but if Macklemore had a dainty Australian speaking voice but aped Fredro Starr when he rapped people would be giving him the side eye too. For what it’s worth, Eminem and Macklemore come off as rappers that happen to be white and have now shame about it.

      • iamnotakata

        Well I am going to go ahead and inform you that you are thinking too deeply into this…Sexism? Hardly in the words of Ebony Editor Jamilah Iggy is just terrible….She won’t acknowledge that her privilege got her where she is…and as terrible as she is, has the audacity to arrogant and disrespectful about her position in hip hop.. The Grammys gave her a Texas sized piece of humble pie and I am glad…but she still sucks..thanks

        Oh and considering how men were ready to boycott the internet when Macklemore won all his Grammys… was that sexism on yalls part? Because I was’t all that mad he won…

      • I never got Iggy Azalea, and didn’t really see her live until she performed Fancy at the 2014 BET Awards. I saw mostly black people feeling the song, so I don’t really understand, why people are acting like they didn’t play a role in her rise to fame? I think the White privilege angle is kind of a cop out. I was listening to MPH on Saturday over at MSNBC, and they were talking about how she’s the new Vanilla Ice…lol, which is kind of an insult to all the black people who bump to her music in the club. But hey, as long as you come from the angle of white privilege, you can act like you’re not insulting your own people.

        A lot of black people are in denial to the fact that authenticity in hip-hop died a long time ago. It seems a lot of lashing at her, is really based of a desire to hold onto something that no longer exists.

      • God Shammgod

        A few key differences:

        1. Macklemore has never denied his privilege
        2. Macklmeore never forced us to accept his music, and has never tried to mimic a more “black” style.

        For better or worse, Macklemore was unapologetically himself while embracing other’s place on the stage. He still annoyed the f*** out of me and I’m glad I don’t have to hear his music anymore, but I can accept sh***y music if the artist has a sense of self awareness. Iggy does neither. She continues to stand up in her ignorance while challenging people to call her out on it.I don’t wish any ills on her but the only thing Macklemore and Iggy’s careers have in common is that they’re white. Her whiteness isn’t the problem, black music and audiences have a long history of accepting white folks into the fold, sometimes to our own detriment.

        • HeyBooHey

          All of this #facts. Was only a fan of Macklemore songs I was forced to hear whenever my niece rode in the car with me. As much as his music was considered hip-hop, he sure wasn’t force feeding us how much he was down for the cause above anyone else. That whole continuous plea on Kendrick’s behalf got old after awhile, but even that seemed genuine to a degree.

          Macklemore seems like the guy that went to NYU but kicked it in Brooklyn and learned to relate to the guys in Bed-Stuy. But he would at least shout them out on campus as his influences in his rap performances at the Student Center. Iggy is the chick who went to George Washington U on her parents’ dime but told everyone back home she was enrolled at Howard and refuses to accept the reality that she will never know the Sallie Mae struggle.

          • Lea Thrace

            Your second paragraph tho!!!

        • Rachmo

          Iggy has been standing wrong and strong for a minute.

      • Sleepy Time Warrior

        I agree with letting Iggy live. I’m not offended by her presence, I just find the fact that she is a White Australian who sounds like a low budget version of Jackie-O (which says alot because…Jackie-O) comical. In my opinion people are less offended with Macklemore because he comes off as modest and slightly self deprecating when approached about White privilege has allowed him to reach pop status rapping about socially conscious. Iggy on the other hand comes off like the stereotypical rapper in the sense that she is braggadocious and her lyrics and style fall in line with the popular “bling-look-at-me-I’m-the-ish” form of rap. I do agree that her gender plays into why this characteristic is more off putting, because no one is schooling Riff Raff on the history of hip hop and how his style is mocking/appropriating Black culture.

        • It mostly has to do with the fact that she’s successful, and a good amount of black people like her music. Lets not forget that she was in the BET Awards and performed without being booed off the stage, she is under T.I.’s management and for the most part it was black people, not white folks who put her over the top. She was making music before, and mostly had only white fans; it wasn’t until black people started bumping to fancy that she became a household name.

          This reminds me of the hysteria over skinny jeans in the late 2000’s really. A whole bunch of black guys who’d grown up when hip-hop artists were hard and beefs actually could lead to physical consequences, had to deal with the fact that a newer generation of kids were beginning to pay attention to more emo-ish hip-hop, and wanted to wear tight jeans. At the end of the day, sometimes, you get old and what you grew to see as cool is no longer cool.

          The fact is authenticity is gone from Hip-hop. We all know Drake is soft as tissue paper and came up on a show where the only time he attempted to rap he sucked: he now makes millions and sells out concerts. We all know Nicki Minaj’s butt is artificial to say the least, but who didn’t like seeing it move in the Anaconda video? We all know that Kanye West is an attention whore, but still he’s a genius and we all can’t wait for the next crazy thing he does or the next act of genius that will come out on his next album. We all know that Kendrick Lamar gave us hope that the old school was coming back, then he got famous, and just like the Trojans discovered when they let the wooden horse in, we’ve discovered that not all that glitters is gold.

          It is what it is. Lol, look my dad grew up on Herbie Hancock and George Benson, he still refers to Snoop as Snoop Doggy Dog, and doesn’t get why what he does was ever considered music. At some point, your music and your preference becomes irrelevant and you have to wait till Lifetime Achievement award session to hear what you love. Those of us who grew up on 80’s and 90’s hip-hop are having a hard time adjusting.

  • Shay-d-Lady

    eh.. i dont think that is because of us.. i mean no one even knew Beck released an album yet he won a gazillion awards.. though i love Beck. a lot of my 2520′ social media friends were enraged that the Black Keys lost to him. so its not even a reflection of the sucky popular music that “We” like. if so where was Jessie J singing BangBang (instead of loving feeling.. ) and megan Trainor singing All about that Bass? The Grammy’s have become a reflection of old a.s.s people with elitist musical taste. using a very limited definition of what constitutes “real” music. . in the old days. it was a more accurate reflection of what we were actually listening too.

  • MeridianBurst

    Kendrick won, Sam Smith cleaned up, Iggy lost big, Kanye Kanye’d, and we all suffered through 8 hours of horsesh*t just to see two minutes of Beyonce. #ThatIsAll

    • Cleojonz

      I think everyone is happy Iggy lost like she did. It made the awards just a little bit more bearable because of that.

      • MeridianBurst

        She messed around and appropriated our lack of recognition.

        As a standalone artist her fame is largely based in how often and how badly she fails. She has the attitude of a superstar and I’m not saying that confidence is delusional, because she did manage to attach herself to Nicki Minaj and ride her backwash into a bland type of relevance, but she was mistaken thinking that was enough to win big. She took SO many L’s yesterday and in such a short period of time. It’s pretty satisfying to watch that method backfire.

        • Cleojonz

          HA HA HA @ this:

          “Appropriated our lack of recognition.” You wanted to be black – weeellll there you go. No kudos for you!

  • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

    The highlight of the night was after the broadcast. Kanye went superham (proving her wasn’t EVEN joking about that stage bumrush… he actually just renigged) during the E! Post-show interviews and Iggy went STRAIGHT to yelling at Papa John’s on Twitter for releasing her phone number.

    • BeautifullyHuman

      I really wish Kanye would stop caping for Bey. Whether he likes it or not, she doesn’t deserve every award she’s nominated for. He gon’ eff around and get his Black a** blackballed again…but forreal this time. And you know Kimmy ain’t gonna have no ninja messing with her bread and celebrity.

      • LadyIbaka

        Kanye has been in love with Bey from jump. I think that’s his high school crush.

        • Yeah when he made Kim have her tanned and blonde phase it was kinda creepy

      • LuckBALady

        And where was he when that Arkansas razorback Mike Huckabee was calling her her own husband’s whore? He picks the wrong battles imho.

    • KB

      The irony of Kanye saying that Beck needs to respect true artistry in regards to Beyoncé is not lost on me. Kanye and his schtick has grown really old.

      • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

        Like… He REALLY said Beck would give up his award to Bey if he respected true artistry. Oh, Kanye Cheddar… smh.

        • I want someone to go into Kanye’s mouth. He picks his targets wisely.

          • KB

            Beck should have taken that grammy and smashed it into Kanye’s face

          • Yeah, he would NEVER say that to someone like Tom Petty- Tom’s reaction (And potential ether afterward) would be comedy gold!

            • I want the potential ether. Do it for the lulz. :)

              • He killed me back when The Strokes admitted to stealing one of his songs. His response? “Okay…good for you”, LMAO!

                • He went into Sam Lisp’s pocket a few weeks ago too.

                  • He heard that song and was like “Yeah, I’m gonna need some of them royalties there, man”, LOL!

      • Beck’s “Odelay”>>>>>>Beyonce’s entire catalogue (And yes, I’m dead serious).

        • Rachmo

          Maybe Kanye doesn’t have a devil’s haircut in his mind?

          • Rachmo, Kanye’s so lost, he doesn’t even know where it’s at, LOL!

            • Rachmo

              I mean I really loved Beyonce’s album. Loved loved LOVED and really thought it would win. But telling Beck he doesn’t have true artistry? We’re reaching now.

              • “But telling Beck he doesn’t have true artistry? ”

                That’s what I don’t like about that ******f***er. He’s always screaming about respecting art but doesn’t respect anyone else. Jokey-a** ninja.

                • Rachmo

                  Right. I’m not saying Beck should have won but let’s not get crazy and clown him.

                • MeridianBurst

                  Yeeeeah, I was mostly amused by him but even I was giving side eye at that point. Him saying Beck doesn’t have artistry wasn’t a legitimate argument to make, although I can see him sh*tting on Beck the way people sh*tted on him. I think Jozen has interesting commentary on the voting process and partiality of it.

                • tgtaggie

                  College Dropout ‘Ye (pre ’04) was a much humbler person and artist.

                  • i’d even venture to say *hungrier* person. I’ve never seen Ye as humble. If he was humble back then, it was because no one had given him the recognition he so craved. He’s always believed in his own magnificence. lol Now that he has industry credit enough for people to give him a platform to SING, of all things, he seems aimless.

                    • tgtaggie

                      +1. Hungrier was was the word I was looking for.

                    • I’ve realized I prefer the hungry artist phase, when they are convinced of their talent and they just want to show everyone else “I can make it.”

                      But once they’ve made it, and once they believe themselves to be at the height of their genre (usually incorrect anyway), it’s like they rest on their laurels. Start pronouncing isht genius prematurely. Or best rapper alive. And then they start producing garbage.

                    • tgtaggie

                      I hope Kendrick doesn’t get that way. But he seems to be more grounded than ‘Ye at this point in his career. Hell, he brought a house for a half mil last year.
                      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/31/kendrick-lamar-house_n_5420361.html

                  • HeyBooHey

                    I miss that ‘Ye so terribly…

                • miss t-lee

                  Exactly.
                  And I wish I would’ve won an award, and someone would tell me to give *my* award to someone else.
                  Might have to roll whoever, right on the spot.

                  • That ish offends my southern sensibilities.

                    • miss t-lee

                      All the way offended.

              • When people talk about the most creative and innovative people to emerge within the last two decades, Beck’s name is the first that always comes up. Kanye has said a LOT of dumb sh*t, but that has to be the dumbest. Not only that, but his statement makes him look bad in the eyes of most music fans- as if he doesn’t already!

                • panamajackson

                  I’m not sure I agree with you there. I realize many folks are on the Beck is a great artist so let’s not pretend he’s horsesh*t train here. That’s fair. Kanye’s rant went Kanye, but the Grammy’s do keep moving the goal post. Beck is a great artist, but I’d bet money even he’s surprised he won. It remind’s me of Adele winning a few years ago. It had that same impact that 21 did, up against similar comp, and you can’t convine me she didn’t win b/c her album was critically acclaimed and the most popular album out. I don’t see much difference.

                  Kanye’s point was off. He is always inarticulately making arguments that sound ridic b/c of how he phrases them. And of course Beck shouldn’t give his award to Bey. But he also shouldn’t b/c Bey should have won it. And I do mean that.

                  • God Shammgod

                    What I found interesting while I was scanning the twittersphere was the amount of people who decided that folks who say that Beyonce should’ve won have never heard of Beck. As if its not possible to have heard Beck’s last album and thought that it didn’t deserve the award.

                    I’m no Bey stan but its pretty impossible to ignore the impact that album had. Sh*t all of 2014 was folks following her model.

                    • “I’m no Bey stan but its pretty impossible to ignore the impact that album had. Sh*t all of 2014 was folks following her model.”

                      When you say this, do you mean the method she used to release the album? I would put this on her marketing team and not necessarily the artistry. That album release changed the game. The actual album… Ionno.

                    • tgtaggie

                      I think D’Angelo released his album the same way Bey did

                    • A couple of people did. It worked for some. Others…notsomuch.

                    • *looks around*

                      Oh yeah…for all the vinyl heads: “Black Messiah” vinyl comes out tomorrow.

                      Also on tomorrow, the ninth anniversary of the deaths of Dilla an Nujabes…just wanted to throw that out there…

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I so wish I had something to play vinyls. I bet “Black Messiah” is an eargasm on vinyl…

                    • “Voodoo” was and I’m sure “Black Messiah” will be as well.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Seriously?? Ugh, I may need to make that investment. Those live instruments alone were everything, I need that album instrumental

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I get what you’re saying but Bey dropped her album in the dead of night with no word or warning. I think D’Angelo gave us like one day’s notice lol

                    • panamajackson

                      You don’t think that album was great? It absolutely is a great album. The way her album was released definitely amplified it. But the reason we’re talking about her is b/c she bodied the game in every conceivable fashion. Lots of folks realease albums on a whim…most of us just dont care cuz the albums aren’t that great. But bey does it AND its a seminal work. That’s why this matters.

                    • I LOVED that album. It’s my only favorite Beyonce album. In context, though, I *was* specifically referring to Sham saying that others followed her model. The genius of that release strategy is undeniable.

                      I don’t know what long-reaching impact the songs themselves or the album as a cohesive unit will have. Few of her songs from that album have the replay value of ‘Single Ladies’ or ‘Irreplaceable’ or even ‘Love on Top.”

                    • I mean I doubt there’s much crossover between the two fanbases.

                    • panamajackson

                      Granted I’m a music head, so I’m well aware of both. But I do take your point about a lack of overlap.

                    • God Shammgod

                      I think people are forgetting how big Beck was. If you’re above 25 its pretty hard to be unaware of his music.

                    • I mean he’s a cool cat but I don’t know how many people have been keeping up with him the past decade that have been following Beyonce. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

          • miss t-lee

            Still my jam.

        • Not a hard feat honestly.

      • miss t-lee

        Listen.

    • mssporadic

      Is it in his RocNation contract to be Bey’s pitbull? I swear he is a founding member of the BeyHive and CEO of the Beygency. Has she ever come out and stated that Yeezus was the best rap album EVER?

      I’m not a Beck fan, but why isn’t he a true artist? He’s always been known for his innovation. I think most artists sell closer to Beck’s range than Beyonce.

      I’m just really tired of this new Kanye. I don’t know if this is the real him and everything else was a facade or if this is a case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

      • nylahou

        I agree about Beck. He wrote and played instruments on nearly all of his tracks (if not all). I love Bey — no shade — but some of her last tracks went too far sexually, and distracted from her statement as a musician. I couldn’t see the Grammy panel voting for something so sexually charged. The concept changed the game with the release online, but Grammys are for musical quality and not concepts.

        • I love Bey — no shade — but some of her last tracks went too far sexually, and distracted from her statement as a musician.

          http://media.giphy.com/media/U3877HQ7D4tHO/giphy.gif

          Do better. That wasn’t $exually charged, my friend. Stop the games and the lies. Hallmark cards saying I apologize. She didn’t really go in. Heck, Prince records have gone further in. Just stop. STOP.

          • nylahou

            Lol, no you didn’t!! I like Drunk in Love and Partition, don’t get me wrong. But…sigh…with a voice like that, she didn’t _need_ to go there in my book. For it being Bey, it made me uncomfortable *shrug*

          • I’m with you. She got nasty but she wasn’t even close to being as explicit as I’ve heard on records.

        • panamajackson

          So you’re saying the quality of Beyonce wasn’t on par?? Playing all of your instruments doesn’t make you automatic quality either.

      • He went too far with the Beck aspersions (i hope he apologizes) but i think its less about Beyonce and more about the fact that R&B and Rap Grammys arent viewed as equal as the other genres.

        • MeridianBurst

          He was reaching but na. He doesn’t have anything to apologize for and that’s an unnecessary thing to ask of him. His antics can be parlayed into a legitimate discussion.

          • Beck is a contemporary, and didnt deserve to be discredited publicly for somethibg he had no control over

            • MeridianBurst

              It happens to black people all the time and no one apologizes to us for doing it. I’m not here for dipping into Kanye’s soul for an apology. Stop.

        • mssporadic

          Kanye did not need to disparage Beck’s musical talent in order to express his point. Beck AND Beyonce are both true artists! Also, no one but Macklemore apologizes for winning awards.

          Kanye could have ranted legitimately about how unfair the Grammy’s are, which he is correct about without involving any particular artist.

          If you are talking about artistry, I’m not so sure Beyonce wins on that point. Most of the hype about her record came from how she dropped it and the subject matter. It was not the greatest musical album out there, and this is coming from a BeyHater who has bought songs from that album.

      • CamCamtheGreat

        This is what I don’t get when people criticize Kanye. It seems like people are always looking for the “real” Kanye, whether it be College Dropout-era or the current one. Why can’t they ALL be the real Kanye? People change and evolve over time. And we’re talking about a period of 10+ years here. If he stayed the same, he’d have faded into obscurity a long time ago.

        • HeyBooHey

          I’m just looking for Kanye at this point. I’m all for evolution and change with artists, but the man has had more identity crises than a class full of high schoolers. Clearly it’s made for keeping him in people’s mouths but the changes have been so drastic it tends to feel weird or fake.

          Case in point, he did Made in America this summer. The crowd was as diverse as ever. But literally, when he did his older cuts it was one person. He did his newer songs and it was like a totally different concert. But there wasn’t even a connection between the two, it was like he was doing a tribute set to a whole other rapper. You can switch up but it feels like he loses himself with each change

          • MeridianBurst

            Not really. Kanye has a linear and identifiable path of growth but I don’t think the general public comprehends it. That isn’t what they’re looking at or listening to. Of course if you take something from a decade ago and compare it to present day, it’s going to have a stark contrast. That’s inherent to a time difference. It’s silly to criticize someone for continuing to be relevant. I don’t think any legitimate artist aspires to be forgettable or acts in a way so that the general public won’t discuss them.

            • HeyBooHey

              No criticism for him wanting to be relevant or changing his sound. I’m just saying, for me, there’s no connect. And I’m not even boxing him into old “Louis Vuitton Don” Kanye, I can accept a change. But when he goes so far left with it, it seems more like he’s trying too hard instead of exploring

    • ?

      I dont care for Kanye but to see a black man going so hard for a black woman’s greatness in public! It makes me happy. Of course, this means he will get a lot of hate.

      • MeridianBurst

        Exactly.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Thanks to Black internet I heard that Beyoncé has once again drunkenly veered off into the art lane by performing Precious Lord. It’s kind of a disaster whenever she tries to be artistic. Jesus take the wheel and steer her back into pop lane, please.

    • Well after last year’s debacle and this year’s near miss, I think Precious Lord was the only song that fit the Grammys. What about you? :)

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      Yeah… that performance was… Meh. I don’t think she has a church voice. Never have. Someone described her voice as “clean.” I think that’s perfect. She doesn’t have a enough stank in her voice to truly take me to church.

      • I never thought to put words to it, but that’s accurate. She can only get but so deep because her voice isn’t built for it. At least she can sing on key, which is apparently too hard to ask 80% of these artists to do. :)

        • Cleojonz

          Thank you for this. This is how I expect to hear it when I hear this song. There needs to have been struggle or strife in your life to sing this right. You have to have lived and be a woman of a certain age to do it justice. I just picture all my old church aunties.

      • She really p!ssed me off with her facial theatrics, like scrunching her face up was going to give the song the stank she could not possibly have vocally.

        • Check out my edited comment. Perhaps they could have tracked down Aretha Franklin wherever she is these days.

          • Deeds

            I’m pretty sure Jennifer Hudson could’ve done. I’m sure she was around close by.

            • Eps said that, too, but I think even subbing JHud would snub Ledisi. The only “good” reason not to have the most recent cover artist sing that song is Beyonce. And that was not even a good reason.

            • Vanity in Peril

              Jhud was too busy trying not to fall in those new shoes, new shooooooooes, new shoes..and being extra nervous on camera all the damb time even though she owns an Oscar.

        • MeridianBurst

          lmao, word. The hand shake before that belt was about the only legit moment in that whole performance. Everything else had me like, you can not facialswag your way through this song ma’am.

        • HeyBooHey

          No stank to be given. And I enjoy me some Queen Bey. But they should’ve just let someone else have that

      • Rachmo

        I’m perfectly happy with Beyonce performing anything off of her Beyonce album. No need for her singing gospel.

        • tgtaggie

          I thought two things when I saw that performance: 1. If she was going to start levitating at the end and 2. How she can successfully transition to booty popping and twerking after singing gospel

          • HeyBooHey

            *wails in John Legend* I just noticed this. And I just need you to find a corner and think about what you’ve said

          • “2. How she can successfully transition to booty popping and twerking after singing gospel”

            millions of Americans make this transition seamlessly every Sunday morning around 6ish.

            • It’s funny because it’s true. Heck, I’ve seen people transition from way worse. And every time I think of those people, I’m still wondering how come God didn’t smite me on General Principle just for talking to those people.

              • HeyBooHey

                Because God has his hands on you beloved. Remember, a saint is just a sinner who fell down….and got up

                • PunchDrunkLove

                  Alright now….say it!

              • If God didn’t smote the entire planet back in ’45 I assume he’s playing the long game, bruh.

        • After finding out Beyonce singing Precious Lord, I decided to futz around on Google News to look at the reaction. You can pretty much tell who grew up in the Black Church and who didn’t pretty much by the headlines. The White people loved it, while the Black folk are like “huh? Beyonce?!”

          I think an explanation needs to go into the orientation packet for outsiders trying to be down. Gospel is such a specific tradition that it needs to be explained to outsiders.

          EDIT: Also, this reminds me of something my then-wife and I did for our anniversary a few years back. We went to this place in Manhattan called Blue Smoke, and the food can be best described as White-tablecloth barbecue. Don’t get me wrong. The food was actually delicious, and the restaurant made a pointed effort to look “down with the people”. However, about the moment we looked at the desert menu and saw what appeared to be banana pudding labeled “Banana Vanilla Cream Pecan Pie”, I was like nah…

          Beyonce’s performance was the audio equivalent of that meal. LOL

        • HeyBooHey

          Her and the angelically coifed negro spiritual choir behind her was a visual sight for a Sunday evening. Vocally, she ain’t need to be up there singing that song. At all. Nope, nah, nein,etc

        • God Shammgod

          As someone who didnt grow up in the Black Church I was just really focusing on her outfit. 1) I was crine at the fact that her angelic white dress was still see through, and 2) How tight was her corset? How could she even expand her diaphragm to hit those big notes?

          Come to think of it, point 2 might answer someof y’alls observations on here, lol.

          • Rachmo

            That see through dress. MA’AM! We’re singing “Precious Lord” here. If Beyonce doesn’t go somewhere and find that caftan she was wearing in “When Jesus Says Yes” so she could maybe hit a big note. And as someone who grew up in the Black church I’m going to need a growl from someone performing that classic at the least. Tuh.

          • The outfit wasn’t that bad. If anything, it’s relatively sedate compared to something you’d pick up on a deep dive on YouTube going through gospel. Imagine something see through like that except in pink and green or something like that. The corset wasn’t the problem though…TRUST. I’ve seen Sister So-and-so rocking similar garments and SANGING that song.

            • God Shammgod

              Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t judging her for it, I just found it hysterical.

      • PunchDrunkLove

        She sings well her life’s anthem….love. Wrap, tied and consumed, keeping Jay pleased and happy. But gospel? Not. Plus gospel song right is done soulfully, because you feel it…..heartfelt. Ree Ree (Aretha) can show her how it’s done.

      • Kim

        Can’t sing a soulful song if you ain’t got one *goes and hide*

      • Val

        She doesn’t have enough stank in her personality to pull it off.

    • “It’s kind of a disaster whenever she tries to be artistic.”

      That’s where the disaster lies- she’s trying. An person that’s artistic doesn’t have to try, they just do it (See: Prince, for example).

      Any time a pop musician aims for artistic credibility (Which they so desire, I have no idea why, LOL), they usually fall flat on their face. Remember when Christina Aguilera tried to do something artsy with her “Bionic” album? That record ended up in the bargain bin one year after it was released. OUCH!

    • PunchDrunkLove

      Right!!! Stick with whatcha know.

    • miss t-lee

      It was a flamin’ hot mess.
      I kept laughing because she was really trying to move us with her hand shakes and head theatrics, however she doesn’t have the voice to do gospel.

  • Award shows have become boring to me in general over the last 5-7 years. I think it’s because I have exposure to more artists, films etc., and I am getting tired of the same few people being nominated for awards. I get that it is only a mere reflection of a larger industry, but when people are deliberately snubbed or ignored the shows lose their credibility to me. The only award show I look forward to is the Tony Awards.

  • kid video

    Can’t muster up enough emotions about the Grammys to care…its gonna suck regardless of who wins/loses.

  • Some people would argue that the Grammys sucked long before that. Metalheads wrote off the Grammys a long time ago when prog rock band Jethro Tull were nominated in the metal category. Not only that, but they actually won over Metallica- who a lot of people thought were a shoo-in for their album “…And Justice For All”. And then there’s the whole Best New Artist category- which is a whole other can of worms (and one that has a history so long winded and scandalous, I can’t get into it at the moment).

    Overall, the real reason the Grammys suck (and has sucked for some time now) has a lot to do with the voters. The people that make up the voting board are people who are also artists and industry people as well. However, most of them are somewhere in the range of middle age or close to retirement age. A lot of them aren’t really in touch with he music scene and they are not familiar with anything other than the names that are constantly in the spotlight.

    You see, most of the voters on the NARAS panel are people who less concerned about artistry and creativity and more concerned about popularity and record sales. This is how and why Beyoncé, Adele and Eminem keep winning awards despite having rather bland songs and/or recordings. The Grammy committee’s whole concept is about familiarity and as the old saying goes in this case for a lot of music fans, “familiarity breeds contempt”.

    • I’m not mad at Enimem winning the award for Best Rap Album this year. It was a bit of a weak year for good Rap *albums*, so it doesn’t exactly hurt to have him gild the lily a bit. I’m more worried about what happened to Kendrick Lamar or any other year where there’s a clear instant classic that gets dissed by the Grammys. Even then, the Grammys gave him an award for “i”, so all’s well that ends well.

      Now, they need to make it so that the category awards are only voted on by those eligible to nominate within a category, but that’s another story.

      • “I’m not mad at Enimem winning the award for Best Rap Album this year. It was a bit of a weak year for good Rap *albums*, so it doesn’t exactly hurt to have him gild the lily a bit.”

        The only problem is that he ALWAYS got one- even at times when he clearly didn’t deserve it (Which is most of the time, LOL!).

        “Now, they need to make it so that the category awards are only voted on by those eligible to nominate within a category, but that’s another story.”

        They already did that, Todd- and those were the categories that ended up being dropped several years after their initial proposal.

        • I wonder why they dropped it. From a pure administration standpoint, it seems simpler just to keep it within category, instead of having to track people down all over the place. Did someone have a Golden Child record get screwed and raised hell at the Grammys? This is a story the streets need to know.

        • I wonder why they dropped it. From a pure administration standpoint, it
          seems simpler just to keep it within category, instead of having to
          track people down all over the place. Did someone have a Golden Child
          record get screwed and raised h3ll at the Grammys? This is a story the
          streets need to know.

      • Eminem is always a default grammy selection, hes won every year except for like encore when he was clearly drugged out and even then i think it was nominated

      • Kim

        “I” was a shitty song. That was a hey, we’re sorry we didn’t get it right last year award.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      Your second paragraph nailed it. I know the Grammys may “seem” edgier because rockstars BLAH blah blah, but I never saw how they were any less stuffy and super exclusive than the Academy. I mean, it is the music equivalent of an Oscar, in terms of acclaim, so… The Grammys always at least have that one moment where mainstream is like “how did THAT win?! I never heard of it!” And it’s usually a huge award like album of the year too lol

      • The difference between the Grammys and the Oscars, though, is that the Oscars will at least make an attempt to award films of artistic merit- which they often do. For the last several years, the Grammys- no matter how much they deny it (And they continue to do so)- have always been about sales. It’s gotten to the point where you can predict a Grammy win just based on digital and physical sales and heavy spins at radio. That’s a sad state of affairs, if you ask me.

        “The Grammys always at least have that one moment where mainstream is like “how did THAT win?! I never heard of it!” And it’s usually a huge award like album of the year too lol”

        Kinda like that time everyone thought Eminem was destined to take home the Album Of The Year Grammy for “The Marshall Mathers LP” fifteen years ago. Everyone was surprised when they were beat out by Steely Dan for their reunion album “Two Against Nature” (Which was a great album, by the way).

        • Ah, “Two Against Nature” AKA the Album Funded Off Of Royalty Checks from Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz’s Uptown Baby ™. I remember that. Smart move by them.

          • But they did that to themselves. Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz was mad about Steely Dan taking all of their publishing, but they had the chance to clear the “Black Cow” sample before and after the song became popular. They didn’t and they got taken to the cleaners as a result.

            • miss t-lee

              Been a few folks. Them, and also Biz Markie back in the gap.

              • Even after Kanye cleared the sample for “Kid Charlemagne” for the use in “Champion”, Steely Dan still took a hundred percent of the publishing. So, if someone uses a sample of one of their songs and clears it, they still end up on the losing end.

                • miss t-lee

                  Yup. Sounds like it just pays not to sample in that case.

                • Royale W. Cheese

                  Wow, that’s cut-throat. Don’t f*** with an artist.

                • KKay

                  I’ve also heard Mick Jagger don’t play either when it comes to samples.

                  • The Rolling Stones will let you sample- they cleared quite a bit of songs in the past (See: Onyx’s “Broke Willies”).

                    In the case of The Verve, it was the manager of The Rolling Stones that did that, not the guys themselves.

                • The funny thing is that Steely Dan got into trouble for “borrowing” music from jazzmen Horace SIlver and Keith Jarrett. I think Jarrett sued and won.

        • Because Steely Dan. always!

          • I felt they deserved that award, to be honest. As you can tell, that’s still a sore spot for all the Eminem stans, LOLOL!

        • MeridianBurst

          “For the last several years, the Grammys- no matter how much they deny it (And they continue to do so)- have always been about sales. It’s gotten to the point where you can predict a Grammy win just based on digital and physical sales and heavy spins at radio.”

          So why didn’t Beyoncé win Best Album?

          • Cheeks addressed this earlier:

            “The Grammys always at least have that one moment where mainstream is like “how did THAT win?! I never heard of it!” And it’s usually a huge award like album of the year too lol”

            Overall, the three major awards of the Grammys are like a card game. Record Of The Year and Song Of the Year are the huge draws and Album Of The Year is the wild card, so to speak.

            • MeridianBurst

        • Royale W. Cheese

          Good spin-off topic…when the Grammys do something cool. What about the year when Esperalda Spalding beat Justin Beiber? http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/justin-bieber-fan-backlash-grammy-award-best-artist/story?id=12918335

          • Remember hen his fans got all emotional over that? They were crying and threatening to kill her.

            • Royale W. Cheese

              Epic. One of them had enough basic interwebs mark-up coding skills to vandalize her Wikipedia page. Beiber Nation is a bit more intellectually diverse than I thought. :)

            • The thing is that it worked out well. Spaulding got a few shows she wouldn’t have gotten others, while it didn’t really hurt Bieber’s record sales. All’s well that ends well.

              • Cleojonz

                I saw Esperanza Spaulding live back in October. She is amazing and I’m not a huge jazz head. When they veer off into free form jam session type stuff they lose me, but she deserves ever bit of acclaim she got.

    • nylahou

      I agree that it feels like the Grammy panel prefers the comfy leather shoe over the edgy — sometimes uncomfortable — Louboutin…

      • If the Grammys really wanted to shock people, they could have done an Album Of The Year list made up solely of underground hip hop and indie rock acts. That would really get people talking!

        • nylahou

          Aww man, I’d love that.

          • Imagine this on TV:

            “The award for Album Of The Year goes to…

            *drum roll*

            “If There’s A Hell Below” by Black Milk”

        • And you forgot EDM. Still, the day that happens is the day of the Rapture. We won’t live to see the awards because the world will be destroyed.

    • Asiyah

      PA I missed you and your music knowledge!

    • Cleojonz

      Along the same vein I just saw that Tenacious D won in the metal category over Anthrax, Motorhead and Slipknot. WHAAAATT? I dont’ even see Tenacious D as a real band. I thought they were like Spinal Tap.

      • They knew they were doing a parody album and even they thought it was odd.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        Lol @ Spinal Tap. Great movie.

      • They are well respected within the metal community. Legit artists.

        • Cleojonz

          You’re not being for real are you? Every metal fest or documentary of the history of metal I have seen I have yet to see Tenacious D asked to participate lol.

          I’ll believe it if I see them on That Metal Show with Eddie Trunk.

          • Well they aren’t among the best and granted it’s been a decade since I had a passing interest in the genre. But they two are hardcore fans themselves and I haven’t seen metal fans ever complain about them.

            • Cleojonz

              I get what you’re saying. I don’t know new metal at all but I’m familiar with who is who and big so I was surprised to see all these old familiar acts nominated only to get beaten by Tenacious D.

  • I don’t think it’s possible to have a good general awards show just because the process of picking the best albums is near impossiple when you have to factor in broadest appeal. So many voters just don’t know anything about any other style of music that isn’t their own which is why Eminem keeps getting hip hop album of the year awards.

    • This is a fair point, i refuse to believe the people who decided Beck had the album of the year listened to Schoolboy Q and got it

      • Wasn’t in my top ten. I’d give it to fka twigs, flylo, or Mirel Wagner.

        • Rachmo

          I love the song “Two Weeks”

          • Because you’re a woman of exquisite taste that deserves the finer things in life

            • Rachmo

              She’s kind of weird however she has enough of an R&B twist that I enjoyed the majority of her album.

  • Also, lol at The Rolling Stone tweeting about Sam Smith being the first openly gay man to win a Grammy. Elton John should of just started throwing his Grammy’s at his head when he got on stage.

    Also, Childish Gambino was the best dressed male and Nicki Minaj was the best dressed woman.

    • In fairness, Elton John called himself bi around the era he was winning Grammys. But you do have a point. At least the heartthrobs aren’t pretending to be straight while straight women throw their panties at them. Ah, the era of telling classmates that Tevin Campbell is gay… :)

      But you pay attention to the Red Carpet? *takes Straight Man Card under review*

      • According to the Wikipedia Elton was “out”officially in ’88and I know homie won for The Lion King. That’s like 20 years ago at this point

      • Kema

        Don’t talk about my Tevin!!!

    • Todrica “Aggy” LePouletPlusSal

      You shouldn’t minimize Childish Gambino’s personhood by referring to him like that. Sexist.

      • You caught it cat in a football helmet.

    • Val

      Nah, Pharrell’s wife Helen in a one piece Adidas track suit was the best dressed woman. ;-)

      • Smh. Yes they are quirky. I need a break from them

        • Val

          I could def use a break from him. Her, not so much. I like her style and she’s cute.

          • So the bell hop gear wasn’t hittin on nuffin huh? lol.

            • Val

              Yeah, he was trying way too hard with that. Lol He looked ridiculous.

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