Ive always enjoyed watching music award shows, The Grammys being the one that seemed to be most respected and widely encompassing. It seems to me though that over the past couple of years music award shows have become increasingly repetitive – opting to hand out the same awards to the same artists year upon year and making bizarre winner choices which seem to go against critical and public opinion.
Most recently this year’s Grammy awards saw Macklemore and Ryan Lewis take home 3 out of the 4 awards in the rap category with Kendrick Lamar being awarded none. Whether you are a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s music or not there is no denying that he has reignited rap and hip hop with the release of ‘Good Kid Maad City’ and his ‘Control’ verse along with the controversy that followed it. However the voters of the Grammys (music industry professionals) overlooked his contributions this year despite impressive album sales and critical acclaim to instead award an arguably more ‘mainstream’ act. India Arie described her frustration by tweeting “Kendrick Lamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed, though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest.” Even Macklemore and Ryan Lewis admitted that they wanted to see Kendrick Lamar win an award. I understand the impact of their song ‘Same Love’ and agree it was Grammy worthy but I doubt there are many people who would agree that they should have won the Best Rap Album award!
Best RnB album went predictably to Alicia Keys for Girl on Fire, with 15 Grammys being won out of 28 nominations in a 5 album career is it not time to hand the award to another deserving artist? Admittedly 2013 wasn’t the best year for RnB albums but the soulful offerings of Charles Bradley, K. Michelle and Raheem Devaughn were all overlooked in the RnB category, is this just because they are less well known than the other names nominated?
I had a lot of respect for music award shows, mainly because I enjoyed great music being celebrated, now it feels like the awards go to the biggest name on the nomination list in the hope that the most popular artists are present for the crowd shots and red carpet. If music awards are becoming less credible by the year and failing to reward the diversity and artistry which is now more present in music than ever, then have they become irrelevant?
One person did get it right at the Grammys this year – Kendrick Lamar delivered an explosive performance, if you haven’t seen it yet take a look online! On the more soulful side check out the below video, a track from Charles Bradley’s ‘Victim of Love’ – an album which definitely would have made my Grammy nominee list!!
Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)