American rapper has finally won an award on the Grammys stage this year, but isn’t letting his win get to his head
Vinay Menon: Drake snubs the Grammys and this diss track should terrify the Recording Academy
Vinay Menon – “tear in your fucking eyes”
We’ve officially seen the slow-drip demise of the Grammy Awards. The televised extravaganza has been dragged down to an M+M levels of crassness as the producers have rushed through the night, poorly exposing celebrities with jokes about vaping (Lorde), chewing gum (SZA) and anxiety (Cassandra Wilson) to the mainstream.
These are bad moves by a broadcast network, and in the world of youth culture this is downright embarrassing. We’ve all been to awards shows, and the feeling of the category being up for grabs is basically every artist’s worst nightmare. I’ve always wanted to be in the race at the Grammys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of winning awards, but the reason I don’t want to win any more is because I am now too accustomed to seeing these shows reduced to little more than a heap of primetime talent .
Unfortunately for the Grammys, we probably won’t see anything less “bro-tastic” than the exclusive (and quickly forgotten) performance from Cardi B and Bruno Mars that opened the night. Cardi’s presence galvanized a wildly energetic opening performance and proved that although her appearance may have been controversial (she gave a fan the finger when she went on stage), her presence was undeniably purposeful.
American rapper Cardi B performs at the Grammys. Photograph: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
That said, I do not like Cardi B (unless you are a Republican who loves accusations of ghettoism), but her performance may be a sign of things to come, as the Grammys go in hard on female artists’ roles in the music industry and collectively reject some of the most influential and popular in music.
The point of a music awards show is to showcase the best music of the year and while none of those artists will ever know the genuine sense of accomplishment of winning, some will look back with pride at how they showed up to a broadcast show where every host was calling them names, with invitations to boycott or just call out to their friends who can go.
I hope all of the artists that ended up in the award show and won continue to have integrity and leverage their power in the industry by using their social media presence to spread the word of their work and find promotion for themselves as well. It’s always been my favorite part of awards shows – the chance to hear a song for the first time, where I can be enticed by who’s on stage instead of because they’re a celebrity or have made a claim to be great at memorizing lines.
The idea that there is some inherent or intrinsic “whiteness” in these shows speaks to the complete lack of respect and education within the music industry, despite the victories they produce. As Drake put it, he won. The rappers in the comments section had been waiting for someone like him to win all night. If the Grammys want to reverse their trend, they need to start teaching – and hopefully enlightening – the music industry.