Greta Van Yeet-this-GRAMMY-into-the-garbage:
Ah, another year, another GRAMMY award ceremony – and what an award ceremony! You might be thinking, “hold on there, Aaron, not only have you never written any previous articles about the GRAMMYs, but I don’t have any spare change, I keep telling you.” Well, isn’t that just too bad?
First off, well done to Donald Glover, a.k.a Childish Gambino, a.k.a one Mr. Childish (only to me) for securing a total of 4 nominations and 3 wins. Unfortunately, Childish, along with Kendrick Lamar and Drake (we’ll get to him later) all refused to perform at the ceremony – it has been well documented that the recording academy has a sort of unspoken repulsion regarding rap music, always finding a way to sneak them into the nominations but very rarely acknowledging the cultural significance and relevance of their work, in an almost “well, we tried!” fashion.
Notwithstanding the ambiguity surrounding the defining characteristics of particular categories (how does “Song of the Year” truly differ from “Record of the Year” if TIA won both categories? Why does the “Best Rap/Sung Performance” have to be distinctive from “Best Rap Song” – what if they happen to be the same? Why, oh WHY did “God’s Plan” have to win “Best Rap Song” next to Kendrick’s “King’s Dead”? HOW ON EARTH did Cardi B win “Best Rap Album”?). I am personally quite happy for the awards Gambino took home, even the one for TIA: “Best Music Video”, for which (and for once) I thought was not only well deserved, but was actually a music video that enhanced the song’s message and gave it a sort of cultural and contextual applicability that made it almost impossible not to award it with the accolade.
Kendrick accumulated 5 nominations but was not awarded a single GRAMMY, which demonstrates my absolute frustration with the Recording Academy’s inability to recognise a culturally relevant artist in his prime, as if their mission statement is yet another fluff piece drudged up to drive record labels to tell their artists “Hey, look! You do what your producer tells you and I mean it, this will be GRAMMY-worthy.”
But goddamnit, Drake, or Aubrey, as I shall now refer to him, he actually won. “Best Rap Song”. It makes me question whether or not the Recording Academy is subscribed to any YouTube channels other than Vevo. For an award ceremony claiming to “cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture”, not only have they completely disregarded the context of rap music within its respective community of fans and on a global scale, but they give it to the Canadian? Low blow, man.
I’d love to discuss the Classical, the Jazz, Bluegrass and Blues categories – I’d love to have a right moan about the concept of an “Award for Best Package” category and why I haven’t won it every single year running, but there is a much, much more serious and grave matter that needs to be addressed. That matter, is “Best Rock Album”. A genre very dear to my heart, with a legacy probably unparalleled in contemporary culture but one which I accept is slowly being washed away, assimilated into other genres in new and horrible and fantastic ways, the nominees in this category I feel might make up the age bracket of the Recording Academy itself. We’ve got Weezer, Alice In Chains and Fall Out Boy – apologies to Ghost, they haven’t done much wrong other than simply be too niche to win – but then, my friends, we get the wonderful Greta Van Fleet.
Greta Van Fleet. Jesus. Whilst the other nominees’ idea of “hip” is ensuring that their depends aren’t visibly risen over the waistline of their trousers, Greta Van Fleet has decided that “hip” means to grab one of rock’s most beloved and talented plagiarisers (whom we shall call “Zed Leppelin”, for legal reasons) by the hips and in turn, make a porcelain replica of their “Award for Best Package” and present it to the academy in some sort of sick, self-masturbatory exchange of phallic nostalgia. The depends are out, folks – cast your vote for either a load of out-of-touch old dudes whose bones audibly creaking probably have more artistic merit than the artists they currently support, or a bunch of out-of-touch young dudes, already so disenfranchised by today’s musical and artistic climate that they took their loved one’s skin, flayed it and then put it on just for the warmth.
Can’t wait for next year’s GRAMMYs!