by Piero J Filpi
If you didn’t happen to catch the circus show on CBS last Sunday, you’re lucky. You decided to skip out on the atrocity that is the Grammy Awards. Adele won every category she was nominated for, that’s five to be exact, everyone was sad because Beyonce didn’t win nine awards, and Cee Lo Green took a page out of The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars and became the tin C-3PO. An award show devoted to honoring artists for producing some of the best music of the year is a fantastic idea, in theory, but this is not the case.
Music evokes emotion within the listener, and really good music evokes these emotions because the artist behind his craft decided to intentionally make the listener feel this way. So, when Album of the Year or Song of the Year consists of only pop music, there is clearly something wrong with this award show. Pop is short for popular, The Beatles — believe it or not, before being arguably one of the best bands ever assembled — started out as a “pop” band. They sang songs that made you swing and want to hold your doll’s hand, or songs about it being a hard day’s night and being sleepy, or songs to twist and shout to. When The Beatles heard Bob Dylan, they decided to truly etch their names into history and flourish as a band. We all know The Beatles’ early stuff, but when we pull out our iPhones we don’t think about With the Beatles or Help!, instead, we think about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or their incredible White Album. So why are we awarding or even considering a song that’s called “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”? Not because the song name implies abusing drugs — after all, The Beatles do have a song called “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” You have to figure that one out on your own if you still don’t get it.
But seriously, why does Adele win an award for a song (“Hello”) that came out in October of 2015? In a moment in time where songs become old news in a matter of weeks because they can be heard at any given time, should we really be awarding an artist in 2017 for a song about a telephone call that feels older and drier than the chicken in the back of your fridge you forgot to clean out from before winter break? Of course not, but we do anyway. We do not necessarily want to see artists like Mike Posner even at the Grammys; but think about it, you hear a song consistently for months straight, then you hear that the artist who has been seared into your brain is nominated; suddenly, you have reason to watch T.V. because you’re relevant. My point is, the Grammys is a ratings generating machine, so of course they’re going to nominate all of the people who plaster their garbage all over a society slapped in the face by consumerism so much that its vision is foggy.
A guy dressed in gold paint and gold plates. Awards were given to people that were sad about telephone calls (Hotline Bling, Hello, Love Yourself). And, the best part, Adele took a page out of Tina Fey’s Mean Girls and decided to break her homecoming queen tiara and share her award with Beyonce. The Grammys was packed with back pats and a red carpet damp with fake tears by fake people. Music was not honored, because if it were, the Grammys would have given Chance the Rapper “Best New Artist” back in 2012. Drake and DJ Khaled would not have been considered for “Best Rapper” because they’re not rappers. And if you decide not to believe me on the whole Drake being another MC Hammer, listen to A Tribe Called Quest’s album, We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service. The album is current, calls on social issues, and delivers fresh beats with a passion for the craft that is rap.