By Adam Magara
Controversy came early this year. The Grammys happened this past Sunday and surprise surprise controversy made an appearance. Non official theme of the Grammys “ If you’re not white or Beyonce we thank you for coming and filling up space” .
The Grammys are organized by the prestigious Recording Academy, an institution that includes top music professionals ranging from producers, sound engineers to musicians that hold the awesome power to tell the world which songs were good.
With such “top tier” professionals a lot would wonder why year after year they’d be controversy of some kind and not talking the time Pharrell was caught silently judging Taylor Swift’s dancing or the time 21 Pilots dropped their pants to accept their award in 2017. The prestigious event is usually tainted with accusations of bias towards gender, race and personality.
There was the 2018 GrammysSoMale Hashtag where a huge majority of the nominees were male. In 2019 Tyler the Creator won his first Grammy for Best Rap Album for Igor, an achievement he wasn’t too excited about because he didn’t consider it a Rap album but rather a Pop one. In 2014 Macklemore’s “The Heist” album beat Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, Jay-Z–Magna Carta Holy Grail, Kendrick Lamar–Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Kanye West’s Yeezus. In 2019 Drake was played off during his speech talking ill about the Awards. 2021 will probably be the GrammysSoWhiteandBeyonce.
Drake summarized it well before he got played off “We’re playing in an opinion based sport not a fact based one” and this year’s iteration of the Grammys showed it best. The Weeknd has been very vocal with his disappointment with the Grammy’s as he received no nomination for his album “After Hours” at all despite his single “Blinding Lights” making history as the first song to spend a year on the Hot 100’s top 10 list. The Weeknd boycotted the event citing corruption and a lack of transparency in the nomination process.
Grammys interim president Harvey Mason Jr told the New York Times: “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”
Despite the numerous statements made on the intent to push diversity among its membership and choices one can’t help feel unsatisfied especially with this one. People even go ahead and accuse the awards of being scripted. There are names you see among the nominations and automatically even without knowing the song you can predict they’re going to win. Such names are Beyonce and Taylor Swift, granted they are very respectable artists in their own right, whenever their name is attached to something they automatically win. Beyonce more in this situation because she did not have the best year compared to other names in the categories. Citing the Best Rap song category this year Savage by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce shouldn’t have won that category, The Box by Roddy Rich or The Bigger Picture were stronger choices. Due to the past incidents one would think the Recording Academy is pushing a narrative of inclusivity rather than doing the actual work.
Every year same statement “Intent to Improve” but how long can the population stay patient. Year after year same old issues, should the world look to other Awards ceremonies such as the Billboard awards or Iheart since they don’t have as much controversy or be patient.