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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No Variety Magazine, Kanye Wasn't The Biggest Loser, It Was The Actual Grammys

So there I was about enjoy a turkey sub for lunch, when I saw this headline from Variety on my Facebook page: "Kanye West, Not Beyonce, Was the Biggest Loser at the Grammys"

This is ridiculous!

The biggest losers of the  Grammys was not Kanye, it was the Grammys itself for not airing enough awards on TV!!!

Grammys is now just a big concert, which is fine, but what about the people who actually the won awards?

If I am a nominee, why even get dressed up to attend an awards show, when most people would never my acceptance speech?

Is there reason why I couldn't see a "Hip-Hop-Rap" category or a "Latin" category or "Producer of the Year "during a three and half hour broadcast?

The music industry is always crying about music sales being down, maybe if more people knew that St. Vincent won "Best Alternative Album" or Clean Bandit winning  "Best Dance Recording" that they might be more inclined to check out their work.

At least back in the day, the Grammys used to list the winners on the side during the show.

Now I am  forced look scroll through Twitter to see who actually won or try find the full winners list online or in the newspaper the next day. 

But back to Yeezus.

As talented as Kanye West is, his biggest problem is that he acts on impulse and he doesn't have a filter.

Although he should rein in his impulsive tendencies at times, his brashness is what made him successful and there there's always a bit of truth in his long winded rants. 

The interesting thing is when Kanye went on stage after Beck won and quickly walked off, it was actually a funny moment.

For an instant, it seemed like he was mocking his himself, but once he ranted after the Grammys that killed any goodwill he might have cultivated that evening.

But let's be honest, However putting Kanye aside, did anybody really think that Beck was going to win "Best Album"?

While its nice to see the talented Beck get career a boost again, even he had to be  shocked that he won "Best Album", (most  music fans rallying around Beck today, probably still can't name a song from his  "Morning Phase album).

Was Beck's win a  Grammy payback not giving  him 'Best Album" when his  magnificent "Odelay" was bested by Celine Dion for the award back in the 90s? 

Maybe, but this year's "Best Album" nominee list was too loaded to give Beck a career achievement award.

Even as we speak, Ed Sheeran's "X"  and Sam Smith's "In The Lonely Hour" are still pumping out hits from their nominated albums, which are arguably two of the best well written, personal  pop albums in recent years.

In Beyonce's case, Kanye West was not the only one who thought Beyonce should have won "Best Album".

Before the Grammys, most publications including Billboard  Vulture, Huffpost,  Complex and  even bookmakers thought  Beyonce was going to win "Best Album" (to be fair the Hollywood Reporter and Spotify said that Beck,Beyonce and Ed Sheeran were the most streamed of the  Album of the Year nominees).

Beyonce loss could be part of the long tradition of iconic female pop stars like Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Madonna whom have never won "Best Album" at the Grammys or it could stem from the fact that Beyonce released her album digitally without using major retailers, which upset the corporate paradigm of the music industry.

If that's the case, shame on the music industry for valuing business partners over embracing new digital paradigms.

Now I like Beyonce, but I am not part of her vaunted Beyhive.

As talented as she is, the worship of Beyonce has been quite overblown at times.

The fact that Grammy's had Beyonce sing  "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" from the film "Selma" instead of Ledisi (who actually sings  it with more power and range) was more outrageous to me than anything Kanye West said or did at the Grammys.

Did Beyonce "deserve" "Best Album"?

Maybe, but Beyonce's self-titled album might be best effort since "Dangerously in Love"and  her move to release "Beyonce"  directly to her fans digitallyis a ground breaking, strategic blueprint  that many artists will follow for years to come.

However,  the biggest loser  at the Grammys was not Beyonce losing to Beck and no Variety Magazine, it was not Kanye losing it by sticking up for his friend once again...and in retrospect, it was not even the Grammys.

No, the biggest losers of the night were millions of Grammys viewers like me who actually tuned in to see who would win a Grammy, when in fact, we spent over three hours barely seeing an awards at all.

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