The Grammy’s: Pride and Prejudice

Leonard Thipe

10 January 2023

Firstly, congratulations to all the nominees. These is the premier event of the music industry, and a great accomplishment  all the industry players to reach. Without a doubt, a very big moment and achievement, if not the pinnacle of one’s career. It is with this honor and glory in full recognition that I proceed to write this piece, all protocols observed .

The seemingly arrogant and dismissive approach of the committee or academy surely continues to be a huge smite on the awards. They seem to be drunken in their power over artists’ careers and recognition. So drunk that theirs is the only voice, the supreme expert knowledge and final decision…why on earth would they rather snub an artist instead of engage or indulge them over a difference in opinion? It is their craft after all and they can talk about their view of it. Apparently, Nicky Minaj was nominated in the pop category, which she openly expressed her dissatisfaction with and preferred to be nominated in the rap category. Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak) withdrew their album voluntarily.
The Weekend; and Drake also withdrew their albums. Huge superstars of their craft…

As much as the institution  can snub artists and their work, I like that artists are taking their power back by snubbing the Grammy’s. It’s about time…after all, true recognition comes from a healthy self esteem and personal worth. One does not need a nomination for that, sales and credible artistry are better measures. The academy needs to get of their high horse and understand that they will eventually loose out to the wilful, self confident artists who trusts their own worth eventually. If you as much as snub me for having an opinion, or simply nominate me; then I have arrived. Artists don’t arrive by virtue of being nominated, the nomination follows the virtuosity of their work; period.

We have seen this at the Oscar’s with black artists and their work being overlooked for years. We had to clap so hard for Denzel Washington because it was  (3?) decades since Sidney Poitier. We screamed our voices hoarse for Halle Berry because she was the first…Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis, Morgan Freeman…the list is endless.
But hey, we clap once every decade because the work was ‘white’ enough to be considered mainstream. Or so black and slavery badef that America had to acknowledge ‘inclusivity and diversity’. We simply have a bar that is unreasonably set too high for certain groups than for the ‘typical’ market.

I remember the days when Madonna; one the biggest and certainly the most controversial superstar of her time; was never nominated for work that has created the culture we witness today. How could the institution have missed? I will tell you why: they were stuck in their idea of what is pop music/popular culture. Needless to say, not much has changed since then. They continue to pompously sit in their all-knowing ignorance and honestly believe that they are more in tune with a culture they are so far removed from.So convinced are they that they continue to take a different opinion and engage it meaningfully.

Yes, I like the fact artists are responding in kind to the sacrilegious practices of these institutions. I like the fact that the institutions are facing a clear and cut point of being irrelevant and out dated. That their influence and power is skidding crazily out of kilter on the icelands of modern technology platforms that are not catered to one-sided views.

I like that artists can do their art simply for the love of it. Maybe not so fast; but so long to the slipping power grip of “institutions”. Not too long now…

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