The 2014 Grammys

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January 30, 2014 by NowhereButPop

by Khalid Bennett

What do you get when you have a rapper with a Roger Klotz haircut, a producer with a Mountie hat, and no Miley Cyrus? You get the 2014 Grammy Awards. Everyone knows that the Grammy is the most prestigious award for the music industry. The award show is all about honoring and celebrating those who have achieved success within the past year with the awards (obviously) and performances.

The 2014 Grammys felt a little different to me. First of all, I was surprised at how early it was. It was on January 26th. Usually, the Grammys broadcast the second week of February. This is probably the earliest the Grammys had broadcasted in recent memory. Second of all, I wasn’t too enthused by the performances. I didn’t even know who was going to perform. A few minutes before watching it, I had to look up at the performers. The only artists that caught my interest were Kendrick Lamar and Daft Punk. So with that in mind, I wanted to see what this year’s Grammys would offer, which would be a sigh a relief from the dreadful VMAs.

The Performances

I wanted to know who would be the first performer even though it was two minutes into the performance when I turned on my TV. All I saw was the back of someone wearing a skimpy outfit and guess who it was…Beyonce (of course). The first thing I thought, “Of course, Beyonce would start off the show”. She sang “Drunk In Love” and Jay-Z came out to do his thing. The performance basically showed Beyonce’s dirty, sexual side with her ass showing off and twerking on stage and on the chair. It also showed how Jay-Z wanted to hit that right on stage. My reaction to this performance…UGH!!!! Am I the only one tired of Beyonce and Jay-Z being all over the place. Yes, they are a cute couple. Yes, they are happy together. Yes, they are successful together. Why must people worship them? They get more recognition than Barack and Michelle Obama. They get more recognition than Prince William and Kate Middleton. Enough is enough. Beyonce is a great musical talent with a great body. She’s not the queen of the United States of America. She doesn’t rule ANY aspect of your life. She doesn’t think for you. Everyone needs to calm down on how they worship Beyonce and Jay-Z. She’s great but she’s not a God.

I wasn’t too thrilled with the other performances. There were many times I changed the channel just to see if they were finished. Lorde performed her hit “Royals”. It was pretty blah. I wasn’t into it, plus I really don’t like that song; considering that I heard that song for the first time in December. I don’t listen to Hunter Hayes so I didn’t watch that performance. I did watch the Katy Perry performance. It was weird because I’ve never heard a Katy Perry song like “Dark Horse” because she’s so Pop. Then Juicy J came out and all my questions were answered. It still surprised my how Juicy J is still relevant and being used in the music industry. This is what happens when you win an Oscar for Best Song and produce the same crap of today’s Hip-Hop that I despise so much.

Robin Thicke and Chicago weren’t that bad. I liked the mixture of R&B/Pop/Jazz Fusion between Thicke and Chicago. It was a relief to see Robin Thicke without a skinny bi…I mean Miley Cyrus twerking in front of him. I wasn’t into Keith Urban and Gary Clark, Jr. but it is nice to see a black guy going in deep on the electric guitar. I loved John Legend’s performance of “All Of Me”. I am being very subjective here plus the song means something to me right now. I didn’t care for Taylor Swift. Once again, Pink does a lot of acrobats, ballet, and interpretive dancing. I have nothing against Ringo Starr but I am not a Beatles fan but I get the significance of the performance and all.

I really loved Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. It was such a perfect match-up and remix of Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive and Kendrick Lamar’s “M.A.A.D. City”. I may have to give Imagine Dragons a try.  I don’t even know who Kacey Musgraves was before the Grammys. I also understand the significance of Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney performing together; still not a fan of the Beatles (no disrespect). I didn’t dare to watch Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton. I definitely enjoyed Daft Punk’s performance. I have become a real Daft Punk fan since listening to Random Access Memories. It was a superb collaboration with Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder. How could you NOT love a performance with Stevie Wonder in it? Sara Bareilles and Carole King was the last performance I saw before I turned off the TV.

I did hear about the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance. I loved the idea of Queen Latifah marrying all those gay couples. Other than that, I wouldn’t have enjoyed since I’m not the biggest fan of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Overall, the performances were a little lackluster this year. I don’t know if it was because of the artists or because I lost interest after a while. A lot of them were pretty boring to me. I’ll admit; some of the artists that performed were either before my time or I’ve never heard. I can’t say that one performance “wowed” me.

The Awards

Now on to the big awards of the night.

I believe that the Grammys got it right with all the major awards. “Get Lucky” definitely deserved Record of the Year. As you know, this award represents the performing artist, the producer, and the engineers who made the song. It’s really awesome that a song that combines Pop and Funk won this category. “Locked Out Of Heaven” could’ve won as well but it’s obvious by the way “Get Lucky” really influenced music in 2013.

I guess “Royals” deserved Song of the Year. Song of the Year goes to the writers. It makes sense because I know a lot of people love the lyrics to “Royals”, so good job to Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde), and Joel Little.

Album of the Year might be a little controversal. To me, it was a fight between The Heist, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, and Random Access Memories. Random Access Memories was a great album. It was one of my favorite albums of 2013. It’s an album that I can listen to over and over and not get tired it. But I think Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City should’ve won. It was one of the best Hip-Hop albums in a long time. It really revolutionized Hip-Hop and it was so different and exceptional. It was nothing and I mean NOTHING compared to the songs you hear on the radio. It’s just too good. As for The Heist, it could’ve won but that would probably be because of the rising popularity of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in 2013. But overall, congrats to Daft Punk for getting Album of the Year.

As for Best New Artists, it was another battle between Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I figured that they only won because of the popularity and influence Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had in the music industry in 2013. I think Kendrick Lamar should’ve won that as well. Maybe I’m just being biased.

I got a bone to pick with the Grammy people when it came to the Rap category. Let’s put aside the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. It was obvious that “Holy Grail” would win. That song was VERY overplayed on the radio and the chorus was to addicting. Are you telling me that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the rest of the awards? That is ridiculous. The only reason Macklemore & Ryan Lewis got those awards WERE because of the popularity. I may give “Thrift Shop” a pass for Best Rap Song, but I think “Holy Grail” and “Started From The Bottom” had a better chance, if you want to talk about songwriters. But I’ll admit that “Thrift Shop” had some good lyrics and it was catchy as hell. “Thrift Shop” also won Best Rap Performance. I didn’t know that this award has only been presented five times within 25 years. It was because of boycott and protest but I’m not going to get into that. Once again “Started From the Bottom” and “Swimming Pools (Drank)” were better choices.

Now on to Best Rap Album. There is NO WAY The Heist deserved Best Rap Album. When Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City came out, that was the only album I was listening to. I had (still have) the same impact with Nothing Was The Same. Those have been the best two albums I’ve listened to (plus Random Access Memories) the past 1+ years. Even Yeezus could’ve won, and I didn’t like that album at all. I was in shock that The Heist won Best Rap Album.

Overall, I was not impressed with the 2014 Grammys. I guess the only positive thing about it was that it wasn’t a sequl of the 2013 VMAs. I don’t know what to expect with the way the music industry will be in 2014. The thing I can predict…Beyonce and Jay-Z will some how perform next year, even if they don’t produce ONE hit song this year

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