What If The Grammy’s Didn’t Completely suck? And why they do.
I remember being angry about how much the Grammy’s suck since grade school. It was just a sad naked reality. A giant bloated out of touch parent leaning over and saying “That Will Smith, huh?! Best rapper alive.” Interestingly, their problem is very grade school. When the 2020 nominee list announced Lizzo leading the pack with eight nominations we all understood she will likely walk out with a bushel of gold statues. The problem is not Lizzo, who is charming with a great voice and feverish energy. My question is why does Lizzo need that spotlight? She’s got platinum and gold plaques on the wall. The Grammy’s remain a boring homecoming king/queen ceremony rewarding the most rewarded and exposing the most exposed.
Life is not the homecoming dance. Life is the chaos of a billion hues and it is an award show’s job to paint with those colors, turning them into something a viewer can be truly engaged by. They should see a performance from an artist who wins and hit google with wide eyes. Who is that?! That is what the Freemusicempire awards would strive to do. I decided to stop complaining and clear out their brackets, fill them with what I would showcase and look at the difference.
Let’s start with Album of The Year. This is their list.
Album of the Year
“I, I” — Bon Iver
“Norman F—ing Rockwell!” — Lana Del Rey
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — Billie Eilish
“Thank U, Next” — Ariana Grande
“I Used To Know Her” — H.E.R.
“7” — Lil Nas X
“Cuz I Love You” (Deluxe) — Lizzo
“Father of the Bride” — Vampire Weekend
Album Of The Year
85 To Africa by Jidenna
Father Of The Bride by Vampire Weekend
Bandana by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
Beware of The Dogs by Stella Donnelly
Help Us Stranger by Raconteurs
Kiwanuka by MK & Danger Mouse
African Giant by Burna Boy
Hiding Places by Billy Woods
So I only kept one of their nominees and I can go over the people I ejected but that’s not as fun as imagining the world riveted as Billy Woods holds up a gold statue and delivers the illest, hardcore depressingly political acceptance speech. Imagining my mom texting about this charming Jidenna fella as he performs before the award is given out. I’m the weird one because everyone else wants to reward Bon Iver’s 5th best album or Lana Del Rey ballading in Adele’s lane. I’m not mad at Lil Nas X because my kid sings Old Town Road like a Romero zombie…but I’m not gonna pretend like the album was good. Popularity is immaterial. Regardless of what you feel about Vampire Weekend the album was DOPE. I won’t see Burna Boy dumped in some “World Music” sub category, that album is AOTY contender through and through.
Next up, Record of The Year: their list
Record of the Year
“Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Hard Place” — H.E.R.
“Talk” — Khalid
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“Sunflower” — Post Malone & Swae Lee
A lot of their nominees happen because of the radio. I listened to the Ariana Grande once and moved on. Having a kid I get as much Sunflower as I do Old Town Road but I still wouldn’t put it top eight. Shout out to people bumping Khalid; please explain to me how his music isn’t generic and his vocal range a straight line.
Here are mine.
Record Of The Year
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
This Life by Vampire Weekend
Anybody by Burna Boy
Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
All Your’n by Tyler Childers
Bop by Da Baby
Sing Along by Sturgill Simpson
BGM by Wale
Their nominees for Best New Artist:
Best New Artist
Lil Nas X
Tank and the Bangas
Best New Artist
Megan Thee Stallion
Lil Nas X
J. S. Ondara
I respect that the Grammy committee put Rosalia and Black Pumas on their list. I refuse to accept Lizzo as new on her third album. I refuse to create a best new artist list without Megan Thee Stallion who has blown the doors off her own songs as well as guest verses with Maxo Kream, Wale, etc. She has been WORKING. Not every genre is creating new vibrant stars but folk has J.S. Ondara and Stella Donnelly who don’t have “one album wonder” vibes at all. They will be around for years.
Onto R & B here is their best album:
Best R&B Album:
1123 — BJ The Chicago Kid
Painted — Lucky Daye
Ella Mai — Ella Mai
Paul — PJ Morton
Venture — Anderson .Paak
Best R&B Album
Shea Butter Baby
Friends by Omar Apollo
American Love Call
While We Wait by Kehlani
Case Study 001 by Daniel Caesar
The New Breed by Dawn
Ugh, Those Feels Again by Snoh Aalegra
Only regret I had was ditching BJ The Chicago Kid who I love and always rep for. Before we get into the rap categories, before you get mad at their nominees, know that The Grammy’s know Rap like John Candy knew Physics, like Newt Gingrich knows humility.
Best Rap Song: “Bad Idea” — Chancelor Bennett, Cordae Dunston, Uforo Ebong & Daniel Hackett, songwriters (Ybn Cordae ft. Chance The Rapper)
“Gold Roses” — Noel Cadastre, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Khristopher Riddick-tynes, William Leonard Roberts Ii, Joshua Quinton Scruggs, Leon Thomas Iii & Ozan Yildirim, songwriters (Rick Ross ft. Drake)
“A Lot” — Jermaine Cole, Dacoury Natche, 21 Savage & Anthony White, songwriters (21 Savage ft. J. Cole)
“Racks In The Middle” — Ermias Asghedom, Dustin James Corbett, Greg Allen Davis, Chauncey Hollis, Jr. & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Nipsey Hussle ft. Roddy Ricch & Hit-boy)
“Suge” — Dababy, Jetsonmade & Pooh Beatz, songwriters (Dababy)
Best Rap Song
Palmolive by Freddie Gibbs featuring Killer Mike
XXL by Da Baby
Threat 2 Society by 2 Chainz
Cash $hit by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Da Baby
Even Tho Its Hard by Trae The Truth
Oprah by Rapsody featuring Leikeli47
Nobody’s Favorite by Rick Ross featuring Gunplay
BGM by Wale
Let them lead on Best Rap Album and I will play the closer.
Best Rap Album:
Revenge Of The Dreamers III — Dreamville
Championships — Meek Mill
i am > i was — 21 Savage
IGOR — Tyler, The Creator
The Lost Boy — YBN Cordae
Best Rap Album
Hiding Places by Billy Woods
Freddie Gibbs x Madlib-Bandana
Brandon Banks by Maxo Kream
Baby On Baby by Da Baby
Eve by Rapsody
Wow…That’s Crazy by Wale
Shelby by Lil Skies
Psychodrama by Dave
- ROTD III is great but too long not cohesive, a great compilation but not one of the best rap albums
- Tyler knows that album is not a rap album.
- The nerve of not including Maxo or Freddie Gibbs or Rapsody is staggering.
So before you get mad at the nominees take a piece of paper out and pull your most important categories, wipe them clean and put your own nominees on paper. Look at them. Make sure you bought all those albums, so those artists you love ate off you. If we are going to keep pointing angry fingers at awards getting it wrong, we have to manage our own ethics.