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Courtesy of the Recording Academy

February 12, 2019

GUEST ROOM | No, I Don’t Want to Talk About the Grammys

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It appears that another year has come and gone and the Grammys remain mediocre. The Recording Academy has once again proven they are like a college pamphlet, highlighting “diversity” but not doing much at all. Instead of striving to be diverse and recognize good art, the Grammys threw in the towel and did a half-hearted job at both. In fact, the only decision the Recording Academy made this year that I agree with was handing out Grammys like Tic Tacs to Donald Glover and crew for “This is America.”

Yet, there was even a hint of irony that came along with the song’s win for Record of the Year. Nothing was more frustrating than watching Ludwig Göransson go on a tangent about his life — as a white kid from Sweden — while totally disregarding the important message that “This is America” conveys about violence and injustice in and against the black community. To make matters worse, sound engineer Derek Ali, in utter disbelief, was not allowed to express his gratitude for the award as the group was ushered off the stage.

It’s even sadder that no one else saw this as a problem.

The Grammys were on their high horse this year, trying to show how diverse they are through a tribute to Motown artists, yet they enlisted Jennifer Lopez to perform in it over countless black artists who attended the award show. They included a diversity feature but yet there is still a bias towards white artists in the nominees and winners.

But maybe the thing that angered me the most was the total disregard for Mac Miller’s passing. When you invite the Mac Miller estate to the Grammys, you should at least honor Miller’s life through raising awareness for The Opioid Epidemic.

Finally, on a less political note, Dua Lipa was not the best new artist. I would even have been fine with Greta Van Fleet, the alt-rock band bringing back the sounds of Led Zeppelin, taking home that title. But Dua Lipa? H.E.R was the obvious choice for Best New Artist, especially since she was also nominated in the Album of the Year category for her self titled EP and is only 21.

But as Eminem and many others have said, the vote the Recording Academy takes isn’t a real vote. In the end, they give the award to whomever they want, and they don’t consult anyone relevant.

Next year, I will be boycotting this abomination of an award show and save myself the frustration — I encourage everyone to do the same.

 

This post has been updated.

Peter Buonanno is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He currently serves as the assistant arts and entertainment editor on The Sun’s editorial board. He can be reached at pbuonanno@cornellsun.com.