It’s overwhelmingly cliche to criticize the Grammys at this point, but way too much that happened on Sunday night to let slide. Before the awards even began, the Recording Academy reacted to the death of Kobe Bryant by stating that they wouldn’t let fans gather outside Staples Center (where the Grammys were held, and the home arena for Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers). After coming out of the gate in such poor taste, performing artists such as Lil Nas X and John Legend honored Bryant alongside fellow Los Angelan Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in a shooting in March 2019.
Apart from these tributes, the ceremony itself remains just as chaotic as the previous years, with some winners arousing more surprise than others. Billie Eilish, 18, swept the major awards throughout the night, taking Record of the Year and Song of the Year with ‘Bad Guy’ alone. Her album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? managed to beat out giants like Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! in the struggle for Album of the Year, as well as other household names like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift in Best Pop Vocal Album.
Eilish, though not undeserving, is a marketable, industry-backed brand of “weird;” a little bizarre and jarring at first, sure, but a gimmick that is rapidly getting old.
Tyler, the Creator took home his first grammy last night, winning Rap Album of the Year. One of the most important parts of the evening was in a speech shortly after he accepted the award, about how the Grammys consistently place Black artists who make genre-bending music in the Rap or Urban category. Igor isn’t really a rap album, and it would have more than held its own in the Album of the Year category. The Grammys consistently seem as though they’ll only let certain (i.e., Drake) mega-star rappers move outside of their home genre. I mean, we spent the better part of 2019 harassing Billboard for not listing “Old Town Road” as a country song, only for it to not receive a single nomination in any country category.
As for the red carpet outfits, Lil Nas X brought the heat in an all pink Versace cowboy outfit, while Shawn Mendes continued his brand with a suit that was about as exciting as Cheerios. Tyler, the Creator served up Grand Budapest Hotel vibes in his red carpet outfit before returning to his signature Golf Wang apparel come awards time.
Now that the ceremony has come and gone, the Grammys and the excitement surrounding it will once again be forgotten behind the foreground of the upcoming events of 2020. In this never-ending cycle, I look forward to writing this column again next year when Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” fails to win any awards.
Daniel Moran is a junior in the College of Human Ecology. He currently serves as the assistant arts and entertainment editor on The Sun’s board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brian Lu is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com.