Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let's Do It Again: My Grammy Reaction

I didn't want to do it because it felt like I'm stating the obvious. I didn't want to do it because it might be a waste of energy throwing more dirt on a dirty game. But it's tradition. Some stuff can't be avoided so here it is, my take on the Grammy Award nominations.

Album of the Year: Oh boy, where do I start. Katy Perry????? Really???? Come on, who in their right mind thinks is a good album, let alone a quality one? It's no secret I think Katy is cute but as a musical artist, she's an average vocalist live benefiting from overproduction. This is the 2nd thing this year she earned that she didn't deserve.

And Lady Gaga getting a nomination for an EP? Just stop. Even if it's well reviewed, an EP better be the "Thriller" of EP's to get nominated over full albums. Whatever man. Props to the Arcade Fire getting deserved AOTY love. As for Eminem, I'm happy for him but can't say this album deserves that slot.

I love "Recovery" as a great comeback album. Eminem's inspired with some of the best songs he's released in years. But to be simple, there were better hip-hop albums, let alone other albums.

Who I'm happy for:

- Cee-Lo for one of the best songs of the year. People keep forgetting his career in Goodie Mob and his 2 solo albums before Gnarls Barkley but this time, he gets to stand alone with Record/Song of the Year noms. "F You" - hilarious!

- I became a fan of Bruno Mars watching him on Saturday Night Live. I clowned him on Twitter for getting busted for coke but his vocal chops, musicianship and stage presence won me over. He helped produced "F You" and got love for "Nothin on You" with B.O.B. Kudos for 7 overall noms, including Producer of the Year but no Best New Artist?

- Earlier comments aside, I'm happy for Eminem. He deserves (fair) praise for a great album and leads the pack with 10 nods. I wouldn't be shocked if the Grammys used this to make up for 10 years ago when he should've won for Marshall Mathers LP instead of Steely Dan. Hip hop deserves a good win even if it's not the best one.

- B.O.B. = 5 nods, The Black Keys = 4 nods, John Legend + The Roots = 4 nods. Love this. Black Keys made one of the best rock albums of the year and deserve to get as much shine as Arcade Fire.

- Lecrae getting love for Best Christan Rock/Rap Album. "Rehab" hit me and my crew pretty well.

- Producer of the Year. Always usually excellent.

- California Gurlz NOT getting any major nominations. Chicks love it but for a Cali anthem, I couldn't embrace it.

- Treme nominated for Best Soundtrack. The music added to the great New Orleans vibe of the show and this is WELL deserved.

- Best Movie Score: Avatar and Inception - the music added to the great moods. Brilliance.

What I hate

- How did Janelle Monae and Big Boi only get TWO nominations? Take away both sharing one for "Tightrope" and they only ONE a piece! Two of the best albums of the year, folks.

- Best Rap Album - I wish The Roots could win this but that overrated trash Blueprint 3 will probably win.

- Thanks to Grammy eligibility rules, Jay-Z is gonna get plenty of love for "Empire State of Mind". Even though I'm sick of it.

- Jay-Z and Eminem dominating 4 out of 5 slots for Best Rap Song. Doesn't speak well for diversity of the genre.

- Drake nominated for Best New Artist. Didn't he get nominated 3 times last year?? Then again Silversun Pickups got nominated last year despite that being their 2nd album. (Sidenote, this New Artist category is interesting. Bieber, Drake, the impressive Florence + The Machine, then who???)

- Rock was kinda weak this year so no surprise the nominees are iffy. I love seeing recognizable names such as Alice in Chains, Korn and the return of Soundgarden. But I wish I found more rock CD's like Black Keys that made me wanna rush to support it.

- Barely any love for Sade. Great comeback single and it's almost like she didn't even return. Wait til her tour next year.

?uestlove tweeted that 4 out of 5 nods for Record of the Year were hip hop or R&B affiliated. I'd be happier if that were Song of the Year because that gives credit for songwriting. Our music deserves Grammy approval  for being exceptionally written among all genres. Doesn't matter, can't anyone tell me that.

I remember in 2005, the Grammys nominated Kanye's debut, Usher's Confessions, Alicia Keys' 2nd album, and Green Day's American Idiot for AOTY. All great albums that still stand timeless. Even though Ray Charles would win for his final album, you can't argue enough for how great those 4 were.

The year before, it was Speakerboxxx/Love Below, Elephant (White Stripes), Missy Elliot's Under Construction among the group. See ya'll, Album of the Year at least nominated some worthy albums in the past. This year has to be the weakest in recent memory and make last year's look even better.

Oh, and the Grammy eligibility continues to suck (August to August) and that's why we see 2009 songs/albums nominated here instead of outstanding 4th quarter songs/albums. Kanye's album is probably better than all these yet we gotta wait 12 months for him to get love.

I wish I ran the Grammys. I'd scale back the eligibility window from January 1 to November 27th-December 1st, do the nominations in January, hold the ceremony in February. Oh, and ask my voters to please consider Metacritic, Pitchfork, rap critics and other sources besides who has hits. Just my 2 cents. See you in February

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