Oh, Grammys

While there was much more vested interested in The Grammys this year since so many SoulBounce favorites were nominated, old habits die hard for the award ceremony. Or, in the case of The Grammys, old habits are like zombie roaches with combat training and a profciency in nuclear technologies. This always results in a somewhat entertaining spectacle with a bevy of snarkable missteps. A forecast of nothing but the increasingly political "celebration" of a few industry vetted, multiplatinum selling pop stars, here are five things I learned from this year's Grammy Award Show.

1. Even Lady Gaga can't out Gaga herself six months ago

The problem with setting the bar for bizarreness impossibly high with blood play and Warholian irreverence is that bizarre is bizarre. At a certain point it's like chicken and kinda tastes the same no matter how you prepare it.

2. The webcast awards presentation is where The Grammys' pay penance for their more public indiscretions

It's like having a hidden camera in a confessional. Maxwell got his first, hard-won Grammys there this year. India.Arie is still getting make-up Grammys for the Alicia Keys Factor of 2002. This is also where we will see most, if not, all Hip Hop categories in a few years.

3. Beyoncé is openly plotting for world domination

4. Her first target is Rihanna

5. Even though he paved the way for Taylor Swift's sympathy Album of the Year win, Kanye was missed

After the jumbled coonery of Jamie Foxx and T-Pain and the mush-mouthed and overly-edited performance of Lil Wayne (note: Eminem's prowess is duly noted, as is Drake's questionability), the antics of his concentrated egotism and fiery indignation feel at least marginally more cohesive and prescient.

If you watched, what did you take away from this year's Grammys, fellow SoulBouncers?

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26 Responses

  1. I didn't watch the Grammy's this year. I only tuned in for a second because my mom yelled and told me Maxwell was performing. After that, I went on with my life.
    Oh and there is way too much thinking involved on my part with that last paragraph. Could you have been more high-brow? I mean really, I'm reading the beginning with ease and bam! Suddenly all these 11th grade vocabulary words pop up out of nowhere!

  2. This was probably the most boring awards show I've seen in a while. They could have phoned this show in and saved the 3 hours of television.

  3. If you boycotted the show, then you missed some interesting music- not just soul or R&B.
    But the show also proved what's wrong with the music business. Watching Taylor Swift do a painfully bad set, only to win the top Album of the Year award minutes later kind of sums up everything that's wrong with that business. At least Maxwell got his due.
    The show reminded me of how much Soulbounce and some of the other blogs matter to those of us who know the joys of the indy soul movement.

  4. The only thing that I took away from the Grammys was a migraine headache. Last night was my 1st time watching the show since the early 90s & I didnt miss much at all.
    Im still wondering why Jamie Foxx had Precious thrashing around on stage.

  5. 4 women got ROBBED in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category. I knew Beyonce was gonna win it because every other song in that category was A.) a ballad and B.) by incredibly talented artists who weren't as well known as Dr. B-Evil.

  6. I learned that Michael Jackson didn't get a decent tribute from any of these awards shows.

  7. maxwel just is....and pink is awesome! Thats it...Oh no...I didnt know they made combover wigs bey...but that bad boy was glued on hella tight.

  8. This year's Grammy Awards reaffirmed what I have known for years: what once was a prestigious affair that sought to honored the truly accomplished in music is simply a popularity contest. I mean how else could Beyonce beat Ledisi, Jazmine, Melanie, and Lalah on vocal performance? How else could "Blame It" and anything remotely associated with T-Pain be mentioned in the same breath as "award"? How else could "Lions, Tigers, and Bears" and "Pretty Wings," songs with actual depth and creative lyrics lose to a song written by The Dream in five minutes? I'm glad that Maxwell and India got awards but beyond that the proceedings were a joke.

  9. The Grammys have increasingly, over the years, become nothing more than a farce/celebration of mediocrity. Payola has killed the music business...the results being, lauding artists who allegedly sell huge numbers while people who make real music with depth can't even catch a break. I challenge anyone to name 10 cds of substance that were released last year that are Grammy worthy...I'll start you off with three...1) Foreign Exchange - Leave It All Behind, 2) Mos Def - The Ecstatic, 3) Jesse Johnson - Verbal Penetration.....someone pick it up from here....please?

  10. I haven't watched the Grammy's in years but I saw this one. And what I learned is Beyonce can't sing one damn song without getting on her knees like a damn fool. There was no reason to be hopping on your knees and flopping hair to that mid tempo song! I thought Pink was great and to think she said she didn't lipsync for any of that performance.
    And another thing I think Taylor Swift is really cute but in 5 years I'll be surprised if she still has a career. She should really have thanked Kanye.

  11. I wasn't impressed nor surprised...well, accept by a few things: Lady Gaga did NOT win anything (at least not televised)- woohoo! That Fame Monster bit her in the booty. And Elton John was doing "weird" before she was even born, but to do it with her was just wack and came off like that. Bon Jovi had never performed on the Grammy's before. The MJ tribute was better than I anticipated, but Usher didn't need to get on the ground. And Jamie Foxx wastes his intelligence and talent all of the time (why was he allowed to perform a song that came out in 2008?!WTH?!).
    Oh and Maxwell is wonderful.
    Off to see if I can find the webcast of awards I really want to see.

    • Grammy Learnin' - 1) Eminem is relentlessly fire at all times. When is the last time you heard a live rap performer sound that good? Yeah, me either. 2) The Grammy's have a hard job. Need to keep it high in the ratings and that means all these mediocre stars. Need to keep credibility and that means showing some actual talent. Hard to find balance. 3) Pink is trying to prove a point... "no more excuses. just be dope."

  12. Boy, I love you guys. This is one of the few music sites where people actually write cohesive sentences and really know their music. I'm way out of my league here.
    As has already been said, I don't know (well, actually I do know), how "Put A Ring On It" could win over "Pretty Wings." We won't even go there with regard to Beyonce winning over the other female artists. Please, that shiggity was surreal. Someone is getting paid somewhere. And please tell me how in the name of everything that is holy could Taylor Swift win Album of the Year over Maxwell's Blacksummersnight?
    Like most of you I don't watch the Grammys - haven't sat through it in years. But I really wanted to see Maxwell win so I kept an eye on the show all evening. Just to find out via the web that the R&B Male Vocal category wasn't going to be televised. What kind of shiggity was that? Taylor Swift is allowed to warble through some pop crap in front of 60 million viewers but an artist who has redefined and resurrected R&B, sold millions of albums, had sold-out concert tours in the U.S. and Europe, gone away for 8 years and made the comeback of the decade - but the Grammy Committee didn't think it wise to televise the category in which this artist was nominated? It would have been great for the ratings to see him walk up those stairs to accept his awards, after having gone winless 6 times before. Thank God that when Maxwell was being interviewed before the telecast on the Red Carpet he announced that he had already won twice - otherwise who would have known? I know he's happy with the wins but damn it - I'm not happy that we didn't get to see him receive the statuettes in prime time. If you don't have a computer you still may never see it.
    Lets just say I know where I will be the same time next year - anywhere but in front of the telly!

  13. Great post.
    Another important note. Beyonce just broke the record for most Grammy wins by a female ever. So.. this is what I learned: in some people's eyes, "I Am.. Sasha Fierce" is supposedly better than "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill".
    And the people wept.

  14. "Another important note. Beyonce just broke the record for most Grammy wins by a female ever. So.. this is what I learned: in some people's eyes, "I Am.. Sasha Fierce" is supposedly better than "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill".
    And the people wept."
    First of all, "And the people wept" Give me a fucking break. How about you look at the Grammys Lauren Hill actually won (five of them)::
    Best Album (the first hip-hop album to even get that award)
    Best R&B Album
    Best R&B Song
    Best Female Vocal Performance
    Best New Artist
    And that's just the Grammys. Lest we forget, just about every major award show that year might as well have been "The Lauren Hill Show". So before you make an argument about who you think is more deserving of accolades, but ultimately got shafted, get your facts straight.
    I could understand if Beyonce couldn't sing worth a damn. But she's proven time and again that she can. I could understand if she didn't have her share of heartfelt ballads, which I personally think she does. I don't think her efforts in music should be devalued just because she doesn't do the kind of music you think is so much better.
    I can see the argument people make against Taylor Swift. Bitch can't barely drag a tune much less carry it. And believe me, her winning album if the year is bullshit.
    And yes, I do think it's fucked up that Maxwell couldn't have a moment on the televised broadcast to receive his awards, but c'mon.
    The impression I'm getting here is that the only music that matters is indie soul, or whatever the fuck you wanna call it, and it's the kind of elitism that reminds me why I don't frequent this blog nearly as much as I used it.

  15. I agree that Beyonce is not as bad as everyone says. I just wanted to know why she performed when she said she was going on vacation. I guess this didn't count. I also think that it would be kinda cool for her start giving performances like she did on the Hope for Haiti telethon. It was restrained, pitch perfect and lovely. She can sing and sometimes we forget when she is writing on the floor.
    I think the bulk of the awards was flat out shit, though. If I have to watch Taylor Swift jut her little boney ass pelvis to the side again in an attempt to have stage presence, I am going to kick someone.
    On a final note, I love Maxwell as much as the groupies on here, but he sounded like shit on that awards show this week. His vocal range has sadly diminished and he doesn't do me like he used to.

  16. I only watched the Grammys to see the MJ Tribute. I still get emotional hearing Michael's voice and remembering that he is no longer with us.
    Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the Lady Gaga/Elton John opening number. *shrug*
    Pink was the best performance in my opinion. She took it to another level. I can already hear Beyonce's people on the phone ordering her a tight-rope and a trapeze set for her next performance. LOL
    Beyonce. I still say that she is NOT a R & B artist. She's POP and shouldn't have been nominated in ANY R & B categories. That way the TRUE R & B artists like Leidisi and Lalah would have had a fair chance at winning the category. And so what she won 6 Grammys and broke Lauryn's record. It's about QUALITY not QUANTITY. And Miseducation will always be > I AM...Sasha Fierce.
    I'm glad that Maxwell finally joined the ranks of Grammy winners. He was long overdue. These are makeup Grammys in my opinion(for overlooking UHS and Embrya). But his vocal perfomance (solo and w/ Ms. Flack) was too painful for me to watch. What has happened to his beautiful voice?
    And last but not least, Ms. Taylor Swift. Is she over-rated? YES! Is she lacking vocal talent? GOOD LAWD YES! But take her or leave her, Ms. Swift will be around for a LONG time. Why? Because she has the 2 attributes that the entertainment business loves: YOUNG and WHITE. Just look at the cover of the current issue of Vanity Fair.
    The other acts weren't that memorable. Oh except Eminem. He's slightly disturbed...but he can flow.

  17. I think Maxwell was just having an off night. He's done better recently.

  18. Everybody knows Matthew "The Devil" Knowles bought off anybody he could to get that girl 6 Grammy's..SMDH

  19. @Kayode Kendall: If that's the case, Maxwell has been having an "off night" since September. That "hoarseness" has been lingering for a while now.
    Maybe I'm spoiled but Maxwell sounding "better" is just not good enough.

  20. Avatar

    Maxwell sounded great on BET Honors, which is very recent. Grammys? Ack. I'd like to forget it. In fact I wish he could've traded performances btwn BET and the Grammys. As for the rest of the show, I'm late so everything has already been said lol..

  21. Love Maxwell but have to agree, his voice has been off for months now. I hope he is going to take a break and get it straightened out. He's too talented to lose that voice.

  22. @Kayode Kendall : "The impression I'm getting here is that the only music that matters is indie soul"
    this is an indie soul blog. what do you expect people to say???
    if you dont like it, you can always check out another blog....

  23. @LB10v3 - I frequent a lot of blogs, and despite the ones that have a primary focus, most of them will occasionally cover and show appreciation for music outside of that primary focus, whether the music is mainstream or indie, without forcing a "Mainstream = bad/evil" agenda.

  24. Taylor Swifts wins and performances PROVES that MAINSTREAM does (as of late) equal bad/evil. Kanye-shrug.

  25. Man, I had to have a cooling off period before I could even comment on the crapfest otherwise known as the Grammys.
    Beyonce is NOT a R&B singer, Taylor Swift is NOT a country singer, pop princesses both. Yes, Beyonce can sing but she has horrible taste in material.
    As for Taylor. . .just make it go away. The child cannot sing, period. This is not the first time she has given a flat, off pitch live performance and I doubt it will be the last. But her fan base, e.g., young white girls and their parents (who should know better) will keep her in haute couture for a few more years until even they realize she is just bland white bread who should have been practicing her chromatic scale instead of winning Grammys.
    Bey, girl you can sing and perform live but you are suppose to grow musically as an artist and your songs are just derivative, singles driven tripe. "Single Ladies" better than "Pretty Wings", I think not.
    Lady Gaga, the freaks come out at night and baby, Marilyn Manson wants his shtick back. You gotta bring more than just the circus.
    Enjoyed Pink's performance, chick goes hard and she CAN sing.
    Jamie Foxx, Lil' Wayne and Drake, what the hell was that? Lip-synched and autotuned out. Did you catch to look on Jay-Z's face during their performance? Jamie you are too old to be doing the Hip-Hop B-Boy thing, act your age. Lil' Wayne, is there anything I can say that has not already been said? Drake, I have no idea what your appeal is, looked and sounded pretty mediocre to me. I will not include Eminem in my criticism because that white boy can flow, he KILLED, made the rest look like amateurs.
    Finally, one of the greatest genres in music gets absolutely NO shine from the very people who are suppose to exalt it. Has R&B fallen so far in the eyes of the Grammys that they could not televise at least TWO of the main categories so the winners could get their much deserved due before an audience of millions?
    Maxwell was 0 for 6 and he FINALLY wins two and gets to pick them up at the back door; India Aries FINALLY wins after getting "India Aried" in 2002 by colorism at its worst but you would not know it, unless were on Twitter or YouTube.
    As for Max's voice, people need to kiss that beautiful falsetto goodbye. I think he wants to put it to rest completely or use it as little as possible. I don't mind, I always liked his middle and chest voice better. But I also think he played too many dates on his tour without enough rest in between each concert. He really needs to rest his voice for a few months.
    His Grammy performance was subpar, especially at the beginning when singing "Pretty Wings" but he picked it up during "Where is the Love", so for me it was all good. Yeah, I love me some Max and there is absolutely NO shame in my game. The brotha practically raised R&B from the dead. . .no not practically, he DID raise it from the dead, so I am going to cut a brotha some slack.
    THERE! Glad I got that off my chest. LOL