Typically hip-hop fans have no reason to care about the Grammys, and I can’t blame them. But this year, everyone was awaiting the worst.
At last year’s Grammys, Kendrick Lamar, the best thing to happen to hip hop in a decade, was snubbed by the increasingly senile academy in favor of Doug Funnie’s arch nemesis, Macklemore.
This year, Iggy Azalea, hip hop’s favorite scapegoat, was up for a few awards, including Best Rap Album. If she won, it could have gotten ugly.
If Iggy Azalea wins these rap #Grammys tonight, social media is going to unleash 200 years of oppression upon her.
— Edward Bowser (@etbowser) February 8, 2015
Trust me, Black Twitter was about FourFiveSeconds from wildin. But never fear, the academy gave the Best Rap Album to Eminem instead — the white rapper Black Twitter doesn’t hate as much.
Don’t worry, I’ll hold off on my rant about how hypocritical it is to blame rap’s downfall on Iggy Azalea while rubbing your hands to every infantile rap song Birdman’s crew puts out. Tonight, let’s look at 57th Grammy Awards, which promised less talk and more performances.
That would have been great if 95 percent of the performances weren’t straight-up Nyquil.
1. Rock legends AC/DC opened the show and immediately my timeline gets restless because they’re ready to turn up with some ratchetness. Are y’all really expecting Bobby Shmurda and Dej Loaf at the Grammys ? I was more offended by the audience’s off-beat clapping — I know choir directors who would cuss out grandmas in the house of the Lord for such infractions.
2. LL Cool J served as the night’s host, reminding us that he once was a rapper by reciting 3 seconds of “Going Back to Cali.” But besides that, he spent most of the night MIA. In fact, the Official LL Lip Lick Counter only got up to about 14 licks all night — that’s a drop in the spit bucket for him. Why even have a host if he spends the evening backstage eating from the community cheese plate?
3. Oh, Ariana Grande. Aren’t you surprised she hasn’t become some rapper’s babymomma yet? Vh1 can’t wait for that reality show.
4. Y’all tired of “Happy” yet? Too bad, Pharrell took home the award for Best Pop Solo Performance. He had to cut his acceptance speech short though, he had to hurry back to his job as a 1920s paperboy.
5. Kanye West teamed with Paul McCartney to perform his boring baby tribute “Only One.” Why are you people still defending Kanye for singing like a Transformer? Auto-tune is as played out as that Pelle Pelle sweat suit he was wearing.
6. Isn’t Madonna the best looking pantsless 80 year old you’ve ever seen? She had demons on stage with her, a choir below her and a nation of jump-offs confident that they too can be famous. I hope I’m still that hungry for attention when I’m pulling Social Security.
7. During the naming of the nominees for Best R&B Performance, did you notice that they played Jennifer Hudson’s “Walk It Out” instead of the nominated “It’s Your World?” I mean we know the Grammys couldn’t care less about R&B but I wish they’d at least pretend. Good lord.
8. I don’t care what y’all say, Ed Sheeran > Sam Smith. Fight me if you disagree. Sheeran’s performance with John Mayer, Questlove and ELO was one of the best of the evening. Don’t you get tired of the hosts always bragging about “Grammy moments?” Well, that was one moment worthy of hype.
9. And speaking of moments, Pharrell returned to perform “Happy” with composer Hans Zimmer that included yet another choir and hooded performers for an ode to the #HandsUpDontShoot movement.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 9, 2015
The performance itself was all over the place, but the sentiment of the moment was good. Black Twitter, NOW do you forgive Pharrell for his “(not very) controversial” comments on the Ferguson trial?
10. President Obama’s face came through the screen like Zordon on the Power Rangers as he discussed effects of domestic violence. If you missed the important message, here you go. Thank me later.
Of course, after that, all Twitter could talk about was my Cousin Chris Brown and Rihanna.
Why is Cousin Chris dressed like Denise from the Cosby Show?
11. Tony Bennett performed with Lady Gaga, sounding like a couple of lounge lizards. Which is cool, if you like that thing, I guess. Is it me or does Gaga look different every single time we see her? She’s like the Mystique of the music game.
12. Ursher Raymond and A Harp-Playing Lady performed Stevie Wonder’s “If It’s Magic,” sounding like they should be performing during the wedding of a 90s sitcom. Stevie popped up too — but his handlers should be popped for letting him hang on to those braids for so long. Homie only has like seven hanging on for dear life, why won’t you just let the dream die and cut them off?
13. Ye and McCartney returned with Rihanna to perform “FourFiveSeconds.” I think it’s cute that y’all are still trying to convince yourselves that it’s a good song. But weren’t you grateful that Rih Rih decided to change out of her Pepto Bismol fairy godmother dress?
14. Why was the only rap played at the Grammys this year reduced to dog food commercials? You did this America.
15. I haven’t mentioned Sam Smith much but he was the year’s big winner, raking in wins for Best Pop Vocal Album and pretty much everything that his song “Stay With Me” was nominated for. Didn’t he seem a bit nervous during his performance of the track with Mary J Blige? He was overshadowed by the Queen, who really shined.
16. And here we go: Grammy Moment (TM) time! Prince came out dressed like an orange Airhead with natural hair, yet still delivered the best line of the night: “Like books and black lives, albums still matter.”
How can you hate on that wisdom?
17. Could you believe that Beck won Album of the Year? It was a pretty big upset amongst stiff competition. Kanye West, lieutenant commander of the Beyhive, ALMOST pulled another Kanye and THANK THE LORD ABOVE we didn’t have to deal with THAT fiasco again:
Kanye finally learned how to let someone finish. pic.twitter.com/5ScNCzrsAw
— Mashable (@mashable) February 9, 2015
Of course, the Beyhive spent the rest of the night whining about Beyonce losing Album of the Year when they haven’t even heard the other nominees.
18. “Stay With Me” won both Song of the Year and Record of the Year and by this time in the evening I’m like
Am I the only person who has work in the morning?
19. Playa, that Beyhive is funny to me. Beyonce wrapped up the show with a performance of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” and half her fans immediately started complaining because apparently they wanted to hear Ratchet Bey and her SERBOART. SERFBOART. Then when Ledisi’s fans threw snowball-shaped shade because Ledisi first sang the song on the Selma soundtrack, the Beygency suddenly united to battle Ledisi’s fans.
Bloody Sunday it was not.
Can’t we all just get along? Besides that, Common and John Legend’s rendition of “Glory” was pretty strong. It seemed overlooked in the chaos.
20. As usual, I end with the same question every year: Why are the Grammys SO LONG? We could have lost 90 minutes and the show would have been much tighter. Most of the performances ranged from OK-ish to decent, with the finale, Ed Sheeran’s crew and Annie Lennox and Hozier standing out. It’s just too much, and on Monday morning, no one will remember anything but Kanye’s yearly embarrassment anyway.
There’s one good thing that happened, though — Iggy went home empty handed.
Celebrate the small victories.