With the pandemic bringing us a creative wave of unforgettable albums and eras, this year’s Grammys should have celebrated the diversity in both the musicians and the music itself. This year’s Grammys did the bare minimum whether it was nominating BTS for just a single award or snubbing The Weeknd altogether. The one good thing the Grammys are good at is making “stan twitter” go absolutely feral and bring out the worst in pretty much every music-related fandom. Seeing such a highly respected academy sabotage certain artists really does make the name ‘the Scammys’ seem more fitting.
DISCLAIMER: I’m happy for anyone who won an award, I’m just gonna point out the unfair distrubtion of recognition and how some musicians (mostly white ones) are treated with a lot more enthusiasm than those that aren’t. I love all of the artists I’m about to mention, there is no ill-will towards anyone in this post.
Arguably the biggest snub of the night was BTS’ ‘Dynamite’ losing to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s ‘Rain On Me’. To me, the biggest problem with this wasn’t the win itself but rather the discouragement of only getting a single nomination for what was one of the biggest hits of the year. No matter what you think of them, BTS’ popularity is undeniable and if we’re being honest, they’re more succesful and popular than most of the artists nominated. They deserve the recognition just as much as any artist nominated that night. That single nomination for a category which wasn’t even shown during the actual ceremony was the Grammys doing the bare minimum. The only reason they were even nominated was purely so they could perform the song and get them the views. The winner, ‘Rain On Me’ is a great song, it’s a well-executed collaboration and it deserved the nomination and frankly I would’ve put it second to ‘Dynamite‘ in terms of who should’ve won. ‘Exile‘ is not pop, not at all which is why I didn’t mind that it was snubbed either. Both Gaga and Grande have won before and they will undoubtedly win again. BTS has had a lustrous, record-breaking career and the only time the Grammys acknowledge them is for an all-English, radio-friendly pop track. Let’s be honest, it’s not their greatest hit but after such an amazing career, would it hurt to give them this one award you nominated them for? A win to at the very least, acknowledge their impact on pop culture in the past few years?
The storm on Twitter right now between the Little Monsters and the ARMY is bringing out the worst from each. The ARMY have every right to be as angry as they are, their idols have just been used for views when they should be respected. That being said, going on the ‘Rain On Me‘ music video to dislike it is just very immature. It’s none of these artists fault that they won, you cannot be mad at them for something they have no control over.
It’s actually very interesting to me, how the Grammy’s award artists because last year it felt like they wanted to appeal to the younger viewers so they gave Billie Eilish five major awards. She certainly deserved some of them but the lack of distribution towards the other artists was incredibly unjust. This year she wins two more with her Bond theme, ‘No Time To Die’ which again, was very deserved. Her and Finneas did an excellent job with that track but winning ‘Record of the Year’ felt a bit much. ‘Everything I Wanted’ is a fantastic song, it really is but to award that song and then leave mega-hit ‘Say So’ without a single award just doesn’t make any sense. Doja Cat was completely snubbed last night, she has reinvented that song so many times, she made it rock, jazz, futuristic and yet her continuously impressive artistry wasn’t recognized. The biggest hits of 2020 all come from people of colour, when I think of the biggest commercial hits 2020 had to offer, I think of ‘Blinding Lights’, ‘Say So’ and ‘Dynamite’ and yet none of them won a single award. These are songs the everyone on the face of the Earth could sing along to. Let’s not even get started on The Weeknd fiasco. The one true exception was ‘Savage‘ winning not once but twice. Chloe x Halle’s three nominations all got snubbed despite ‘Ungodly Hour’ being one of the most sophisticated and unique albums of the year. It’s just an overall confusing method of recognition being distributed, some of the artists who had an immense impact on music last year went home with nothing. It was a mess but hey, Justin Bieber got another Grammy so there’s that.
Some of the wins last night were deserved of course. I would like to congratulate everyone on their win. ‘Folklore‘ and ‘Future Nostalgia‘ winning for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album respectively was a very deserved win. Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion winning Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for the ‘Savage‘ remix was incredibly deserved. With the Best New Artist award I was very indifferent who won, I would’ve preferred Doja Cat to win since Megan got the two wins. Harry Styles’ ‘Watermelon Sugar‘ win is bittersweet because out of all of his singles from ‘Fine Line’, this was easily the weakest so I do wish that a track like ‘Lights Up‘ or ‘Golden‘ won. That being said, I still think it was nice for this album to recognized in some shape or form. Overall, I just wish that the Grammys would give the same amount of enthusiasm to artists like BTS and Doja Cat that they gave to white artists like Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. All of these artists have done such a wonderful job the past year that making such a mess of the nominations and winners just makes for unfair comparisons. I hope that in the future, the Grammys will make a conscious decision to actually try and distribute recognition between most of the artists.