Snubs on Snubs: The Grammy's Just Isn't The Same Anymore And It's Disappointing

I’m sorry, but The Grammys isn’t the same anymore. And there’s no denying that.

I say this with a heavy heart because even though I’ve long adored the inaugural award show, it seems like every year it brings new levels of disappointment and that it’s ultimately not truely about talent and artistry—but commercialism. It awards what sells instead of art and creative direction. Granted, it is not an easy feat to make a song that gets replayed on every radio and at every gas station, but one can argue that with sufficient capital and connections, getting there would be easier.

What happened to rewarding artists for their music and the deeper story that a song/album entails? Why are we rewarding artists for music they didn’t even pen themselves but was instead handed to them? Why are we letting demographics get in the way of appreciating one’s music for what it is? (Although, I’d have to say that this has gotten better this year). We’ve heard of The Grammys “snubbing” artists—and it really makes me wonder what truly goes on during the selection process because I just can’t comprehend some wins over the others.

This year was thus no different. Don’t get me wrong, I do think Cardi B has come a long way, and it definitely takes talent to sustain a career like hers and produce hits after hits, but I do not think that she should’ve gotten Best Rap Album. But only because the other artists in the category brought more to the table, and it was truly about versatility and artistry, something that I felt lacked in Invasion of Privacy.

In my humble and honest opinion, I think the award should’ve gone to Mac Miller’s Swimming. It was an album that really showed us that there was so much more to his music and artistry that we unfortunately will not get to see anymore. The album takes you on raw journey of his struggles with addiction and finding true happiness in a perfect blend of soul, rap and r&b—through experimental and spirited sounds, along with orchestral transitions between and in songs themselves. You could never predict what the next track would be, something you could, however, easily do with Invasion of Privacy. Even if you disagree, you’d have to admit that Pusha T’s Daytona and Travis Scott’s Astroworld were the other clear winners in the category.

I also truly thought that Album of the Year should’ve gone to Kendrick Lamar for Black Panther because that in itself was a literal masterpiece and play on artistry. I think Jorja Smith would’ve had a shot at winning Best New Artist if she had a larger fanbase like Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa leaves more of an impression of being a featured artist, more so than Jorja Smith herself.

Although Miguel’s War and Leisure didn’t gain as much traction for the work that he put in and the songs produced in the album, I definitely don’t think that Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Everything Is Love should’ve bagged Best Contemporary Album. I’m sorry. I know I said it. I adore the work of both artists but that move of dropping a surprise album was ultimately not successful, and really the only song that garnered the likes of radio and television was "Apeshit." There was hardly any replay value, something that both the Queen and King themselves are FAR capable of.

Pharrell is such a talented producer and creative. But him winning Producer of the Year over Kanye West, when he only produced a few tracks and albums? West was very hands on this year, producing 5 different albums in the span of 5 weeks (His album Ye, Pusha T’s Daytona, Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E., West’s and Cudi’s collab album Kids See Ghosts and Nas’ Nasir). It’s starting to look like the Grammy’s could really just be about politics and viewer reception.

Listen, I’m a huge Drake fan, but I think Kendrick Lamar’s "King’s Dead" and Travis Scott’s "Sicko Mode" were more deserving artistically. Yup, I said it.

Let’s not forget other notable Grammy’s snubs from previous years:

  • Bruno Mars’ 24K for Album of the Year, over Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

  • Alessia Cara winning Best New Artist over SZA & Khalid, even though her album came out in a different year.

  • Macklemore over Kendrick Lamar for Best New Artist (clearly a big mistake in hindsight).

  • Fun! over Frank Ocean for Best New Artist

  • Mumford & Sons over Frank Ocean for Album of the Year

  • Kings of Leons’ “Use Somebody” over Beyonce’s “Halo,” Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” for Record of the Year

I'd have to say that in certain aspects, we're starting to see more representation in the award show, but I do definitely think that there's so much more room for improvement. We've seen such a growth and evolvement in hip hop music over the past 2 years—one can say it's been better, another can say it's been progressively deproving. I just think it's important to keep traditions and to ensure that such a prestigious and inaugural award show should not be influenced by anything else that's happening outside of a track or album. Music should be appreciated for what it is—nothing else. Let's hope The Grammy's next year will be better.