Anyone who has followed the trajectory of the music industry recently probably doesn’t look up to the Grammys as an indicator of good music. And for good reason.
Time and time again, the Recording Academy has proven to be inept in regards to recognizing and rewarding quality music. So much so that before this year’s awards show, big names like Drake, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber have vowed to boycott the event for its apparent lack of being “relevant or representative, especially when it comes to young singers.”
But let’s be honest, who could take seriously an institution that seriously nominated The New Classic for Best Rap Album? Anyways, this series of articles will highlight some of the albums the Grammys failed to recognize in 2017.
The first victim in my eyes is Blonde, by Frank Ocean. And this is one that should need no explanation. Frank crafted the best album of 2016, creating a bold record that shatters the conventions of music almost in its entirety. The entire project is a bold experiment with sound, music, and song structure. Just consider the fact that there is a shocking absence of drums on the entire album. It could and should replace the far less adventurous and virtuous efforts by Drake (Views), Bieber (Purpose), or Adele (25) on the album of the year list. Despite the reason for its absence as a nominee hinging on Franks’s rebellious decision to not submit it in for consideration, it doesn’t exonerate the Grammys. Frank believes “the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” and I couldn’t agree more. The Grammys should have a more efficient and fair process for recognizing quality artistic products by now.
BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING MCKNIGHT
The absence of Travis Scott’s latest album from Grammy contention is a blatant case of fuckery that has left me expressing “WTF” to myself over and over. How can one of the most boundary-pushing, best produced albums from 2016 be snubbed while an album as generic, stale and uninspiring as Views get’s praised? (Hint: the Grammys only care about one thing). After only a quick listen to the Andre 3000-assisted opening track should have been enough for Grammy voters to be captivated by what Travis Scott was going for on Birds in the Trap. Scott produced an excellent record which hinge on the minimal, distinctiveness, and delicate beauty of the sound. That attention to detail should be enough to include him in the race. In my mind, this record is infinitely more exciting, innovative and impactful than most of the records nominated for best rap album. I’m looking at you Coloring Book, Views, and Major Key.