2.16.2016

Open Mic Night: The 2016 Grammys

Leave it to Kendrick Lamar to once again be the main reason I'd ever even pause to wonder what went down at a Grammys show.
So many conflicted feelings. On the one hand, Kanye was very wrong in what he said and did last week, and has proven himself to be quite the misogynist over the last few months (see: Amber Rose, the Cosby victims, and now Taylor).

On the other, I can't help but think he's doing a very poor job of articulating a very valid problem in the music industry-- that black artists can be twice as good and STILL not receive the accolades that their white counterparts do. When she accepted that award last night, Taylor Swift should have thanked white privilege for being the only rational explanation for how she beat out Kendrick Lamar and Brittany Howard/Alabama Shakes, period.


Yeah, pretty much. I own To Pimp a Butterfly and I'm still scratching my head as to how that could lose out to any album containing shite like this:



Why does this keep happening???? I'm with Ms. Eden. In fact, I'll take it a step further. From hereon out, if you're a mediocre White musician who wins over the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Michael Jackson, you're automatically obligated to thank your White privilege in your acceptance speech.

Now...*sniff*...while we await Kid Fury's response to this latest bout of bullshit, let's take a quick trip down Memory Lane, shall we?


7 comments:

  1. Most White singers -by their very nature- are mediocre. To many, singing is not lent purely to skill: it’s about sentiment, and heart. So whites are very forgiving, to this regard. It explains why performers like Dolly Parton, Pat Boone, Bing Crosby, Elton John, Buddy Holly (and most bands that made up the so-called British Invasion) were so popular. Why the likes of Hank Williams, and Olivia Newton-John were so lauded. Why Helen Reddy, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Doris Day, Amy Winehouse and Barry Manilow are so revered by whites. These people dominated the pop charts and what was called Your Hit Parade. They sang songs that pretty much appealed to a white majority.

    There hasn't been (in my memory and I’m 58) one white singer, “Not One” that could best the likes of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Holiday, Bessie Smith, or Lena Horne. Ella Fitzgerald, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston (takes breath): Mary J Blige, Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, Lauryn Hill, India Arie, Cassandra Wilson and Erykah Badu (I’m sure you can add plenty to this list).

    Esperanza Spalding, Maysa Leak, Angie Stone, Mýa, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Evans, Patti LaBelle, Elbernita "Twinkie" Clark: Nina Simone, Lalah Hathaway, Dorinda Clark Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard and the lead singer of every nationally known black choir that has performed since the days of Mahalia Jackson.

    In many respects, black female singers are the equivalent of the best black athletes in the history of sports, in that they dominate their profession. There's simply no comparison. Most whites know what they’re loathed to admit: that their popularity (in many cases) is owed solely to the power of privilege.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. * Ongoing standing ovation*

      Delete
    2. Please forgive me for failing to mention a bit of trivia about Lalah Hathaway. Not only is she the daughter of renowned jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist Donny Hathaway: but she is one of only few Vocalists who can Harmonize with themselves utilizing Both sets of vocal cords. Note the faces of everyone when she pulls this off (Especially the white people). There are celebrated Divas of the Opera: women who’ve trained and performed their whole lives who’re unable to do what seems impossible and yet she performs this feat Flawlessly...

      Adele? Taylor Swift? Pffft-, take a seat.

      Delete
    3. You know, I liked Adele when she was writing about the misery of heartbreak, but now that she's writing from a "happier" place, she's descending from Above Average into Meh Territory. The moment I heard the rest of the tracks on her latest album, I regretted pre-ordering it.

      Now I'm back to being all over Jazmine Sullivan.

      Delete
    4. Now I'm back to being all over Jazmine Sullivan.

      Dearest, I don’t listen to much the current crop of Rhythm & Blues opting instead for Jazz, Gospel and Classical. Admittedly, I was a Funkateer at one time in my life but I've since evolved. Still, I came across this child’s song years ago, and hipped my Pastor’s Wife to it. Loved it the moment I heard it. I thought the name struck me as being familiar so I had to look her up. Sure-nuff that’s her.

      Jazmine Sullivan: Lions, Tigers & Bears

      Delete
  2. Though Kendrick was nominated for 11( I believe)Grammy's, you know that they had to keep Taylor's name in it. She makes me sick. Do you ever notice that when she's nominated for an award and by the time they get to the part where they announce the actual winner, she rushes out like she has already won it. She almost did when Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith( I believe) received their Grammy's.

    Kanye West may talk from the side of his neck at times but he is right about one thing..he did make Taylor Swift "famous". People may not get it(or don't want to get it) but he's right. Taylor was well known before Kanye's rant about her winning against Beyonce but after it..oh god! it's like they're trying to remind Kanye of who is boss by lying to her about good her about her singing is with those awards. Now, it seems that everytime she's nominated for an award, she really thinks she's won it. Notice what she did at the Grammy's before announcing that Ed Sheeran( I believe ) won it. I mean, she really thought it what hers. How pompous was that?

    Not long ago, a writer had an article about What would the world be like without Black people? If you had to ask me about it musically in the American music scene, I would say I would be miserable.

    When Black people did music, they just didn't do it for the fame and money. Many of them had a story to tell..whether good or bad..For Black people whether they're from the USA or from the African diaspora, it came from our cultures. It was our way of expressing ourselves talking about our happiness or sadness about life and you can tell it: the way our music sound..you can hear it in our lyrics and tone of the music.

    These days, people are are looking at Adele as the " Great White Hope" for R and B. Don't get me wrong, Adele is a good singer but like M. Gibson said, she'll never be like Black female Rand B singers of the past. She will never be tell the stories that they can because with most White singers, they can't sing something that they never have/will experienced.

    I'll tell you something else about these singers..they're music just don't stick for periods of time. Heck, I can't even remember most of the singers names..lol! because today's music has no substance in it. White singers these days sing to give people a temporary high where Black singers did to give something for people to remember them by. I hate to say it,When White people do it, you can smell the money and the fame in it. I say that respectfully..but I do.No matter how good some of them may sound, there will always be something culturally missing from their music.




    ReplyDelete
  3. “When Black people did music, they just didn't do it for the fame and money. Many of them had a story to tell..whether good or bad..For Black people whether they're from the USA or from the African diaspora, it came from our cultures. It was our way of expressing ourselves talking about our happiness or sadness about life and you can tell it: the way our music sound..you can hear it in our lyrics and tone of the music.”

    I think there’s also a Style and a Mastery of the art form that we appreciate as well. Much like sports we make it look so easy. Remember, the Apollo was the proving ground for many a black singer. If you didn’t come correct: if you didn’t sing like you Owned That Stage, you were unceremoniously ousted. We’ve come to expect only the best from Back Performers (as far back as the Chitlin Circuit) for they epitomize excellence in the vocal tradition. So when whites TRY to imitate us (and Soul Music is very hard to codify), they’re striving for an Authenticity they can never coin. According to the author of Stuff White People Like: “White people need Authenticity like they need oxygen.

    They want to croon like us, move like us: emote like us, to immerse themselves in a cultural experience that’s not their own. Since we’ve already proven we can sing like them and perform better than they ever could they come to envy what we have. Coercing cultural capitulation in a way that makes them comfortable. In most cases this means: vilifying the crème de la crème, while they revel in the mediocre. And that’s exactly what these award shows have become.

    White singers these days sing to give people a temporary high where Black singers did to give something for people to remember them by. I hate to say it,When White people do it, you can smell the money and the fame in it.

    I agree. Part of that European tradition. If memory serves the American bison was almost hunted to extinction because of the white man’s lust for profit. So it is with anything he touches. To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm from the 1993 film, Jurassic Park: White People stood on the shoulders of a culture to accomplish something as fast as they could, and before they even knew what they had, they patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, all in the name of profit.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.