Music lovers shouldn’t place trust in baseless reviews at Grammys


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Billie Eilish was nominated for six Grammys and won five, including Best Album, Best Song, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

With the Grammys taking place this past weekend along with some controversial comments made by rapper P Diddy, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the award show’s utter irrelevance in the music industry today. 

The Grammys have been centered around the same focus on number one hits rather than any actual creative achievements, and to make matters worse, it seems like there’s finally a reason why. On Jan. 23, former Grammy CEO Deborah Dungan partook in an interview on Good Morning America in which she claimed to have evidence that the voting process for Grammy winners is in part based on personal relationships music artists have with the nomination committee. 

Dungan was the first female president of the organization until she was put on leave for allegedly bullying her colleagues, according to the organization. Dungan, however, claims she was pushed out due to a 44-page formal complaint she personally filed to HR claiming she was being sexually harassed by multiple colleagues. 

The memo also brought up allegations of improper voting procedures and conflicts of interest among the academy voting council. Within the complaint, Dungan uncovers how artists such as Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande were snubbed from being nominated in the song of the year category simply because of personal interests within the voting counsel. 

As saddening as the allegations are, it makes perfect sense. What other reason would there be for Macklemore winning album of the year over Kendrick Lamar? Over the past few years, there seems to be an ongoing process of the Grammys choosing artists who get good numbers versus what’s actually quality content. 

Sure, not everyone’s always going to be happy with seeing their favorite artists get snubbed, especially in such a highly subjective art form, but above any other annual award show, the Grammys seem careless. For example, look back at the 2017 Grammys. Adele won both songs of the year and record of the year for her single, “Hello,” over Beyonce’s record despite “Hello” being released in 2015. This is just one of many examples of the award show’s laziness within the spectrum of new music. 

Despite the new allegations and never-ending disappointment of watching the award show continually snub diverse music artists, there is little hope that anything will change. At the end of the day, award shows are just fancy marketing tools to give the public another glimpse into the self-congratulatory Hollywood gaze that continuously excludes women and artists of color. 

If you really want to enjoy a unique take on the best music of the year, look no further than blogs like Consequence of  Sound or The Needle Drop. You may not agree, but at least they aren’t choosing their favorites based on personal gain. Tyler the Creator said it best on Sunday when he explained backstage that he didn’t like his album being categorized as rap or urban. 

It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything they always put it in the rap or urban categories,” he said. “I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”