Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammys say "F*** You" to hip-hop

What an appropriate year for the Grammys to say "F*** You" to the hip-hop community!?

Cee Lo Green's "F*** You" was nominated in two of the night's biggest categories - Record of the Year and Song of the Year - but he came up short in both. He would snag one award for the song in the category of Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

He wasn't the only hip-hop star to feel the Grammy cold shoulder.

Eminem was nominated for 10 awards - the most of any artist - and only walked away with two wins. His two wins came, of course, in rap categories. [Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance - "Not Afraid"]

That's got to be a disappointment, but at least he got something. :-/

Like Cee Lo Green, Em was nominated in the biggest categories of the night and took L's.

In fact, the Record of the Year category was dominated by hip-hop tunes. Four out of five nominees were from the hip-hop genre. Despite the odds being in hip-hop's favor, country group Lady Antebellum ran away with the award for their song, "Need You Now."

Drake, who was among nominees in the Best New Artist category, was also left Grammy-less. He was nominated in four categories.

Hip-hop newcomer, B.o.B., was also empty-handed despite his five nominations. He did have some stiff competition in his categories. Among the big categories he was nominated in included Record of the Year, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.

Jay-Z was one of hip-hop's "biggest" winners. He won three awards before the show aired on television. He won for "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia Keys in the categories of Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song; and for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Swizz Beatz for "On to the Next One." (That's nice Jay won with Mrs. and Mr. Swizz-Keys.)

But like Cee Lo and B.o.B., Jay could not give hip-hop the win in a "major" Grammy category. "Empire State of Mind" failed to win in the Record of the Year category.

On the bright side, the Grammys showcased hip-hop with performances by Drake, Cee Lo Green and Eminem.

It's also worth noting that Diddy was introduced as "Puff Daddy" by the Grammy announcer. What year are they living in? He hasn't been called that in years! Unless he secretly decided to go by "Puff Daddy" again and didn't send out the press release [or Tweet] yet.

The disrespect, or disregard, didn't stop there.

Easily the biggest hip-hop snub of the night didn't have anything to do with the actual award presentations.

It came during the tribute to musicians that have passed away during the last year. We saw a montage of artists who passed away, including Teena Marie and Solomon Burke.

However, it didn't take long before hip-hop fans noticed one of their own was left out.

Guru, the founder of Gang Starr, died of cancer in April. However, there was no mention of him in the annual Grammy tribute to fallen artists.

Kanye West, who wasn't at the Grammys, noticed the omission and tweeted, "R.I.P. to Guru!!!"

Q-Tip also tweeted, "No mention of keith GURU elam?????? Come on."

Guru's former group member DJ Premier also took to Twitter to let off some steam.

"Fuckin' Grammy's didn't put GURU in the R.I.P. Of entertainers that passed away in 2010.....why should I be surprised ?" DJ Premier tweeted.

Other fans were also upset.

"RIP Guru, your fans will always remember you. The Grammys on the other hand..... #fail" tweeted user, Sorgenfrei_M.

"Still can't believe they snubbed Guru," tweeted C_Greenberg.

"why didn't the Grammy's show Guru from Gang Starr? He passed last year too and was just as important to music as the others that died. #fail," tweeted jdubcreative.

"Guru gets no love for passing away...SMH," tweeted spinTelect. "Usually not upset at awards show, but GURU getting no love is kinda wack."

Well, if it makes hip-hop fans feel any better the awards in the R&B categories weren't even mentioned during the television broadcast. And Justin Bieber was shut out in the two categories that he was nominated for.

Looks like the Grammys was saying "F*** You" to a lot of people, not just hip-hop.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Will the Grammy's have Bieber fever? Or can Drake pull off the upset?

Best new artist is the category that I'm most looking forward to at tonight's Grammy Awards.

It's a battle of the Canadian superstars - Drake vs. Justin Bieber.

As much as I enjoy Drake and his excessive hand movements, I think Bieber and his famous hairstyle will emerge victorious.

Other nominees in the category include Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons and Esperanza Spalding. (They could all be winners in the eyes of the Grammy voters, who tend to award not just the popular acts, but talented artists. Nothing wrong with that. #imjustsayin)

Both Drake and Bieber have had monster years and caused massive fan mayhem all over the world.

But you know all of that excitement means nothing when it comes to the Grammy's.

There's no denying that the Drake and Bieber fans are absolutely crazy about them.

I certainly can't forget the pandemonium their fans both caused in New York

Drake's fans rioted at the South Street Seaport and Biebers' supporters shut down a mall in Long Island. Both ended in cancellations of their respective appearances.

Tonight, I'm going out on a limb and predicting Bieber fever will continue at the Grammy's.

He'll join an elite group of artists who have won the Best New Artist prize, which includes Mariah Carey (1991), Bette Midler (1974), Cyndi Lauper (1985), Sade (1986), Christina Aguilera (2000), Alicia Keys (2002) and The Beattles (1965).

Last year's winner was the Zac Brown Band. [ugh]

While 16-year-old Bieber is the obvious favorite, Drake could pull off a pretty big upset like a few hip-hop acts before him.

The last hip-hop artist to win in the category was Lauryn Hill (1999). Obviously, that could be argued since her album was more R&B than it was hip-hop.

Before Ms. Hill, Arrested Development pulled off an upset besting acts like Billy Ray Cyrus and Kriss Kross. Remember Arrested Development had hits like "Tennessee," "People Everyday" and "Mr. Wendal." In fairness, they were more of an "alternative" and "conscience" hip-hop group.

A Drake win would make him the first solo male rap artist to win in the category. Something that other past hip-hop Best New Artist nominees like Puff Daddy, Tone Loc, Kanye West and 50 Cent were unable to do. Mr. West was the last hip-hop artist to be nominated in that category in 2005.

I would say we can all but count Drake out because history tells us that the Grammy's just don't like rap people. So don't count on Cee-Lo to walk away with the Song of the Year or Record of the Year for his anthem, "F*** You."


My favorite Best New Artist victories:

Mariah Carey (1991)

Jody Watley (1987)