Music Features

Did the 2021 Grammys Suck Less Than Usual?

Beyoncé made history, Megan Thee Stallion brought down the house — is it just me, or were the Grammys actually OK this year?

No matter how invested you might be in the nominees, one thing's for certain year after year: Music's Biggest Night is pretty much guaranteed to be a bit of a disappointment.

From awkward performances to some truly unforgivable snubs, the Grammy Awards have become less like a celebration and more like an annual car accident you just can't look away from. Critics and musicians alike have gone on-record to say that, no matter what, the Grammys are pretty much guaranteed to suck in some capacity. The added requirement to make this year's show socially distanced seemed like a recipe for disaster… Except, it ended up being surprisingly tolerable.

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CULTURE

We Need to Talk About John Mayer

The legacy of misogyny and racism was alive and well at the Grammys, and his name was John Mayer

John Mayer at the Grammys 2021. Gross.

This year's Grammy Awards felt like a desperate attempt to modernize in the face of criticism and the fear of irrelevance.

While most of those attempts felt placating and performative rather than substantive, somehow this year's show was its best in years.

Summer 2020 saw the Grammys finally change the names of their "Urban" categories, which have long garnered criticism for Black artists for feeling segregated and secondary to the bigger (read: whiter), categories. However, the nominations revealed the same patterns and biases; and major artists like The Weeknd announced plans to boycott the ceremony and no longer submit their songs for consideration — joining artists like Frank Ocean, who have long voiced their disdain for the show.

Amidst the controversy surrounding the ceremony and other award shows struggling to keep viewers' attention this season, the Grammys' main bet this year was on its live performances and their ability to distract from the drama, keep its reputation, and entice fans to actually tune in.

And it kind of worked.

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Music Features

Was Freddie Gibbs Snubbed At the Grammys?

Did King's Disease truly deserve the "Best Rap Album" Grammy? The answer is murky.

Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist

After Freddie Gibbs's coveted 2020 album, Alfredo, lost out to Nas's King's Disease for Best Rap Album at last night's Grammy Awards, Gibbs's fanbase collectively aired their frustrations online.

"Nas finally wins at the Grammys, but Freddie Gibbs loses," captioned one fan on Twitter. "Idk (sic) how to feel...I'm both happy and sad." Other fans were less forgiving. "F**k that," wrote another Gibbs fan. "I congratulate Nas, but lowks Freddie had it man."

Gibbs was indeed seen by many as a near shoo-in for Best Rap Album. Alfredo's mafioso sheen and muted jazzy backdrops are as timeless and sophisticated as vintage denim, and Gibbs's verses are so potent that they were scribed across cardboard signs this past summer during the BLM protests.

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Culture News

Racism and Corruption: Why Major Artists Are Boycotting the Grammys

Many artists are fed up with the disappointing Grammy nominations and taking a stand.

Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd

When the 2021 Grammy nominations were announced, they were met with backlash from artists who felt snubbed, confined into the wrong categories, or who generally have distaste for award shows.

As the show nears, set to air on Sunday March 14th, more artists have taken a stand against the institution and are boycotting this year's ceremony.

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It is hard to imagine music without Drake.

For over a decade, he's been one of the most influential figures not just in Hip-Hop but in music period. He went from a child actor to Lil Wayne's protege to a G.O.A.T. in his own right. Drake's consistency and diversity are what keeps him at the top of the mountain.

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Before he was a Trump-supporting, Bible-thumping, Drake-hating member of the Kardashian family, Kanye West was a Hip-Hop renaissance man.

The Chicago native worked his way up from being one of Jay-Z's producers to a pop culture icon. Kanye was a breath of fresh air in rap when he released his first single, "Through The Wire," in 2003. Unlike his peers who were perpetuating the usual Hip-Hop stereotypes, Kanye's overconfident yet heartfelt lyrics spoke to a portion of rap fans who were regular people chasing a dream.

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