Pillbox

The Grammys are a joke

Last week I ranted about Hollywood and the Oscars. This week I’m going to talk about an even more dirty industry. This industry is so sleazy, lazy, and fake that it makes Hollywood look like professionals. It’s an industry so shallow and devoid of meaning at this point that it is insulting to even call it art.

I’m referring to, of course, the music industry.

As per usual, the yearly popularity contest known as the Grammys are here and I am not watching it. There is no reason to, as there is nothing to get excited about. At least with the Oscars, there are always two movies or a few awards you care about. For this one, there really are none, because the ones you do care about mostly don’t show up in the actual televised event. The awards are all just based on who had the most listeners rather than an actual, curated pick of the year’s best music, interspersed with live performances that tend to be very lackluster.

Anyone with half a brain will know that the music industry isn’t about the music. It’s all about marketing. The most popular music that is on the radio for the most part isn’t music anymore. It’s just a cookie cutter, corporate, board-approved collection of computer noises and autotuned voices with any modicum of creativity left on the audio engineer’s floor. The Grammy’s Record of the Year and Album of the Year awards are representative of this, with a huge number of the songs representing everything wrong with the music industry.

That’s not to say there aren’t some good songs nominated this year. Naturally, the Black Panther soundtrack got a lot of well-deserved nominations for some good tracks. Childish Gambino’s “This is America” is fine but not memorable enough to warrant being picked for a top award by a supposedly prestigious institution. But there isn’t much else of note. All the popular music that came out this year was really lame for the most part. Once again, it’s just whatever had the most amount of air time on the radio or the highest number of total listeners. When will people realize that Drake is a hack with no flow or style? “God’s Plan” is not a good song, and Drake has been irrelevant since Pusha T released that diss track.

It’s also weird that there even is an award for deciding the best overall song of the year (instead of Song of the Year, which is about songwriting). That’s practically impossible. At least with film, you can compare filmmaking craft amongst genres and choose the best film of the year. I don’t think that’s even possible with music. You could compare composition, but most songs nominated for the top categories aren’t compositionally interesting. It’s obviously a celebration of which record label marketed their songs the best. Let’s also talk about the fact that there a shocking number of artists who should have nominations but never received one, such as Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, The Strokes, Janis Joplin, The Who, and even The Spice Girls.

Overall, the Grammys are an absolute joke and no one should take them seriously. It’s obvious that most people don’t. The music industry is a sham and most of the music nominated for the big awards are songs that people usually dance to. It’s a shame that there is no genuine show that exists to celebrate the best of what music has to offer. There are some amazing artists out there putting out creative content like Robyn, Earl Sweatshirt, Brockhampton, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Melody Echo’s Chamber, and Blood Orange. But they get no recognition from the self-important music industry. I suppose it’s for the best. If they did recognize any talent, they would sanitize it and turn it into a shell of its former self.