‘Think I give a damn about a Grammy? Half you critics can’t stomach me, let alone stand me.’- Eminem.
The Grammy Awards represent what most award shows are to me – nothing but industry hype and the promotion of style over substance.’
When Wayne Brady (yes, THAT Wayne Brady) is nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance and Metallica’s Death Magnetic is up for Best Metal Performance, you know something is wrong. I would rather hear a Tom Brady album – at least we can hear about his exploits with super models.
If M.I.A’s ‘Paper Planes’ wins Record of the Year over Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’, then we have another major problem. ‘Paper Planes’ has to be one the most earplug-inducing annoying singles to hit the radio in years. The song, which only became popular by being in the film Pineapple Express, features M.I.A’s signature whine over a sample of The Clash classic, ‘Straight To Hell.” Not a worthy sample by any means, ‘Straight To Hell’ is a vivid tale of going to Vietnam, while M.I.A butchers the beat with her horrible flow.
Other annoyances on the Grammy list are Pink’s ‘So What’ and individual nominations to acts such as Disturbed, Beyonc’eacute; and the Jonas Brothers.
Best Rap Performance by a Group or Duo should go to T.I.’s ‘Swagga Like Us’, which features Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z.’ ‘Best Rap Song’ is a toss up between ‘Swagga Like Us’ and Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Superstar’ – it’s simply too close to call.
Keep a Grammy away from Lil Wayne for his overrated album Tha Carter III. No awards can justify that album’s hype or his coming foray into rock music.
Indie bands are well represented with My Morning Jacket, Kenna and Radiohead all getting different alternative rock nods. If these bands keep a Grammy away from Kid Rock or Beck, hey, that is OK.
– Mike Damante
Let’s sidestep the fact that the Grammys, along with every other award show, are just about as set up as possible. The winners are almost always obvious. Above all, it’s a reason for the stars to wear the suits and dresses you’ll never afford but love to watch anyway.
I’m personally predicting a huge sweep for Coldplay, as if it wasn’t obvious. They had a huge year with 2008 album, Viva La Vida, an album with a title track that has been played to death.
Although unlikely, I’d love to see Nas take home Best Rap Album for Untitled, my personal favorite album of 2008. Nas might be a little too controversial for the Grammys, and Untitled was no stranger to that aspect, but the album was very underrated in the hip-hop community. Aside from Nas, I’d love to see Lupe Fiasco and Jay-Z take a few awards home to add to their shelves.
Another big winner will be Lil Wayne, who has eight nominations for his nearly triple-platinum album, Tha Carter III. Love him or hate him, he’s had an incredible year and is a probably shoe-in for Album of the Year. He’s also promised a career-defining performance, but we know how that goes. Let’s hope he stays off the lean long enough to give us a coherent performance first, then we’ll talk career defining.
Other artists slated to perform include Radiohead and Justin Timberlake, two of my most anticipated. Timberlake has been known to entertain (see Super Bowl XXXVIII) and Radiohead will undoubtedly put on a good show. Also, we have a Katy Perry performance to look forward to. Let’s hope she trips and falls on a cake again.
If anything, watching the Grammys will be worth it for the performances alone. Last year’s most memorable performance was Kanye West’s on stage collaboration with Daft Punk. This year’s star-studded collaboration with the ‘Swagga Like Us’ crew will prove no different. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
– Roshan Bhatt