Grammy Awards

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In an era of music where success can now be determined by how many ringtones you sell, I wasn’t entirely excited about “the biggest night in music.” It’s more like, “Oh. That still comes on?” Nevertheless: Hey, ya’ll, it’s Grammy time!

For days there was word of a “big surprise” performance at the beginning of the show. That turned out to be Alicia Keys looking like the lovely Lena Horne performing a ‘duet’ with the dead Frank Sinatra. Though it was really awkward and almost laughable to hear Alicia say, “Yeah, uh huh. Sing it, Frank. Yeah!” to the ghost of Grammy past on video, she did well. Sleep-inducing, but she did well.

Prefacing the performance with a montage honoring the Recording Academy’s 50-year-old awards ceremony, I imagine the bigger surprise is that we’ve gone from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as nominees to Soulja Boy.

The minute they gave Alicia Keys an award for vocal performance for “No One,” I knew this was going to be a long night. Hate aside, it says a lot of last year’s music scene when an artist that isn’t nominated in any of the major categories performs twice. Get the ratings how you can, CBS!

Speaking of multiples, must we honor the Beatles every year on some award show? Don’t ask me how the tribute went. I went to bathroom.

While it’s no “Achy Breaky Heart,” I’ve warmed to Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” It sort of reminds me of the white woman’s answer to “Not Gon’ Cry.”

Best Duke Kit honors no doubt go to Morris Day. His hair seemed fresher than most of the female performers — but I wouldn’t expect anything less from anyone affiliated with Prince, a man who should have thought of “Stilettos (Pumps)” first.

It was a somewhat random segue from “Jungle Love” to “Umbrella,” but the performance was cool. Am I the only one who thought Rihanna looked a lot like that androgynous villain in Ghostbusters? You know, the one that asks Peter Venkman, “Are you a God?”

Yes, she looked great on stage and the red carpet, but c’mon nah. Doesn’t she look a little bit like Zuul?

Oh yeah, another thing: Tell Morris to slow his role. She’s old enough to be his great grandson’s first wet dream.

I really want Aretha Franklin to get to a healthy size. The front of her neck looks like Oscar, the back Meyer. I read that she’s working to drop those excess pounds, so good luck Re-Re! Be healthy!

I pretty much laughed the first two minutes of the Tina Turner/Beyonce duet. Granny is not playing with ya’ll. The performance was fine, though I was really hoping they would switch from “Proud Mary” to “Get Me Bodied.” I so wanted to see Tina do the scissor leg.

So this is what he meant by Glow in the Dark tour, eh? Sometimes when I look at Kanye, I think of queens and extasy. He just seems to be on some “LOOK AT ME! BITCH I SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAID, LOOK AT ME” type shit. But hey, folks seem to dig it, so it obviously works for him.

Having said that, it was nice to see him perform something for his mother. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for him.

Who told Cuba Gooding Jr. it was acceptable for him to say “know what I’m saying?” Let’s all remove it from our vocabularies.

Well, she certainly dances like a crackhead. And either she had that crack itch, or she was about to masturbate on stage. Don’t worry, dear: Blake will be out soon.

It was good that she was given the chance to perform. It’s a shame what should have been the biggest nights of her life couldn’t completely come to fruition because of her addiction. Hopefully she pulls together. The shout out to her Bobby Brown, Blake, somewhat worries me.

As for her acceptance speech: Ray Ray and Joe? Shouting out her main in jail? Big ups to London? Didn’t I tell ya’ll she and her husband were the white Bobby and Whitney?!

Sigh. My people, my people. Who invited them?


As for the awards, which seems to be the backdrop of the show these days:

Record of the Year: I gather the votes must have been split, because I know I heard “Ella, ella, eh, eh, eh” and “To the left, to the left” more times than I can count. I like “Rehab,” but that’s actually not one of my favorite songs from the Wino. Rihanna and Beyonce had the biggest songs of the year, so maybe it’s time people who actually have the biggest songs of the year finally win an award for it. I still feel Beyonce was robbed for “Crazy In Love.” This is the first time Beyonce hasn’t won a Grammy just for showing up. Someone’s wind machine is broken right now.

Album of the Year: In typical NARAS fashion, the members of the Academy voted for the oldest name on the ballot. Out of all of the awards Amy Winehouse was nominated for, that was the one award I hoped she would have won. That was a superb album, and one of the finest R&B/Soul offerings to be released in a long time. It’s a shame she didn’t win that award, because I would have loved to hear her shout out Junebug and ‘nem.

Then again, the Academy seems to consider Amy’s music “Pop.” Now, I get “Pop” means popular, but this is a category Britney Spears has an award in. Why wasn’t Amy placed in the R&B categories? Her sound is more rooted in R&B than the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna, who arguably could be placed in the Pop categories themselves. Stop placing artists in categories based on race.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: I know I’ve made my thoughts about Alicia Keys clear, but I genuinely don’t think she deserved that award. She won that award off of name recognition. Like Beyonce, Alicia Keys benefits from the notion of name factor. It’s when uninformed voters look at the ballot and say to themselves, “Don’t know her. Not a clue. Ok, who are these people? Oh wait, I know that one. Winner!” Alicia Keys sounds awful on that song. Now if we were talking about “You Don’t Know My Name” then I would say yes, she deserves it, hands down. But on “No One” Alicia is straining throughout the entire sing, and even if that were the intended goal, it’s not the best vocal performance. Chrisette or Fantasia deserved this. It’s not like Alicia isn’t going to win 80 more Grammys next year.

I was talking to someone last night who pointed out that Jodeci and En Vogue have never won Grammys…not even for their vocal performances. Isn’t that ashame?

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Prince won this because they know his name and NARAS loves the oldie but goodie (to them). Love Prince, but “Future Baby Mama” is no “Adore.”

Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals: You mean T-Pain and Akon didn’t have this one in the bag? 😐

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: Well it’s cool that Lupe Fiasco can call himself a Grammy winner (and Jill Scott at least won something), but I really love Alice Smith’s “Dream.” If you haven’t heard it, find it. Now.

Best Contemporary R&B Album: Frankie ought to look into shanking someone because Keyshia Cole’s Just Like You deserved this.

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: UGK and Outkast should have won this. R.I.P. Pimp C.

On that note, after watching this, I have to go work on my beats. I have to make sure Young Sinick wins Best New Artist in a year or two.

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