[Open Thread] The 2014 Grammy Awards

by Kendra James

While I was less than impressed with the whole broadcast, here are a few stray observations from last night’s Grammy Awards.

*Last night Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won three Grammys for their achievements in Rap and Hip-Hop that, we are to believe, surpassed the efforts of other nominees like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West. So whether or not we think the Grammys actually mean anything, this is a fact we’re going to have to live with as a society.

*Justin Timberlake also did his part for white artists in the urban markets, winning Best R&B song for ‘Pusher Love Girl’ against other nominees Anthony Hamilton, Tamar Braxton, Kelly Rowland, and Stevie Wonder. This is a good time to remind everyone that both Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke are nominated for NAACP Image Awards this year as well.

Madonna and her son David

*Madonna walked the red carpet with David, her adopted son who happens to be Black. I have never seen this child before (note: I know what each and every Jolie-Pitt kid looks like; I couldn’t pick one of Madonna’s kids out of a crowd), and I doubt we would have seen this child in such a prominent place had Madonna not been in such hot water for calling her other, white, child “#disnigga” on instagram the other day.  I’m a cynical creature.

*Personally, I thought the broadcast played their hand early by having Beyonce and Jay-Z open the show with Drunk in Love, but Twitter  seemed to be very much in love with the Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar collaboration that followed later in the show.

*Speaking of Jay-z, he threw in his hat for Father of the Year during his acceptance speech for best rap song collaboration.  Turning the award to the side he said, “And I want to tell Blue, ‘Look! Daddy’s got a gold sippy cup for you.'” I have no doubt that that is exactly what happened to that award and that there will be pictures of the entire thing on Beyonce’s tumblr no less than twelve hours from now.

*Macklemore may have swept the rap categories, but when it came to producing, album of the year, record of the year, and duo/group performance,  it was the year of Pharrell Williams (and Daft Punk, but since I still don’t know what they actually do, and since ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ carried that entire album, I’m giving most of the credit to Pharrell and Nile Rodgers). Pharrell, who’s been doing this since the early 90s despite appearing to have been born during the Regan administration,  is also nominated for an Oscar this year for the song ‘Happy’.

*The entire affair ended with a wedding (of gay and straight couples) officiated by Queen Latifah with a soundtrack by Macklemore, Mary Lambert, and Madonna. This was appropriate, because I imagine wedding and bar/bat mitzvah dance floors are the only places where Macklemore’s songs are played in earnest. It’s hard to be cynical about this blatant PR stunt (okay, maybe it’s not so hard) due to Mary Lambert and Queen Latifah’s participation, but it is a great time to revisit Hel Gebreamlak‘s post on Macklemore’s straight white privilege!  

That’s all from us, but remember this is an open thread. What did you think of last night’s show? Let us know in the comments!

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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  • Anita

    I agree with everything you said except for your quip at Daft Punk. They have been at the game since the late 80s, 90s and have spectacular live performances. Not to mention numerous artists have sampled their music. I’m just trying to give respect where respect is due. I apologize if I’m taking away from the main point.

  • Mike

    It was basically this post that led me to do my own post about the Grammys. It’s funny how much I learn at this site just by reading the comments. So I did like 12 minutes on Macklemore. In short, I don’t blame him, I blame us. I didn’t even know about the Image Awards thing . . . REALLY??? And I haven’t even touched the Madonna deal, but it seems that the bloggers handled that. And in the middle of all this, Justin Bieber is an addict, black-swagging, scum, drunk-driving free man. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH


  • Kim Voeks

    I find it ironic that on top of flashing her black child a week after the n-word fiasco, that anyone let Madonna near their same sex marriage. The woman has appropriated from the LGBT community her entire career, not to mention exploiting pseudo bisexuality with Britney Spears for publicity. I don’t find it cynical that you called it out. I find it an astute observation on how she’s run her entire career.

  • literatebrit

    Yeah, I don’t think Macklemore deserved all of those awards. It’s not even a knock on him as a rapper, I think he has room to grow, but to me it would be like if Drake got a Grammy nom for “Best I Ever Had”. He is not at that point in his career yet. It’s his first album, people really need to calm down. Honestly there’s no way he can live up to this. What can he do that will live up to a debut multi-Grammy winning album? Unless he’s about to deliver the next “Illmatic”, I think Macklemore’s going to end up disappointing people.

    I agree about the Grammys being essentially meaningless. They seem to have no “type”, like the Oscars have a “type” of movie that everyone says “will win Oscars”. I mean critically acclaimed and relatively unique Lorde cleaned up in the pop category, meanwhile Macklemore won all the Grammys despite not being a critic favorite.

    I really did enjoy Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons, I felt so bad for Kacey whoever who had to follow them! Also I agree about Beyonce/Jay-Z being too early in the show.