If the Grammys are rigged as their ex-CEO has claimed, why are we still making a big deal about them? By we, I don’t mean Rock NYC, because we didn’t even bother mentioning last Sunday’s Grammys, but by we I mean the pop culture in general, as you have probably been inundated with Grammys news for the past few days.
Deborah Dugan, the ex-CEO of the Grammy Awards, did what she could, she filed a lawsuit and she showed up on every talk show, she gave plenty of interviews, not only denouncing the Academy members’ misconduct but also saying that the voting is rigged: here was the exchange on CBS This Morning:
‘It’s mostly white males that are in those rooms that make these decisions, and there’s a conflict of interest,’ said Dugan. ‘If you represent that artist, you have a financial gain if they get nominated for a Grammy.’… ‘So rigged is a term you would apply to it?’ asked CBS reporter Tony Dokoupil. ‘Yes it is,’ Dugan replied.
At the top of this, Dugan’s complaint also insists on the fact that the Academy has ‘routinely faced criticism for failing to honor Black artists’, providing a list of examples.
People do not seem to have really reacted to these revelations, and everyone is taking the Grammys’ results as if nothing had happened. Of course, nobody should be surprised the Grammys are fake, after all, they are a show put on by the recording industry, to basically boost record sales of an artist who will bring more money to the recording industry,… it’s always more about numbers than artistry, and the Grammy Awards have evolved into a popularity contest dictated by people with huge financial gain. They are a sort of capitalist joke we are supposed to take seriously.
Tyler the Creator had this very pertinent thing to say to XXL Magazine regarding his Grammy nomination, this is an interesting point regarding the segregation of the categories: ‘I’m half and half on it. Um on one side, I’m grateful that what I can make can just be acknowledged in a world like this but also it sucks that, whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category, which is … and I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. It’s just the politically correct way to say the N-Word to me. So when I hear that I’m just like ‘Why can’t we just be in pop?’’
This is an excellent point as this system seems to be an excellent method to hide racial discrimination, a subject brought up in Dugan’s lawsuit. Why was the genre-bending-and-blending ‘Igor’ nominated in the so-called urban category? Tyler is barely rapping on it, while Billie Eilish, visibly very inspired by hip hop culture, had an album (‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’) in the pop category? This sounds so arbitrary. Billie Eilish won her 5 Grammys because of her impressive numbers everywhere, ‘Bad Guy’ just went over a billion streams on Spotify, post-Grammys boost. She is the popular girl of the moment, whether you love or hate her, and she seems to trigger those opposite reactions. The music industry knew they had a very popular winner, already going very well before the wins, and surely exponentially doing better post Grammys… Billie is the whole package, a style and a look which have become crazy popular among teenagers, and actually across generations. The Grammys played their very safe dollar card with her, but the voting system is rigged, Tyler the Creator is right, some artists are consciously discarded, and we should never take the Grammys very seriously.
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