Going HAM for the gram
Previewing the 2016 Grammy Music Awards
Bigoa Machar, Arts Editor
With February being the prime time for arguing over whether or not certain accolades should have been awarded in the movie and music industry, the Oscars and the Grammys make this month perfect for small talk with strangers and hilarious internet memes. But for now, we’ll focus on the task at hand. The 58th annual Grammys are taking place on Feb.15 and I’m here to make sure that you’re prepared for said small talk and internet memes. So if you’ve read literally anything I’ve ever written, you know one thing is for sure: Don’t worry, I gotchu fam.
T-Swift has a gift
Being the strong, independent man that I am, I have no shame in admitting that I roll with T-Swizzle. Whether I’m riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car or whatever the case, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift has been owning the music game for the past couple of years (unless you ask anyone with a Spotify subscription,
then they might be a little salty). Swift has a whopping seven nominations this year, including best album for her latest project 1989 and her hit single “Blank Space’” catching nominations for both song of the year and record of the year (the difference here is writing quality vs production quality, keep that in mind). With this year’s crop for Album of the Year relatively thin compared to year’s past, it’s really a toss up between her and Kendrick Lamar (no disrespect to Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton and the Weeknd, who were also all nominated for this category). Also on the plus side, there’s almost no way that Kanye will be there to rain on her parade, as the two are now allegedly alright.
Speaking of being “Alright,” another artist who had a monster year was Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. With a handful of nominations himself, K.Dot will also look to clean up some metal. His album To Pimp a Butterfly was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the last decade, with Rolling Stone naming it the best album of 2015. Lamar’s song “Alright,” which was also nominated for Song of the Year, was used as a rally cry for Civil rights for America’s black community during times of injustice over the past year, playing at rallies and protests across the country. As a hip-hop junkie and self-proclaimed Kendrick Lamar fanboy, you can fully expect Kendrick to win multiple awards this year. To Pimp a Butterfly was not only an album, but an experience that spoke out against injustice everywhere than anyone can relate to, no matter what background you’re coming from.
Despite confusing old people as to why he can’t feel his face, Toronto R&B singer Abel Nakkonen Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, received six nominations for categories including Album of the Year for Beauty Behind the Madness, Record of the Year for Can’t Feel my Face and best R&B performance. With a voice that sticks out more than his crazy hairstyle, the Weeknd enters the main categories as a bit of an underdog to Swift and Lamar, despite reaching the same demographic and keeping up in album sales. As much as I love the guy, he’s going to need some generosity from the Academy to pick up anything the major categories here. The Weeknd’s time will come eventually, but any year you have to compete against Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift really isn’t a good year for anyone.
Also on the docket for Canada, our favourite rapper and turtleneck enthusiast Drake received four grammy nominations in minor categories. The most notable of his nominations is for Best Rap Performance for his song “Back to Back,” a diss track aimed at Nicki Minaj’s side piece, Meek Mill. The performance, which took place at Drake’s own OVO Fest in Toronto, featured a slideshow of different memes and pictures making fun of the Philadelphia rapper. The performance was seen around the world, with even the CBC covering it. I mean, if CBC finds the time to report on a rapper dancing to memes, then you know it’s a big deal. In a year in which Meek Mill has taken more losses than the Edmonton Oilers, a win in this category for Drake would be the icing on the cake in what’s been a crazy year for the two. So please Academy, for the sake of everything funny, please give wheelchair Jimmy this award.
And there you have it! This should be everything you need to know to at least keep up with everything that will be going down at this year’s Grammy award show and even make your own predictions. If you don’t agree with me, let me know on Twitter, (@reflectthis) where we can engage in some intelligent musical banter. So be sure to enjoy the show this year, as it will definitely be worth watching.