On Tributes, Taylor and Kendrick the Great: My 2016 GRAMMY Awards Recap
I always judge an awards show on how many times throughout that I felt like sliding out my chair unto the floor. If the answer is “less than 4” then I was relatively entertained. If the answer is “zero” then it was an incredible show. The 2016 GRAMMY Awards gets a 2 on the “makes me wanna *wall slide*” scale so it wasn’t torturous but it also wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.
The awards show started with Taylor Swift and almost ended with her too. If I said I wasn’t butthurt about it, I’d be lying.
Anywho, I got questions that need answers.
* When will LL Cool J decide to start aging? I mean, he can press “PLAY” anytime. I’m not complaining, though. Him and those dimples. I could just fall into them. Yum.
* Who told The Weeknd to put his ONE loc in a bang?
I mean, that style was so tragic that I couldn’t even focus on his performance. In fact, I spent the entire time he was onstage detangling my own locs. They’ve been scared straight.
* How angry were PETA’s board members when they saw Andra Day’s coat? On a scale of 1 to Koala Bear when you pet it and it didn’t give you permission. I just wanna know how much flailing they did. Our girl, Andra, came in her Abominable Snowman ensemble and sang the house down.
* Can Ellie Goulding’s legs have their own Twitter account? Those gams are AMAZING. I’d never wear pants, if I were her.
* Why was the Lionel Richie tribute such a disappointment? I mean, HELLO (ha!) it’s Lionel. Y’all coulda had a ball with this. They got John Legend (who I love), Demi Lovato, Tyrese to sing and I’m like “what is with this combination?” Bruno Mars and his Grape Now n Laters suit were sitting right behind Lionel and I kept yelling at my TV screen for him to tun on stage and handle it. Come on, bruh. I was so underwhelmed and I kept looking for Fantasia. These ones kept their shoes on so it just ain’t hit my spirit.
Lionel himself got up there in his shiny blazer, BECAUSE HIS HATERS CAN’T STOP HIS LEGENDARY SHINE. And he clearly went and got his hair freshly dyed yesterday morning because his joint was Blacker than Samuel L. Jackson.
* Why does Stevie Wonder always get this shoddy treatment?? I’m about sick of folks for not paying reverence and proper #amish (instead of homage) to the Wondrous One. He did a tribute too (of course) to Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire. And it was with the Pentatonix (who??? This isn’t shade. I haven’t heard of a lot of musicians. My iTunes is still optimized for the 90s).
Besides that fact that it looked thrown together, that wasn’t what irked my nerves the most. It was that they weren’t even backup to Stevie.
They were all in the same visual line. ARE THEY HIS AGE MATE? Which kin’ disrespect is this?? Y’all better put Stevie’s mic in front of theirs! I got so upset that I forgot to really complain about Stevie’s runaway hairline. You know I can’t help myself.
But ennehweighs, Mr. Wonder is a classy man, and when it was time to present an award, he also showed that he takes his activism to heart. He took the time to advocate for those who aren’t fully able with “We need to make everything accessible to every person with a disability.”
TELL EM, STEVIE!!! YES. He also shouted out “Black Lives Matter.” BECAUSE HE IS A REAL G. And this is why his star will never dim.
* Did Tori Kelly come to be remembered? YES SHE DID. She got on that stage and SANG, y’all. I was so here for her.
* Whose kidney do I need to sell to get Hamilton Musical tickets? I heard those joints are basically sold out til like 2018 and I did a struggle wail to the heavens. DAMB. The mini performance they did on the GRAMMYs and the RAVE reviews my friends have given me about the musical tell me I need to be in that piece. But seems tickets are harder to get than a full day without white nonsense. Iunno what I’ma do, man. DAMBIT.
* How Black was Kendrick Lamar’s performance? It was so Black that I’m pretty sure some of the White folks in the audience clutched their pearls and wiggled in their seats in discomfort. Kendrick came out in shackles and with a black eye and proceeded to KILL in a performance that was reminiscent of “Jesus Walks” Kanye.
I spent the entire time transfixed because it was so powerful, as fire blazed behind him and he spit into the mic with all the passion in his body.
It was so Black. It was so right. IT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE ENTIRE SHOW. And then he ended his set standing in front of a map of Africa that had “COMPTON” laying over the West side. YO. YOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I mighta lost my mind for a second. Because in the Blackest Black History Month ever, Kendrick Lamar went to the Grammys and gave the Blackest performance ever. And PEAK Blackness happened, if only for a millisecond. I bet if scientists were recording the moment on fancy equipment, it woulda broken.
I wish the show woulda gone to commercial break at that point because I needed to recover from that. I needed a break from my own turntness. Because right after, Hamilton Musical’s Lin Manuel accepted their award for Best Musical, and rapped his acceptance speech. And I could barely contain myself because the show was HELLA ONYX.
* Did the GRAMMYs auditorium smell like patchouli oil and incense? Did kente streamers fall from the rafters during commercial break? I just need to know the after-effects of all that Blackdom.
* Who sabotaged Adele Laurie Blue Adkins? It was the first Adele performance I’ve heard where she didn’t sound right, and she looked like she was gon cuss someone out backstage afterwards. Even still! Don’t you sit up there and question the flawlessness of Adele Laurie Blue Adkins! Shoo…
* Isn’t it cute that Justin Bieber got some bass in his voice now? And you see he got a little mouth hat hair? I SEE YOU. He hopped around that stage all hyped up about his song. It was adorable. But why was he wearing Sofia Petrillo’s Sunday night at bingo leopard jacket?
* How perfect was it that they got Lady Gaga to do the David Bowie tribute? Absolutely perfect. Although, I do think it ran a bit long.
* Can they make the BB King tribute set available on iTunes? Because Bonnie Raitt slid on that stage with her guitar and showed the boys how it’s done and I loved it.
* Why did I spritz my TV with holy water when Alice Cooper an’ ’em got on stage? I know, y’all. Alive is apparently a born again Christian but that set. Whew. Had me reciting Psalm 91. It just didn’t sit right in my spirit. I had to use anointing oil so Jesus would know I wasn’t with them.
* Did Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes come to slay? Yes she did. She performed in a white cape dress that was fierce and her fresh twistout was hitting it!
* Why have we lost so many amazing musicians in this last year? Maurice White. BB King. David Bowie. Ben E. King. Scott Weiland. Percy Sledge. Rene Angelil. Natalie Cole. Damb!
* How is Verdine White’s hair always in place? ALWAYS. The man can rock a good blowout and a wrap. Whew. Come through.
* Has Beyonce been reading blogs? She got on that stage and said “Art is the unapologetic celebration of cultural expression.” She knows we’ve been calling her unapologetically Black this last week and a half.
Also, she looked tired of everyone’s bullshit on that stage. That, or she was bored. Maybe both.
* How much shade did Taylor Swift throw in her acceptance speech? A lot. First she told folks to check her resume by making sure we knew that she was the first woman to win “Album of the Year” twice. Then she went on to talk about how haters basically elevate you *cough* KANYE. And how if you work hard, you too can get to where you’re going.
I agree with that and I said my sideways “congrats” but I gotta say. She’s been outchea prospering for a decade, which is no small feat. She gets props for that.
HOWEVER, Taylor Swift is OKAY af. Dassit. She is talented but in my opinion, she is not extraordinary. You know how someone hands you a bagel but doesn’t put cream cheese on it? Taylor Swift is that bagel. It’s cool but could be better. Sit up there and tell me Taylor Swift is an AMAZING musician. SAT UP THERE AND TELL THAT LIE. She is an OK one who has rich parents and has white privilege by the GOBS. She ain’t on that stage just from her hard work. She stands on shoulders. But ennehweighs, congrats girl.
The moral of this story is: Kanye gotta STFU and stop emboldening her and making white folks feel like they need to reward the girl who cried because of the class bully made. This is Kanye’s fault.
* Is Pitbull what happens when you take Sean Paul and Ricky Martin and they have a baby no one understands? Yes. Also, can someone tell Sofia Vergara that I’m rooting for her and want better for her? I mean, lady. Why are you on the stage whining for Pitbull??
Do you, girl.
* Where the hell was a proper Natalie Cole tribute? I mean, come on! They coulda cut into Justin Bieber’s performance time or something. That was a glaring ball drop for the GRAMMYs, and an incredibly unfortunate one too.
Anywho, Kendrick won the night, in my opinion. He walked away with 5 GRAMMYs and he is the person people cannot stop talking about today. Much deserved.