Sunday, January 28, was Bruno Mars’ unforgettable Grammys night. The funk soul singer-songwriter nearly went home with all the Grammys, racking up six in total — including the top award of the night, Album of the Year.
Although this year did include a competitive pack of nominees for Album of the Year — with Kendrick Lamar nominated alongside Childish Gambino, Lorde, Jay-Z, and Bruno Mars. Now with that being stated, hip-hop fans were outraged about Mars’ win. Many believe Kendrick Lamar was snubbed, considering the impact of his socially woke rap masterpiece, DAMN. But this is not the first time he should have been awarded; back in 2013 (with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City), he was robbed of same award. Insane right?
Grammys took the safe route this year. They gave the top awards to the singer that is heavily influenced by R&B and hip-hop but is pop enough to be the most commercial success of the two. Don’t get me wrong; I love some Bruno Mars. He is a very talented singer with a lot of groundbreaking hits, but the Grammys haven’t given the award to a hip-hop act in over a decade.
It has been 14 years since OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below took home Album of the Year. This year we saw Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar being nominated for 15 awards combined. Though HOV won none of his eight nominations for 4:44, Lamar racked up five Grammys: Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Video. Those awards do matter, but DAMN is an album that is good from beginning to end. The bars on songs like “Element,” “DNA,” “Humble,” and “Loyal” are raging and pure.
Lamar gave his all in an era where “bars” do not seem to matter and continues to deliver politics through hip-hop. “I feel like the whole world want me to pray for ’em/But who the fuck prayin’ for me?,” Lamar raps on “Feel.”
Should hip-hop artists think twice about going to the Grammys? There are a couple of hip-hop albums that should have won the award over the years. Lil Wayne’s – Carter lll, Kanye West’s Graduation, and Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City wea tall nominated over past decade and failed to nab the award. At this point, I feel like a rap album has to be half R&B or auto-tuned to win.
The Grammys cannot handle the purest form of hip-hop.