By all accounts, the Grammys got it right this year for the first time in a long time. Both critical darlings and populist favourites were nominated in equal measure. So why is the Internet still so upset?
The Grammys have a long tradition of being junked on. Probably more than any other award demonstrate, the event is famous for receiving all manner of hate. And yet when nominations came out on Monday, the general consensus from music novelists seemed to be that they actually constructed sense, and were perhaps even somewhat forward supposing.The closest thing to a serious snub is likely the exclusion of DAngelos Black Messiah , the most acclaimed album of last year, which wasnt eligible until this one, wrote Slates Forrest Wickman. However, if you go on social media, youre still likely to see as much frustration over artists who didnt get nominated( or who did) as ever.
This is because the Grammys dont understand the style the Internet devours music. Which means that even when they do get it right, theyre not going to please everyone.
The Grammys dont understand the style the Internet devours music.
Perhaps the biggest upset this year was that Carly Rae Jepsens well-received E-MO-TION was wholly shut out from every category. Music journalists everywhere were astonished that the Canadian pop star didnt receive any love from the academy at all. But that was hardly the only thing the Internet took issue with. As Pitchforks Katherine St. Asaph pointed out, At the moment you read this, a million Directioners are furiously Tweeting vitriol about Justin Biebers moment as tween of the hour.
Other persistent questions included, Where is Adele ?, Where is ‘Hotline Bling? ‘, and Why the heck wasnt Fetty Wap nominated for Best New Artist? While the latter query remains impossible to answer with any certainty, there are at least explanations for the former two. Adeles 25 simply missed the cutoff for nominations this year, and “Hotline Bling” was not submitted thanks to a clerical error on the part of Drakes label.
Nevertheless, it does feel strange that the two songs the Internet was likely most obsessed with in 2015 will not be part of the ceremony. What do the Grammys have against you, the good people of the internet ?, asks NMEs Jordan Bassett. The stuff that got us meme-ing, reblogging and hearting is ignored, cast aside into the online abyss, to the second page of Google, to the YouTube commentaries section.
More specifically, Bassett notes that:
A record-breaking stream-athon, the Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney collaboration ‘FourFiveSeconds’ was reportedly the fastest-ever song to reach 100 m Spotify streams( in 53 days) but do the Grammys have love for the folky pop anthem? Apparently not ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars broke a billion YouTube opinions this year but that means nothing to the suits at the Grammys Justin Biebers ‘What Do You Mean? ‘, is nowhere to be seen. It broke Spotify’s record for most-streams in a week, after it was streamed 21 million times in merely five days.
Unfortunately, these metrics still entail somewhat little to most Grammy voters, who care more about reviews, radio play, and album sales than they do about streaming. This in turn automatically puts the consumer at odds with the nominating process, since streaming is how most people consume music these days.
Theres also a difference between the style the Internet perceives musicians, and the style the Grammys do. In Internet Land, Carly Rae Jepsen is pops gurgling, blushing heart. In Grammy Land, Carly Rae Jepsen released “Call Me Maybe” and a succession of singles that floundered at radio, posits St. Asaph.
Consider other artists who got snubbed this year, like Halsey, Sleater-Kinney, Future, and Lana Del Rey. In certain pockets of online culture, these artists are huge. But to the public at large , none of them are necessarily household names. Halsey may be a regular on BuzzFeed, but youve probably never heard her on the radio. Sleater-Kinney are deities among indie boulder fans, but the general public is more very well known guitarist Carrie Brownsteins work on Portlandia ( and in Old Navy ads !) at this phase. You cant read a hip-hop blog without hearing about Future these days, but he has yet to achieve the same investigation as a Drake or a Kendrick Lamar. And as many devoted fans as Lana Del Rey has, shes still the weirdo who bombed on SNL.
Is there any style to fix these perceptions? To broaden the Grammys horizon? Vultures Lauretta Charlton believes that part of the answer lies in more artists registering to become part of the Recording Academy. In order for the process to work, music folks need to stop complain, step up, and participate, she writes.
But among the Internet generation, some believe its time to leave the Grammys behind solely. Bustles Alexis Rhiannon suggests that for social media users, the VMAs have now become the music awards demonstrate of note, as the unpredictability of the ceremony makes it an event worth watching live( and the Internet tends to have a lot of feelings about VMA nominations too .)
In the end, the Grammys cant please everyone because no awards demonstrate can. Even when they get onto almost all right, theyre still going to be a little bit wrong. And that should be expected. It certainly is at the Oscars and the Emmys. The change is, music is such a personal experience for everyone, its hard not to construct your opinion hear. Every year, plenty of cinemas get nominated for Oscars which no one but the utmost movie nerds have insured. Its almost just as fun to watch the demonstrate for the way. And based on this years ratings, its debatable whether anyone cares to watch the Emmys at all anymore. But when the Grammys disappoint year after year, it becomes easy to take it personally.
Which is why this year, the Internet should try to be happy that the Grammys did better than usual. Sure, there were plenty of snubs, but its not like Adele wont be nominated next year, stimulating everything temporarily right with the world.Chris Osterndorf is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared on Mic, Salon, xoJane, the Week, and more. When hes not writing, he enjoys stimulating movies with friends. He lives in Los Angeles .