Artistry. We all know the Grammys tend to recognize and reward artistry a decade or two after they should've. You know that if you've got the best fucking album that came out in the last year, the most relevant and realized breakout album, and Steely Dan is on that ballot, too—well, Steely Dan is probably gonna be hitting that aisle before your ass does. Fear not, they'll be sure to give President Knowles-Carter a Grammy for her holiday album or something in 2035.
I love Grammys Kanye—that might be my favorite Kanye. He breaks fool in America's living room and boardroom; he swigs Heem on the red carpet and grabs his girl's butt. He rushes the stage, acts out, and advocates for his big sister—Hov is his "Big Brother," after all. Yeezus humbles himself to loudly put the incontestable reigning queen of this shit—a black woman—first. And, really, who else is, up on that big stage? I'm not mad at that, I'm all for that. Go 'head, stand up there, and to the people who been standing up there this goddamn whole time—go sit the fuck down. Because otherwise, they're gonna keep trying to block black excellence, whether it's on that stage, at the one-yard line, or in the classrooms. So: It's up to all of us, who feel the way we do, to go and grab the mic.
Kanye has noted that out of the 21 Grammy awards he's received, not one of them has been against a white artist. But the last time he was nominated for, and didn't get, album of the year, he lost it to a Herbie Hancock album—the only one of Herbie's that'd ever been up for that particular honor. That album was River: The Joni Letters, which is an album of, you guessed it, Joni Mitchell covers. Joni herself recently remarked how she feels an affinity with brothers because she has "experienced being a black guy on several occasions." She was apparently referring to the period between 1976 and 1982 when she literally used to dress up in blackface as a '70s cat-daddy named "Art Nouveau." No, I am not making this up—that's Joni, as pure Art, on the cover of 1977's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. Like the homie said, "Joni Mitchell never lies"—which is damned rare. Nonetheless, she's clearly reckless as hell.
By daring to pose Beck's artistry against Bey's, Ye incensed some rockist types, who ran to read the ingredients, counting how many songwriters and how many instruments are on each's album. This logic makes sense to the industry that prays to white dudes with guitars, but maybe not to the one that created Motown.
Anyway, I been slipping on applying to join the Recording Academy—'cause if I care so much about it, I should go ahead and join so my vote can be among those counted. I should get more info at grammypro.com. Really, I should get more info in general—there's more to know about. More bullshit. More snipers and war, more bombs, lies, and, ah, exaggerations. Choose. Your. Own. Adventure.