Kanye West Should Be Annoyed About His Grammy Snub, And He Is
It’s time for Kanye West‘s annual Bashing Of The Grammys, truly the most wonderful time of the year. During his Yeezus tour show in Phoenix, West addressed the fact that he only managed to score two Grammy nominations, which really is all kinds of bogus. “Yeezus is the top one or two album on every single list,” he told the crowd, “but only gets two nominations from the Grammys. What are they trying to say?”
It’s true: Yeezus has landed in the #1 spot of nearly every major list of 2013’s best albums: Rolling Stone, SPIN, EW, Stereogum, Complex, The A.V. Club and even freaking Time have him at #1 (He also made our top 10, at #4). And the LP isn’t just a critical darling: it debuted with 327,000 sales, at the time the year’s third-highest opening week.
That said, leaving Yeezus out of the Album of the Year category makes sense. The music is simply too confrontational and abrasive for that honor, which was the point of this album in the first place. West wanted to buck the mainstream. Well, this is what happens when you buck the mainstream. Kanye wants to have it both ways, because that’s his entire MO, and that’s why he’s so interesting/infuriating.
But the merits of Yeezus are incidental to this particular issue.
West has earned the right to criticize the Grammys all he wants. Sure, as MTV points out, he has 53 Grammy nominations (#5 all-time) and 21 wins (#6 all-time) in his career. But those numbers will never matter, for Kanye and for people who care about the legacy of rap music, because two years ago, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy failed to get an Album of the Year nomination. That’s the type of thing that leaves a lifelong chip on your shoulder (hence, Yeezus), one of those boneheaded moves the Grammys will never hear the end of, like “Layla (Unplugged)” beating out “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
As if to try to erase that indignity, the Grammy cabal this year nominated Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d city and Macklemore‘s The Heist for that top honor, and it’s hard to see how Kanye didn’t lay the groundwork for that type of recognition, for the establishment to finally treat rap as “real” art. Which probably makes the snub even more frustrating for Ye. I mean, my god, if Macklemore wins an Album of the Year Grammy before him, it would be dark and twisted indeed. But also, it would probably drive West into Deranged Artist Mode once again and motivate him to create Yeezus Has Risen or something, so, win-win.
See his complaint below:
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