A Serious Critique of the Grammys

By Ryan Croke

*The opinions in this article do not reflect those of all GVHS students

The pathetic excuse for an award show, The Grammys, that took place on March 14 was the final straw. Everyone across the world has had enough of the corrupt and outdated award show. There is a reason the Grammys had a 53% drop in viewership from the year before, peaking at 8.8 million viewers, although I would argue that is 8.8 million too many. 

It’s not like my problems with the awards only come from this year’s show, oh no, this has been long in the making. Ever since 2014, when Macklemore somehow beat out lyrical genius Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, the awards have been in a perpetual downwards spiral into irrelevance. This mistake was so bad, Macklemore, who just won a Grammy award, an accomplishment people used to covet, APOLOGIZED to Lamar. It was that bad. I don’t consider Grammy awards to be actual accomplishments anymore, and nobody should. 

What happened in 2014 was no fluke, unfortunately. In 2015, Kendrick Lamar was scammed yet again, this time losing to the Grammys’ favorite artist Taylor Swift, who wins album of the year every year somehow, despite being completely washed up at this point. Lamar created one of the greatest albums of all time, To Pimp A Butterfly, telling the story of the black struggle in America, using the sounds of jazz, funk, and hip hop to create an absolute masterpiece, and found himself walking home with only the best rap album award, despite clearly deserving the album of the year award. More recently, in 2019, Cardi B won the award for best rap album when everyone and their mother who listened to rap knew it should have gone to Travis Scott for his masterpiece ASTROWORLD. The Grammys have a history with scamming artists out of awards they rightfully deserve, and it is sad to see.

And this year, Megan Thee Stallion won multiple awards, which I find to be ridiculous. She won the best rap song, best new artist, and best rap performance awards, with the best rap song and performance awards going to her song SAVAGE. I want to make things very clear. I am all for female artists earning awards and recognition. In a male-dominated industry and world, I am glad to see female artists earning awards for their work. However, I, along with many others, believe that Cardi B, who I mentioned earlier, and Megan Thee Stallion have close to zero actual talent. There were many other female artists that could have won the awards Megan Thee Stallion won this year that actually earned and deserved that recognition, but because SAVAGE blew up on TikTok and became one of the most popular songs of the year, an artist who most people believe to have zero talent finds herself winning an award that used to be prestigious. I would much rather see the awards Megan Thee Stallion won go to artists like H.E.R., or Billie Eilish, just somebody who has actual talent. Megan Thee Stallion is praised as a “prominent female rapper” when all she does is rap mediocre lyrics, most of which are explicit as anything, and somehow is winning an award. I apologize if that offends you, the reader, in any way, but I don’t believe you have listened to much music if you think Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B earned the right to perform a song titled WAP, the abbreviation for three words I will not share with you, at an awards ceremony. 

Not only did the Grammys give awards to artists whose whole career came from people using their song to make crappy TikTok videos, the artist who had easily the biggest year of anyone, who easily deserved to win album of the year, who broke the record for weeks spent in the billboard top ten songs with Blinding Lights becoming the first song to spend a year in the top ten, The Weeknd, WASN’T EVEN NOMINATED FOR ANY AWARDS. Most likely because he chose to perform at the BIGGEST TELEVISION EVENT OF THE YEAR INSTEAD OF A DISGRACE OF AN AWARDS SHOW. I apologize for the capitalization, but my emotion needs to be captured here. The Weeknd, who broke numerous records and had an album that definitely deserved the album of the year award, was not nominated for any awards at all only because the recording academy was salty that he chose to perform at a relevant event instead of their “award show.” Not only was he not nominated, but he was also banned from submitting his music for any recognition at all. This is no way to treat the biggest superstar in music right now. It is ridiculous but doesn’t surprise me at all.  

There have been many moments from the Grammys that have made me lose my mind over the years, but this year had an astounding amount of such moments. Nas winning an award he should have won 27 years ago instead of Freddie Gibbs winning best rap album despite being the obvious choice, Megan Thee Stallion being even considered for recognition, let alone winning awards and being allowed to perform, and Taylor Swift winning album of the year yet again for a piece of work that is mediocre at best are just the most notable ones. It is sad to see what has happened to the awards, and a solution to fix them is easy. There are two things that need to be done that can fix the awards: First,expand the nominees for each award, so no artists are snubbed. And secondly, LET THE FANS VOTE. It isn’t hard. Make a website that fans can visit to make their picks for each award instead of allowing a corrupt committee to choose every time. This is such an easy solution to improve and fix an outdated event, but I doubt we will see any change until the Grammys eventually fade away into irrelevancy, which seems to be on the way, and I am counting the days until they finally go. They are a disgrace, and they need to be fixed, and if that cannot be done, they need to be shut down. Simple as that.


  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you on this. Yes, the Grammys are rigged and there were some artists who deserved better, the Weeknd and many others were snubbed of a nomination, however the Grammys isn’t just “showing women support” by choosing woman artists as winners, Megan Thee Stallion had many huge hits this year and 100% deserved her win for newest artist. Taylor Swift also 100% deserved her win, her music isn’t “washed up” it’s varied. Folklore was one of the best selling albums this year, her grammy being well deserved as she and her team worked hard and earned it. The academy is completely rigged, but credit was given where it was due; (majority of) these artists deserved their wins.

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