I casually checked in with the Grammy’s Sunday, and for some reason could only find a livestream of the audience, not of the stage. But my choice just happened to coincide with Kanye West once again bursting onto the stage to defend Beyonce, in another “slight.”
At the time, I saw the faces of horror change to definite laughter, and decided it must’ve been a joke. Since then the media has had another field day, building up the “diss” between Beck and Kanye. Luckily both Beck and Kanye have refused to play ball–now if only their fans could as well.
Reading any article on the subject, you’ll find opinions littered like fall leaves, which is to say almost unavoidable and eventually whatever beauty they had turns to rot. Beck fans maintain the artistry of the singer-songwriter: we know he writes all his own songs, he played 5 million instruments and poured his soul into the record. Beyonce fans lament that she wrote and produced all her own tracks, changed the world with her digital drop, and filmed an entire feature film to go with it.
It was probably easy for the media to paint his post-Grammy interviews where he stuck to his guns as Kanye being classic Kanye, causin’ a fuss and making not apologies. But what’s interesting is that he’s probably providing one of the most level-headed voices to this conversation. He’s made it clear that his was not a diss on Beck, but the Grammy’s themselves.
For myself, I can see how Beyonce lost due to voting problems (Beck’s was the only rock album, whereas Beyonce had R&B competition that could’ve Nader’d the vote), but there’s not much more I can offer to the conversation beyond that, because the Grammy’s won’t let me. They have a shadowy voting process that then moves onto the recording academy vote, and there’s really little insight into how they function, what their criteria is, or where our differences lie. They are as open as you can come about a sort of formal rigging system.
They may be called out, frequently, for being their own brand of racist, sexist, etc., but what more can we do? We’ve got nothing else we can do, because we have absolutely no idea what they are about.
So let’s all stop reducing Kanye to an angry black man, Beck to a folksy scene-stealer, and Beyonce to a jilted artist, and start focusing our thoughts and most importantly concerns towards the shadow organization that needs it. Because while people mock Yeezus for speaking out against institutions and systems it’s getting boiled down to a celebrity feud, which is more of the same bullshit.