Rant: Why the Grammys mean nothing as a pop-culture barometer
Really, our issue is more that the Grammys appear to be off the grid entirely. They seem to reward things that sort of fit their mold of what popular music should be, and while there’s some overlap between popular music and what the Grammys feel is popular music, quite often things which NOBODY has talked about – not even tastemakers or critics – get nominated and then win. While I’m sure Esperanza Spalding is a great musician who deserves to be heard, the fact of the matter is that she lacks tangible buzz to justify the attention. Nobody in the media was like, “Wow, this Herbie Hancock album is amazing!” before it won Album of the Year back in 2008. It had very little press coverage. The problem is that NARAS presents these awards as the definitive music awards of the year, and they’re so far off the pulse sometimes (because it’s picked by people who are of a stuffy old guard of the music industry) that it calls their opinion into question. I don’t think Bieber should have won, but I think this is a bad introduction to Esperanza Spalding. You want a better, more accurate barometer of pop music? Try Pazz and Jop. What do you think?