The set-up was ohh so sweet! Seeing the coronation of his latest project, “4:44,” transforming from one of the year’s most anticipated projects to the year’s most celebrated album at the top award show in music: the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The show was not only in his “concrete jungle where dreams are made” hometown but also in a venue, Madison Square Garden, where he has not only made many a highlight reel moment but also made history. Leading the pack with eight nominations, it was all aligned for a big night for JAY Z. So how did it pan out? Let’s see.
Bruno Mars ran the gamut, going seven for seven for the night. Among his wins were Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Engineered Album (non-classical) and Best R&B Album for “24K Magic.” The single, “That’s What I Like,” left with Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Album and Song of the Year.
Kendrick Lamar left with five trophies with his latest full-length album, “Damn.,” crowned Best Rap Album. The single “Humble,” won for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video, and the duet with Rihanna, “Loyalty,” was Best Rap/Sung Performance.
With those levels of dominance displayed, fans of other artists were upset and quite vocal in the snubs of their favorite acts, most noticeably SZA and JAY Z. For the SZA contingent, hold tight. History shows that the Grammy Awards aren’t necessarily about initial impact. They first need you to get on “their” radar. That explains how a few artists walked away with Best New Artist plaques for their sophomore albums. In fact, she needn’t look outside her own camp to substantiate that premise as her label mate Kendrick Lamar took a few L’s to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in 2014. As for JAY Z, he said it himself: “I cannot lose!” Aside from having the liveliest Grammy preshow party, with the Roc Nation’s The Brunch, he was also the honoree of the GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Award for the indelible impact made through his work in music. During his acceptance speech, he laid a foundation for his fellow artists. “It’s our duty to make sure that not only are we making the greatest art, that we’re upholding and supporting things that are super real,” he said. Who knows? In a few years, New York might be the permanent home for the Jigga Awards.
As for the Grammy’s, congrats to the following:
Best Dance/Electronic Album—“3-D The Catalogue,” Kraftwerk
(Finally, some recognition to seminal hip-hop classics, “Trans-Europe Express” and “Numbers.”)
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album—“Prototype,” Jeff Lorber Fusion
Best Urban Contemporary Album—“Starboy,” The Weeknd
Best Traditional R&B Performance—“Redbone,” Childish Gambino
Best Gospel Performance/Song—“Never Have to Be Alone,” CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill and Alvin Love III, songwriters
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song—“What a Beautiful Name,” Hillsong Worship; Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood, songwriters
Best Gospel Album—“Let Them Fall in Love,” CeCe Winans
Best Contemporary Blues Album—“TajMo,” Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’
Best Reggae Album—“Stony Hill,” Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Best World Music Album—“Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Best Comedy Album—“The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas,” Dave Chappelle
Best Song Written for Visual Media—“How Far I’ll Go,” Lin-Manuel Miranda; songwriter Auli’i Cravalho
Looks like an early contender for best R&B Group has emerged with the newly formed group His and Hers, consisting of Musiq Soulchild and Marsha Ambrosious. The duo unveiled plans for a group album and tour during their sold-out set at SOB’s. Stay tuned.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.