Of all the award shows, the Grammy’s are my least favorite. The outfits are more bizarre than haute couture and the awards rarely go to artists that I find deserve it, but seem to be the most easy to digest.
However, the Grammy’s have been the platform for memorable performances. It was during the 1984 show when Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk while performing ‘Billie Jean’. An unforgettable moment in music when a legend showed the world why he was the King of Pop.
So although I didn’t tune in last night, I followed along here and there on Twitter (you can find me on @RealDelina) and there were three performances that stood out – Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragon’s ‘Radioactive/m.A.A.d. City’ and lastly Pharrell and Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder for ‘Get Lucky’.
Don’t get me wrong, she worked that chair and that stage was steaming afterwards, but between the awkwardness of Jay-Z and the crowd who looked like they were all caught accidentally stumbling on a couple in an intimate act, there was a disconnect somewhere. There have been folks on Twitter who had an issue with how racy it was saying that there were kids who tuned in. I may not have kids, but I wouldn’t allow them to watch the Grammy’s to begin with. What exactly is there on the Grammy’s that an 8 years old needs to see? It wasn’t the provocative nature of the performance (she’s a grown woman comfortable enough to express her sexuality to her husband. Kudos to her!) it was the subdued nature of it after she got off the chair. Nonetheless, Beyonce still delivered.
I’ve been a huge fan of Daft Punk ever since I was 16 and saw the video for ‘Da Funk’ featuring a human size dog lost in NYC. That album ‘Homework’ still gets played in my car every now and then. And their follow up album, ‘Discovery’ featured another track I can never forget, ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’. You might remember it as the track Kanye sampled in his song ‘Stronger’. This French duo are known for never showing their face and doing interviews in various disguises, which I admire. In an industry that focuses too much on what musicians look like, what they wear, how fit they are and so on its refreshing that these two have gone the distance to hide their physical identity to contain their anonymity. With them its about the music and just the music.
So its no surprise that their recent album ‘Random Access Memories’ garnered Grammy wins last night. But this performance seemed so disjointed. Not sure if having Stevie join them threw things off, but it seemed like they hadn’t rehearsed. Although the crowd got up and were dancing, Pharrell looked like he didn’t know what to do with his hands and feet half of the time, bouncing from Stevie to Nile Rodgers (gentleman on the guitar). Always great to see Stevie but I think this would’ve been better if Daft Punk was allowed to do a medley of their hits and Pharrell was left to rock out.
Hands down the best performance of the night was Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons who teamed up to do a mash up of rock and rap together. I couldn’t find a clip on YouTube but the best clip I saw was on HipHopDX. It started of with Imagine Dragons doing their song ‘Radioactive’ then Kendrick jumps into his track ‘m.A.A.d City’. I’m not familiar with Imagine Dragons, but Kendrick I know. His second album ‘Good Kid, m.A.A.d City’ was nominated for Album of The Year. This album is a poetic look into Kendrick’s life growing up in Compton, California. When it first dropped, critics to hip hop legends hailed Kendrick for bringing back story telling to hip hop. It is a remarkable album that I suggest you check out if you haven’t already.
Mixing two genres is hard. Mixing two genres at the Grammy’s….almost career suicide. But this performance had the crowd jumping. Imagine Dragons backed up Kendrick perfectly while he rapped and Kendrick even got on the drums when Imagine Dragons sang. Random, but my favourite part was seeing Steven Tyler from Aerosmith rock out as I remembered him and Run DMC being the first guys to merge hip hop and rock. Although both genres have grown so much since then, they are still close in audience impact.
Even though Kendrick didn’t win for rap or best album and there has been a lot of social media buzz about whether Macklemore deserved to win over Kendrick, in terms of owning the stage Kendrick won hands down.
Did you guys tune in and if so, which performances did you enjoy?