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Bound to a Tainted Public Perception

YeThe one thing Kanye wouldn’t say — Jay Z doesn’t deserve nine Grammy nominations.

It’s clearly evident that many people these days don’t like Kanye West. But for all the things people proclaim they hate West for, most of the time it has little to do with his music. So when the Grammy nominations were released on Friday and voters gave West only two nominations in token categories (Best Rap Song for “New Slaves” and Best Rap Album for “Yeezus”) it came as a surprise, but not a shock. Couple that with the announcement that Jay Z received nine nominations, it’s clear that Grammy voters don’t focus solely on music, at least when it comes to hip hop artists.

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Notions: Hip Hop’s Best Chance For The Grammy For Album of The Year Is Right Now

Left to right: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Yeezus, Nothing Was The Same

Left to right: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Yeezus, Nothing Was The Same

Notions is a weekly column that delves into what did, what should, what could, or what needs to happen in the world of technology and pop culture.

Over the last twenty years and 100 nominations, 12 hip-hop albums from six artists have been nominated for the Grammy for Album of The Year. The only winner was Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004 (Lauryn Hill won in 1999 with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but the album was more R&B than hip-hop). Whatever the reason for the serious lack of hip-hop representation, the 2014 Grammy Awards will be markedly different, with three hip-hop albums from three artists that should undoubtedly expect nominations for Album of The Year. Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, which was released in October 2012, after the cutoff for the 2013 Grammys, Kanye West’s Yeezus, and Drake’s Nothing Was The Same.

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The Tainted Holy Grail

Magna Carta Holy Grail Exhibit1

When an iconic musician like a Jay-Z releases a record in this day and age, there are two assurances; the album will be feverishly discussed, criticized, and picked over, and it will leak. Back in 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West changed the rules of the game when their collaborative album Watch The Throne was released on iTunes a week ahead of its physical release to brick and mortar outlets, becoming one of the first major acts to avoid the previously inevitable leak altogether. Building upon that success, Jay-Z decided to change the rules once again, striking a deal with Samsung, which was both concurrently astounding (for Jay-Z) and mind-blowingly inept (for Samsung).

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