The 60th Annual Grammy awards took place last night at NYC’s famed Madison Square Garden. And while Bruno Mars won 6 awards, Kendrick Lamar won 5, and the most nominated artist, Jay-Z (8 nominations) walked away with none, the world’s most renowned music award ceremony was filled with a ton of great, exciting, memorable moments. Here are just a few of our faves:
- Kendrick Lamar’s electrifying opening left little room to question how he felt about the state of affairs here in the US. His highly politicized performance was filled with imagery and choreography that made it unquestionably clear that in this country, too many of us are traveling with targets on our backs.
2. Although arguably a part of the opening, we have to give special credit to Dave Chapelle’s interludes during Kung Fu Kenny’s opening performance. While they were extremely brief moments, he added great commentary to what we were seeing, making it clear that yes, Compton’s own was making some pretty inflammatory, dangerous, and troublesome statements with his music and performance. But, as he endangers himself, we stand behind him. “Rumble young man, rumble!!”
3. Bringing fun to music, Bruno Mars & Cardi B reprised the playful ‘90s style they brought to the “Finesse” music video on stage at the Grammy’s. In the colorful garb (reminiscent of “In Living Color”) and the nostalgic kickback style of the times, it was clear that the duo had a great time on stage. With Bruno’s usual fun dance style (with a couple of old school moves thrown in), and Cardi’s playful demeanor, we couldn’t help but have a great time too.
4. James Corden is arguably one of the whitest British men you’ll ever see. And it is this essence, that he unquestionably embraces, that tickles you just a bit when you see him also embracing Hip Hop. This came in the form of him welcoming Jay-Z to New York City. He offers to show him some hotspots around the city, (sprouting lyrics from Jiggaman’s hit “Empire State of Mind”) including “…down to Tribeca. Right next to DeNiro….” Or Corden’s “stash spot, 560 State Street.” LOL.
5. Among the awards Kendrick Lamar won last night was Best Rap Album. In accepting this award, where he beat out Jay-Z, Rapsody, the Migos, & Tyler, The Creator, Kendrick made a statement about Hip Hop and artistry that cannot be ignored. He stated that prior to reaching this level, “I thought it was about the accolades, the cars, and the clothes. But it’s really about expressing yourself and putting the pain on a canvas for the world to evolve.” He also went on to call for “Jay for President.” I think we’re just going to sidestep that part though…
6. One of the categories, that isn’t always aired, is Best Spoken Word Album. But James Corden has high hopes for next year. During a pre-taped segment he tried to find a winner for the 2019 Best Spoken Word Album, in a reading of the recent Trump tell-all, “Fire & Fury”. Corden auditions John Legend, who’s too smooth, Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B, who can’t figure out why she’s wasting time reading this, DJ Khaled, who brings his usual “We The Best” energy; and finally finds a winner in former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who he reassures that the Grammy is “in the bag.”
7. In light of the #metoo, Time’s Up Movement, Janelle Monae introduced Kesha, flanked by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, and the Resistance Revival Chorus, singing her hit song “Praying.” Kesha has been famously involved in back and forth legal battles stemming from accusations of sexual assault at the hands of her producer Dr Luke. The song ended with the singer in tears and the women clad in white provided a strong show of support for both Kesha and the #metoo / Time’s Up Movements as a whole.
8. Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid joined together on stage to perform the hit credited with an increase in calls to the suicide prevention hotline “1-800-273-8255.” The stage filled with suicide survivors and the families of suicide victims as they performed. Logic ends the performance calling for the empowerment of women, black people, and love over hate. He pronounces the beauty of the countries labeled as “shitholes” and the immigrants who come here from them, looking solely for a better life. He calls for those in power and with strength to help those to see the power within themselves that the hate and negativity in this world has concealed. A powerful message to end a powerful performance.
9. Outside of the Grammys, James Corden is known for his “Carpool Karaoke.” Being in New York, the host took along Sting and Shaggy to do a special New York version that entailed being on a train. Essentially “Train Car Karaoke. The singing was not taken well by straphangers. Sting or not. Shaggy or not. Grammy winners or not. New Yorkers just want to be left alone. And while the skit was clearly fictionalized, the truth for anyone who’s ever traveled in NYC during rush hour was all there.
10. So Blue Ivy’s dad was shut out for a Grammy. (He did win 2018 Industry Icon the night before though). But that doesn’t change the fact that one still must always behave with pure grace. While they applaud, mid-speech, Blue Ivy reminds her parents to ALWAYS behave with decorum. LOL. We love that kid!! But who’s watching Sir & Rumi?
What were some of your favorite moments?