Are the Grammys meaningless?

Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner attend the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Artists and listeners alike have voiced their concern over the awards ceremony, but how much do the awards actually mean?

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 11, 2019, and the conversation hasn’t stopped since. It’s an important date for music lovers; after all, who doesn’t want to see an artist they like get recognised for their achievements? There has always been something exciting about awards ceremonies and those who say “it’s just a little statue” fail to understand what that statue represents to the individuals who win it. Every year there is a debate waged discussing whether the Grammys holds any merit - this year is no different, but some pretty huge names have had their say.

With Drake winning Best Rap Song for ‘God’s Plan’, the rapper took to the stage to make a series of controversial comments. “The point is, you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown,” he goes on, asserting that everyone in attendance has claim to the award.

“Look, look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you, you already won.” The speech seemed to be cut short, however, it’s clear to say that Drake got his message across. Watch the full speech below:

To win an award and then say that it doesn’t matter is certainly an interesting way to celebrate your achievement. But, is he right? Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer, but as many have noted, the rapper did share a valid point. All of the artists that failed to secure awards shouldn’t allow the loss to dampen their achievements or discourage them in any way, but judging from reactions throughout the night this seems to be the case.

We are competitive by nature, and the music industry is definitely amplified in this regard, so it’s reasonable to want to win. Drake basically dubbed the Grammy in his hands meaningless, saying that it’s the work they share with the world which has meaning; can’t both have meaning?

Rapper J. Cole wasn’t nominated for his recent album KOD, much to the annoyance of his loyal following. However, he did take the time to post the following tweets in the aftermath of the evening: 

 

 

He recognises that the artists who weren’t rewarded with a Grammy had achieved greatness elsewhere, and he’s right. Travis Scott walked away empty-handed despite having the most exciting and monumental year of his career; although he's without a Grammy, the man responsible for Astroworld is no loser, by any measure.

It comes back to discouragement; not allowing Grammy success or misfortune to influence your career negatively. Cole highlights Scott’s success, yet he still recognises the importance of the awards by noting how proud he was to see certain figures win. There is merit in seeing your peers or role models - in some relation - get an award for their achievements, as, after all, it’s simply a nice gesture. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it does - and should - mean something.

In other Grammys news, what does Greta Van Fleet's success mean for rock music?

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