Monday, January 29, 2018

We Was Robbed! | Lefsetz Letter

The Grammys are worthless, despite what Bono extemporaneously said. Made me believe you’re better off reading the script. When you get this old you go for gravitas, you don’t show up for every photo op, but Paul didn’t get the memo, he thinks if he gets facetime his audience will care, but his audience is nearly geriatric, best to play “The Unforgettable Fire” for them, they’re done with new music.

But that’s what this show is about, and that’s where it fails.

The big winner this weekend was Chris Stapleton. Who has not only been anointed god of country music, but our single hope for rock and roll and guitar-based tunes. Not only his victories tonight, but his appearance last night on SNL, with Sturgill Simpson, he’s not afraid to share the spotlight, he got the hip-hop memo, and he’s got sales/consumption too. Stapleton is real music. And he’s the toast of Nashville. What could be wrong with that?

And despite trying to keep Ed Sheeran down, he won for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.

And Portugal The Man won for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

But there were so many faux pas and guffaws it was mind-bending.

Do the Foo Fighters win whenever they’re nominated? Is their retread rock the only known entity in this moribund field?

And speaking of which, what kind of bizarre world do we live in where Leonard Cohen wins the Best Rock Performance.

But the greatest crime of all was Bruno Mars’s victory for Album of the Year. “24k Magic” is utterly meaningless, well-honed pop for the mindless. Not challenging, not cutting edge, not as good as what came before, but he’s safe enough to play the Super Bowl twice so let’s give it to him.


Talk to the NFL players, THEY ALL LISTEN TO HIP-HOP!

I would have been angry if Jay Z beat out Kendrick Lamar, but this is positively INSANE!

They’ve got a #metoo segment, the Grammys are all touchy-feely, and then they end up being RACIST???

Believe me that’s true. Its members hate hip-hop. The organization must be decimated, superseded. Come on, when comedians and Presidents win Grammys you know it’s messed up. And the endless categories which ultimately ensure too many people with their heads up their asses vote in categories they’re clueless about no wonder the awards are irrelevant and ignored by the younger generation. Time marches on, but the Grammys remain stuck in the past. Jethro Tull was not an exception. If you didn’t know that Kendrick Lamar put out the Album of the Year, then you don’t have your ear to the ground, which Grammy voters don’t.

And where’s the apology?

Get Neil Portnow on morning TV, have him explain this. How he runs a white-dominated racist organization. Hell, there’d be riots in the street if anybody thought this award meant anything.

But in a year where hip-hop dominated in a way rock hasn’t in decades, where no other sound has in decades, to shut it out and disrespect it this way is a travesty.

It’d be one thing if only the African-Americans listened to it. But the white kids eat it up, they rap in country…BUT HIP-HOP CAN’T GET ANY RESPECT!

But you’ve got white dudes saying racism is passe. Bitching about reverse racism. Saying you’ve just got to put your nose to the grindstone, anybody can succeed, and then you shut hip-hop out? What kind of message does this send? That hip-hop and African-Americans are second class citizens and no matter what they do they deserve no respect.

This is a serious issue. You may not be black, you may not like hip-hop, but the world only works when we’re united and we all get respect, we’re all treated equally. But we’ve got a government trying to jet us back two centuries, Charlottesville was not an anomaly, we’re willing to stick up for white women abused by powerful men, but when it comes to African-Americans…SCREW ‘EM!

But the joke is on the Grammys and the government. They’ve got no sense of history, they don’t know it’s about hearts and minds. That’s how North Vietnam beat the United States. You can’t break passion.

And that’s where it is in music today, hip-hop.

What doesn’t break us only makes us stronger.

This kick to the face, this spit in the eye…

Hip-hop will emerge victorious.

And should boycott next year’s Grammys completely. Hell, the show needs rappers more than rockers. Sometimes you’ve just got to say I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Sometimes you have to go on strike.

Sometimes you need a new organization and new awards.

This is a black eye on the Grammys. They think they can duck and cover, push back, but that didn’t work for Harvey Weinstein and Steve Wynn and it won’t work for Neil Portnow and the Grammys.

He should step down and put an African-American in charge, he’s been in power long enough.

But no, nothing can change in the overcompensated white music business.

Same as it ever was.



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