Secondhand Grammys

Quin Nelson

I watched the Grammys on Sunday night. Well, I watched it secondhand. In the year 2014, awards shows and most major television events are not entertaining in themselves so much as they are entertaining for the tweets, GIFs, and think pieces they spawn on the Internet. Grandiose, antiquated events like the Grammys are splintered and distilled into a select few talking points that are mulled over and recycled until no one can think of any more Macklemore jokes.

So instead of actually watching the Grammys, I watched my Twitter timeline and soaked in the jokes, trending topics, etc. Since the Internet seems to dictate what most people think about more or less everything, I figured I’d give it a chance to dictate my Grammy thoughts. Here are the only things that mattered at the Grammys according to the Internet:

Pharrell’s Hat

Pharrell is a gifted music wizard who produces and sings about many popular things. He is generally a smooth and cool guy, but for the Grammys he decided to wear The Giant Hat That Spawned A Million Arby’s Jokes. Pro Internet tip: use as many pop-culture references as you can when speaking of Pharrell’s hat (Arby’s, Smokey the Bear, Woody from Toy Story, Yosemite Sam). People will find you clever and respect you.

Beyoncé

She performed “Drunk in Love” and it was very excellent. Beyoncé is a great performer and can generally do no wrong and this performance just further solidified that. I watched the performance three times before bed and then I couldn’t sleep for a while because I was so hyped.

Lorde

Lorde is seventeen years old but looks like an ageless sorceress. Her song “Royals” won Song of the Year and she also performed it, but according to the Internet she is mostly important for dressing in black and dancing in an unnerving way while performing.

Taylor Swift

Check out all the GIFs of her dancing awkwardly to other performances, as there are many of them.

Macklemore

The Seattle rapper is the central topic of Grammy tweets and columns now that we are a couple days (ten years in Internet time) removed from the actual awards show. Macklemore won four Grammys, including Best Rap Album. Most people are unhappy about this because Macklemore is widely considered bad at making rap music by people who consider themselves knowledgeable about rap music. However, his album with Ryan Lewis (why doesn’t anyone ever write big outraged columns about Ryan Lewis?) was extremely popular and safe and “spoke to social issues”, so it isn’t surprising that it won.

Most people will tell you Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city should definitely have won Best Rap Album, and I would agree. The issue of why Macklemore is being so roundly criticized is a difficult one. Many see him as the poster child for the white appropriation of hip-hop. Others take issue with him, a straight man, making a pretty self-centered song about gay rights. These opinions have been simmering for a while and, with his immense Grammys success, have really come to a boil.

If that all has you feeling a little bit down, just go watch Beyoncé’s performance again.