Rap Wins But Not At The Grammy

jay-z585

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012



Since its beginnings in the 1970s, rap music has transformed from an underground, street-based sound to a definitive part of pop culture, transcending race and becoming one of the strongest — and most prolific — voices of today’s generation. But at the Grammy Awards, rap has had a long-lasting losing streak in the top categories.

The hip-hop sound — first recognized at the 1989 Grammys — has garnered numerous prestigious nominations over the years, and for 10 of the last 14 years, rap acts have either led or tied for most Grammy nominations. But rarely will a hip-hop act win one of the show’s top four honors — album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. Instead, rap acts tend to win rap awards.

50 Cent, who won his first and only Grammy two years ago, believes Grammy voters are out-of-touch and need a fresh outlook on what’s going on in contemporary music.

“I think that the board is a lot older and they’re conservative, so some of the content in the music is offensive on some level,” said 50 Cent, who famously interrupted Evanescence’s best new artist speech by walking onstage when he lost to the rock group in 2004. “There’s a lot of people that don’t accept that hip-hop culture is now pop culture.”

This year, hip-hop leads the Grammys in nominations again, with Kanye West earning seven; it’s his third year as the show’s top-nominated act, and his fourth overall (he tied Mariah Carey and John Legend for most nominations at the 2006 Grammys). While his song “All of the Lights” is up for song of the year, his critically revered fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” didn’t score an album of the year nomination, a shock to many. Even Jimmy Jam — the chair emeritus of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences — was surprised by West’s snub.

“I think he’s one of the genius artists, and I’m saying this as a person who’s worked with Michael Jackson and Prince, so I don’t throw that word around lightly,” Jam said. “So, yes, I was surprised.”

West’s album with Jay-Z, “Watch the Throne,” was also left out of the top album category; both CDs are nominated for best rap album.

Jay-Z, who once boycotted the Grammys because of the show’s lack of love for hip-hop, says Grammy nominations are “cool,” but he doesn’t use the accolades as a barometer of his success.

“The Grammys and all of those other things, they’re fine and it’s a good way for everyone to get together amongst their peers and collect some trophies at the end of the night, but my whole thing is for the people, as long as the people accept it — that’s my real Grammy,” Jay-Z said. “As long as it connects with an audience in a way.”

But Steve Stoute, the former record executive who accused the Grammys of being irrelevant last year in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times after Eminem and Justin Bieber lost top awards, says there is a bigger problem. Stoute believes The Recording Academy doesn’t have board members who understand hip-hop as a true art form.

“If (The Recording Academy) understood that, then (rappers) would be scoring technical points,” he said. “They don’t get the technical points.”

In Grammy history, 14 hip-hop albums have received nominations for album of the year. Lauryn Hill has the distinction of being the first hip-hop artist to win album of the year for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1999, but the album, while featuring rap, was heavy on R&B. Hill also won best new artist that year, the second time a rap-based act had done so following Arrested Development’s win in 1993. A rapper hasn’t won the award since.

OutKast, the alternative, genre-bending hip-hop duo, followed in Hill’s footsteps with an album of the year win in 2004 for the double disc “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” It, too, was not strictly hip-hop, as Andre 3000 blended rock and even jazz for his half of the project.


But while there have been high-profile wins, what stands out more are the losses. No rapper has ever won record or song of the year, and both Eminem and West, each nominated three times, have failed to win the album of the year trophy in years where they appeared to be critical favorites.

At last year’s Grammys, three of the five songs nominated for record of the year were rap smashes. Lady Antebellum’s crossover hit, “Need You Now,” ended up taking away the record and song of the year honors.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the leader and drummer of The Roots, says the hip-hop community shares some of the blame for its losing streak. He says those in the genre aren’t involved enough with The Recording Academy, its community and its events.

“We’re not active members of (The Recording Academy) and I promise to take a more active role in that,” said Questlove, who has won three Grammys. “I should definitely come and be more involved in that. It’s taxing time-wise, but you know, I can either sit and complain … or do something about it.”

Jam says rap’s losses are also a reflection of the Grammy membership, which he said is “traditionally very heavy” with members of the country, jazz and classical music worlds.

“We’re a membership organization and the members vote. So, if the numbers of members who consider themselves of the hip-hop genre … if those numbers are lower, then the results probably point to that fact,” Jam said.

But Stoute, who is the author of “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy,” had harsh words for Jam, a founding member of funk-soul band The Time and best known for producing multiple hits for Janet Jackson, Usher, Boyz II Men and more with partner . Stoute and Jam had a conversation after last year’s awards, and Stoute was upset that Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” wasn’t up for song of the year: At the Grammys, a track is not eligible for that award if it contains a sample or if it’s not an original piece of work; that disqualifies much of rap, which relies heavily on sampling (“Empire State of Mind” samples The Moments’ “Love on a Two-Way Street”).

Stoute said Jam should be helping hip-hop, and blasted the renowned producer.

“What he’s doing is not right,” Stoute said of Jam. “And if he’s supposed to be the guy who understands urban music because of his famed career as a producer … (and) if he’s not going to be sensitive to the creativity around hip-hop, I am sorry, we’re in trouble.”

Jam, who was The Recording Academy’s chairman from 2005 to 2009, says his goal was to diversify the Grammy community, and if people have an issue with traditional Grammy rules, they should demand a change.

“You can write a proposal,” Jam said. “I hope … people step up to the challenge rather than dismiss it, which is the easy thing to do.’”

Jam also said he helped bring forth the best rap song award at the 2004 Grammys, which honors rap tracks that contain samples. Jam also implemented a new rule in 2009 that allowed anyone nominated for a Grammy to bypass the regular application process and automatically be made a member for a year. He said he did it so that nominated acts would easily be involved in the organization the following year.

“If hip-hop is the most nominated, then they should be the best represented according to what I did,” Jam said.

JERMAINE DURPI HANDLES 3.2 MILLION TAX WOES!

Posted: Wednesday – November 18, 2009

Jermaine Durpi - Rap NewsRapper / Producer / Janet Jackson Husband Jermaine “JD” Dupri’s lawyer has finally spoken out against the claims that JD owes more than $3.2 million in taxes to Uncle Sam. Stating that he has already handled all his IRS problems. The state of Georgia filed a $135,749 lien against him Nov. 17, 2008, in Fulton County Superior Court. The IRS filed a $3,095,004 lien against him Sept. 4, 2008, in the Westchester County (N.Y.) Clerk’s office. “I can assist you in telling you that all of the taxes have been paid and my law firm has been, and is, in the process of getting the liens removed in normal course,” Kane wrote in an e-mail. “As to any other information, you can certainly understand under the attorney-client privilege that I am not able make any further comment.”

This is not the first time JD has had problems with the IRS. Back in 2002, Dupri got raided by federal agents confiscating furniture, computers, make me tall shoes and cars to help pay back his then $2.5 million owed.



Kanye Apologizes For Interrupting Taylor Swift At VMA’s

Posted: Monday – September 14, 2009

Kanye West has apologized to country singer Taylor Swift after the rapper/singer jumped on stage during her acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards last night (September 13).

Swift won the MTV VMA for best female video for “You Belong With Me,” besting Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”

Kanye West felt Beyonce was meant to win the award and rushed the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, interrupting her to proclaim Beyonce’s vide the “best of all-time,” leaving the young singer in tears.

On his blog he said:

I’M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD’VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED! I LIKE THE LYRICS ABOUT BEING A CHEERLEADER AND SHE’S IN THE BLEACHERS! …………………… I’M IN THE WRONG FOR GOING ON STAGE AND TAKING AWAY FROM HER MOMENT!…………….. BEYONCE’S VIDEO WAS THE BEST OF THIS DECADE!!!! I’M SORRY TO MY FANS IF I LET YOU GUYS DOWN!!!! I’M SORRY TO MY FRIENDS AT MTV. I WILL APOLOGIZE TO TAYLOR 2MRW. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA BOOOOO ME BUT I’M A FAN OF REAL POP CULTURE!!! NO DISRESPECT BUT WE WATCHIN’ THE SHOW AT THE CRIB RIGHT NOW CAUSE … WELL YOU KNOW!!!! I’M STILL HAPPY FOR TAYLOR!!!! BOOOYAAAWWWW!!!! YOU ARE VERY VERY TALENTED!!! I GAVE MY AWARDS TO OUTKAST WHEN THEY DESERVED IT OVER ME… THAT’S WHAT IT IS!!!!!!! I’M NOT CRAZY YALL, I’M JUST REAL. SORRY FOR THAT!!! I REALLY FEEL BAD FOR TAYLOR AND I’M SINCERELY SORRY!!! MUCH RESPECT!!!!!

Later in the show, Beyonce allowed Swift to finish her speech, after Beyonce took home Video of the Year.

“Wow. This is amazing. I remember being 17-years -old being up for my first award with Destiny’s Child. And it was one of the most exciting moments of my life,” said Beyonce, who came up to accept the award for Video of the Year. So I would like to invite Taylor to come out and have her moment.”

While the two hugged, the crowd gave a standing ovation as Swift finished her acceptance speech as she thanked her fans as well her little brother’s high school for letting her shoot the video for “You Belong to Me.”

For the remainder of the show nearly every mention of Kanye incited a roar of boo’s from the audience.

There are also pictures floating around the web of Kanye drinking from a bottle of alcohol on the red carpet, which may have played a part in the rapper’s outburst.

West was also removed from Radio City Music Hall after interrupting Swift.

Many celebrities on Twitter reacted to Kanye’s outburst and to Beyonce’s kind gesture.

Here are a few:

Pop singer Pinks twitter: www.twitter.com/Pink: “Kanye west is the biggest piece of shit on earth. Quote me. ” “Beyonce is a classy lady.I feel for her, too.Its not her fault at all, and her and Taylor did their thing. And douche bag got kicked out. HA.”

Singer Katy Perry http://www.twitter.com/katyperry: “FUCK U KANYE. IT’S LIKE U STEPPED 0N A KITTEN. There’s a reason why Beyonce is my hero.”

Keri Hilson said. “YAAAAAY! Taylor got her moment!! ”

Basketball player Ron Artest: http://www.twitter.com/real_ron_artest: “Kanye is the @ congjoewilson of the rap game.”

Basketball player Kevin Durant: http://www.twitter.com/kevindurant35: “wow taylor swift won over beyonce and lady gaga???? congrats to her!! buuuuut kanye trippinnnnnnn, that was disrespectful”

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

In addition to Swift and West’s situation, this year’s VMA’s featured a moving tribute to Michael Jackson.

Janet Jackson concluded the tribute to her brother as dancers performed routines from videos to Michael Jackson hits such as “Thriller,” “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal” while each wearing a white glove on their right hand.

Performers included Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys who closed the show, among others.

Souce: Allhiphop.com



Beenie Man Goes Indie; Signs With Brookland Ent/Universal Republic

Posted: Tuesday – July 14, 2009

The freedom to dictate his musical direction provided the motivation for famed reggae/dancehall artist Beenie Man to align with New York-based independent record label Brookland Entertainment/Universal Republic.

According to the Kingston, Jamaica native, transitioning from a major label to an independent was a no-brainer, considering his track record with well-known labels.

“Being signed to a major label, you lose creative control,” Beenie Man said, as he cited Brookland president Eric Nicks’ track record as a music industry veteran as a factor in his decision to make the label his new recording home. “My company, MD Entertainment, will provide the music and Brookland will work their magic,” Beenie stated. “It’s as simple as ABC. No politics. Let’s make good music and make the fans happy.”

Beenie Man’s joint venture deal with Brookland/Universal marks a new chapter in his near 30-year career in music.

The Grammy winner, whose first major deal came with Virgin Records in 1998, is known for a string of hits that include “Dude,” “Who Am I,” “Girls Dem Sugar,” and “King of the Dancehall.”

Among those who have collaborated with Beenie Man are Janet Jackson, Wyclef Jean, and Mya.

To celebrate his 30-year anniversary, Beenie Man will appear at a star-studded concert in Kingston, along with rappers Rick Ross, Hurricane Chris, Heavy D.

As part of Brookland, the dancehall star joins a roster comprised of rap diva Lil’ Kim, West Coast crooner LeMarvin, soul songbird Yolanda Renee, and producer/singer August Rigo.

Beenie Man’s signing with Brookland is yet another example of major artists choosing independent labels over the majors because of the better treatment they receive at the indie companies,” added Brookland president Eric Nicks. “We look forward to extending Beenie’s incredible music legacy well into the next decade.”

Beenie Man’s first album on Brookland will be his 19th studio release, The Legend Returns.

The project, which features the single, “Gimmi Gimmi,” is slated to hit stores this fall.

Next month, Brookland will release Brookland Entertainment Presents: Independence Declared, a compilation album featuring songs from its artist roster.

Source: Allhiphop.com

© 2013 GUTTA WORLD MAGAZINE by GW Industries