author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Awards for Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Lorde, Kesha, and others would have been much more satisfying that the reminder that Ed Sheeran’s meh album this year somehow beat out Melodrama. As if.
I’ll be the first to say it: SZA was robbed. I have no goddamn idea how to pronounce her title, but by god did that woman prove herself as the best upcoming artist. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten overemotional to “Drew Barrymore” in the car at like 9 p.m. on my way to Starbucks. Those are the real thinking hours.
I also would have accepted wins from anyone else in her category – in fact, if any of the other noms at this year’s Grammy’s had won, I would be tickled pink. Awards for Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Lorde, Kesha, and others would have been much more satisfying that the reminder that Ed Sheeran’s meh album this year somehow beat out Melodrama. As if.
We are all well aware that old white dudes love artists that don’t cause a stir. Kendrick’s DAMN addressed issues of race, police brutality, sexism, the beauty industry, and many other already hot-button topics in the music world today; Lorde poured her beautiful, extremely awkward soul into the most poetic Dear John letter I’d ever heard; and damn, SZA? Sis went off. I wanted to dump boyfriends I didn’t even have.
No offense to Ed Sheeran, but he reminds me of the wanna-be indie cousin no one wants to bump elbows with at the family reunion (if you don’t know that cousin, you are that cousin). He did not write the album of the year, and neither did Bruno Mars. I love you both, boys, I sincerely do, but this year you were about as exciting as the end piece of bread.
This was done on purpose. I hate myself for putting worth into Oscar’s or Grammy’s because I know it’s just a room of old white dudes calling the shots. Why do I care what someone’s racist uncle thinks is good music?
I concluded that I care because the artists care.
The last few years, we have seen Kesha Rose battle her way from her sexually abusive producer, only to be forced through several lawsuits – despite her traumas, Kesha produced quite possibly the most beautiful album about healing and trauma that the world has ever seen. We watched her face crumble with her loss – we all knew it was hers.
When will the world acknowledge artists with a gift? Again, I mean no offense to super Sheeran fans, but Kesha quite literally bore her soul in front of an audience of millions, and still, she was snubbed for being a woman.
The music industry, like all successful industries, rides on the backs of abused women – women like Kesha, SZA, and countless others have remained silent under the fear of disbelief and scrutiny, and now that they have stepped into the sun, their efforts are ignored.
I didn’t watch the Grammy’s because I didn’t need to. I already knew nothing ground-breaking would happen – and, shockingly, nothing did – except for the travesty that was Tyler The Creator’s hair. Award shows stay sexist and racist, and Ed Sheeran continues to produce the same song over and over. Sunrise, sunset.