When Will the Grammys Quit Playing in Kendrick and Beyoncé's Faces?
Photo: Leon Neil/Getty Images

When Will the Grammys Quit Playing in Kendrick and Beyoncé's Faces?

It’s time to give one of these legends the Album of the Year award—full stop

The 65th annual Grammy Awards are airing on Sunday night. You can probably expect a lot of the usual. There will be very nice, very expensive clothing. Some stars will wear their fits well and others will wear them horribly—all that money looking like they haven’t paid their light bill. Trevor Noah will host for the third year in a row. (Hosting duty is starting to seem less like a one-night gig and more like a residency.) Some big categories won’t make the live telecast, probably a few predominantly or exclusively Black ones. You know how they do us. But there’s one thing the Grammys absolutely need to get right this time around: For chrissake, give Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar a long-overdue Album of the Year trophy!

Last year, a new parameter was implemented—one that narrowed the number of genre fields in which people are allowed to vote. Per the Grammys, this change “ensures music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified.” For this reason, outside of a “Churchill Downs” victory thanks to its sharp Drake feature, I wouldn’t anticipate much Jack Harlow love in the rap categories this year. This change was welcomed, we thank the Grammys for mackling less. However, one of the two most coveted categories, Album of the Year, is still at risk of yet again disrespecting this year’s most nominated artists, Beyoncé (9) and Kendrick Lamar (8), and their brilliantly executed 2023 albums, Renaissance and Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, respectively.

In 2010, Beyoncé’s I Am... Sasha Fierce lost to Taylor Swift’s Fearless. In 2015, her explosive, internet-breaking, eponymous album was topped by Beck’s Morning Phase. Two years later, Adele’s 25 got the golden gramophone over Lemonade. Meanwhile, in 2014, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory got lucky and beat out good kid, m.A.A.d city. 2016 saw the return of the ever-present villain Taylor Swift, as 1989 won the award over To Pimp a Butterfly. As a fierce post-“Uptown Funk” Bruno Mars defender, I was happy 24K Magic got its due in 2018, but over Damn? That’s not what I like.

Will the Grammys buck this terrible trend or will Renaissance and Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers get ignored once again for a safer, whiter choice?

The Grammys needs to quit playing in Beyoncé and Kendrick’s faces. We better not see Adele or Harry Styles holding up that statue at the end of the night. But there is one nominee who could understandably prevent those geniuses from catching their white whale. Considering the fact that Bad Bunny is the biggest artist in the world right now, it wouldn’t be much of a shocker if he wins any award for which he’s nominated—including his Album of the Year contender Un Verano Sin Ti. If Bad Bunny is the victor, any reasonable person’s just gotta hand it to him. However, the BeyHive isn’t exactly known for being the most reasonable bunch.

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