The BeyHive and general music fans in general are up in arms about the Grammy winner for Album of the Year. Beck's 'Morning Phase'
How the Winners are Chosen:
The Recording Academy chooses the winner of the Album of the Year category differently than any other category. Every single member of the Academy votes. That means musicians from every genre, critics, producers, engineers, you name it. They all have a say in this category. That being said - the votes swung in Beck's favor. He was the only alternative rock album on the ballot, whereas the pop-favoring votes were split between Beyonce, Sam Smith, and even Ed Sheeran. If Beyonce had been the only album in the 'pop' category (yes, the album is also R&B, but it is still pop) she would have had a much better chance. The nominees just weren't helping her out.
Consider 2011 when Arcade Fire won Album of the Year over Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Lady Antebellum - the pop votes were split (not saying that Katy Perry or Lady G should have won though!)
You can read up more on the insane Grammy voting process right here.
How Did Beck Get Nominated?
First off - the Grammy's have a secret committee. Seriously, it's like the illuminati. This secret committee is in charge of the top four awards: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist, and have been doing so since 1990.
How they choose their nominees is not well known, but it seems that the Academy members select 20 nominees and leave it to the secret committee with whittle that down to 7-8. While there is no doubt that music industry politics are involved, we have no way of seeing what goes on behind the scenes.
So if you're going to blame Beck for taking the Grammy for Beyonce, at least recognize that he didn't ask (directly) to even be nominated for this award. Don't blame the artist, blame the committee that put him up for it (again, still not saying his album didn't deserve the nomination!)
Kanye & the BeyHive
Kanye West, Beyonce's biggest fan and part-time rapper, was literally the first person to react to the Grammy announcement. Trying to joke about his little speech about T Swift's album in 2009, West ran up on stage and basically made Beck shit his pants. All in good fun...right?
Actually, no. At a Post-Grammy party, West said that while he was sort-of just playing around, he is actually pissed.
"If they want real artists to keep coming back, [The Grammy's] need to stop playing with us," said Kanye. "Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyoncé."
"When you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you're disrespectful to inspiration. And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day and listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this whole promotional event, and they'll run the music over somebody's speech, an artist, because they want commercial advertising. No, we not playing with them no more."
To be clear, West was blaming the Grammy's, not Beck. When asked if he had even heard of Beck "before yesterday," West added, "Come on, man. I love Beck! But he didn't have the Album of the Year."
The BeyHive is right there with Kanye on this won, getting in a legitimate Wikipedia battle with Beck fans (mostly people who just want to argue - real Beck fans are sort of, like, stoked that their boy finally got some recognition) and are flooding news feeds, forums, blogs, and Twitter with reasons why Bey deserves to add another Grammy to her list.
Morning Phase v Beyonce
I am no music critic. I am a girl writing this card in her pajamas with multiple tabs of Beck v Beyonce articles open. So here is all I can add to the Bey v Beck debate:
1. Morning Phase
- The writing. Beyoncé collaborated with multiple writers to create each track, whereas all of the songs on Morning Phase were written by Beck Hansen alone.
- His contribution to the genre. I'm not saying that Beyonce hasn't left her mark on the industry, but Beck has been creating incredible genre-bending music for 20 years. In my opinion, he should have won Album of the Year for his Midnite Vultures - not Morning Phase.
- No promotion. This album was literally dropped from the sky out of nowhere with 14 mini films attached to it. This was the first digital, visual album of its kind and certainly the only one that had zero hype built around it.
- Sales. It is by no means her biggest-selling record, but she shifted just over 2m copies in the US compared to Beck’s 300,000.
- Choice of producers. Beyonce has access to literally every producer on Earth. People are clambering to work with her. Instead of going with the big shots, Bey chose to work with lesser-known producers to create an album that experimented with genres in a brand new way.
My thoughts: Beck deserves a Grammy, but not for this album.
So What is Beck Saying About This?
Basically, Beck's a champ.
"I was just so excited he was coming up," he told US Weekly during the Universal Music Group after-party. "[West] deserves to be onstage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?" The alt-rock icon also confirmed he wasn't offended by the rapper's post-Grammy comments: "I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce! . . . You can't please everybody, man. I still love [West] and think he's genius. I aspire to do what he does."