Tebben Gill Lopez/The Mirror

Let’s start by getting one thing clear: Kendrick Lamar was well deserving of holding a gold gramophone trophy at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Not only did he have a break-out, chart-topping, bass-bumping and Fairfield-crowd-hyping year, but his album was nothing short of exemplifying his creative ability and honesty. This year’s Grammys undeniably killed my vibe. Kendrick Lamar and the duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis stood neck and neck in four different categories. Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album and Best Rap song were all given to the duo – yes, completely handed over and presented to them as if their work could even be compared to the stories and images shared in “Good Kid m.A.A.d City.”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis used their platform to make a political statement with their hit, “Same Love.” I definitely relate to the lyrics and respect the movement they are encouraging. What I don’t respect is how these artists seemed to manipulate their gay rights and equal love campaign to receive accolades in politics and hip-hop. Their decision to speak up and support gay rights, in a genre of music that oftentimes ostracizes members of the gay community, deserves recognition. At the same time, their political views alone should not allow them the rights to a Grammy award. They used a popular and sensitive subject to gain fans. Is that wrong? Not necessarily, but don’t tell die-hard hip-hop fans that “The Heist” was well deserving of Best Rap Album of The Year. A contributing writer to Salon.com, Brittney Cooper, stated in her article “Mackelmore’s Useless Apology: Grammy’s and the myth of Meritocracy” that “meritocracy is a myth. And anyone who listened to Macklemore’s album over Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City” knows exactly what I mean.” Meritocracy is an elite group of people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on class privilege or wealth. In this case, Kendrick Lamar represents a member of an elite creative group of artists while Macklemore and Ryan Lewis represent class privilege and wealth. I guess the 150 voters who determine the winners of the Grammys couldn’t relate to the stories and imagery poetically described on “Good Kid m.A.A.d City.” The “Same Love” and “Thrift Shop” duo titled their album appropriately; “The Heist” has lived up to its name. This album undoubtedly stole these awards from true, talented hip-hop artists. But let’s look on the bright side: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis found their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, pun intended. In the words of the Good Kid, “Look inside my soul and you can find gold, and maybe get rich, look inside of your soul and you can find out it never exist.”  True hip-hop fans and fans of Kendrick Lamar understand his art and his words and can vividly see his pictures, and maybe next year the voters in the Grammys will have a better vision in the gallery of true hip-hop.

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