If the real artists need to step aside, then Kanye West should start stepping.
After a night of surprises at the Grammys on Sunday, West in an interview with E! spouted off on rock artist Beck for winning the Album of the Year award, when he clearly thought it should’ve been Beyoncé, stating, “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.”
West backtracked on those comments stating that the attack was not on Beck, rather the Grammys; however, the damage has already been done. And the implications of West’s words have (deservedly) not gone unnoticed.
And of course, to anyone that follows music, West is quite well known for making boneheaded remarks such as this, acting like a five year old and disparaging deserving winners just because he did not get his own way.
The last thing I’ll do, however, is act like I am a flag-waving Beck supporter and that I had my fingers crossed that he would win, I honestly had not listened to his winning album Morning Phase.
In fact, I listened to part of it and thought to myself, “This isn’t bad, I may not have put it up for an album of the year nomination, but it isn’t bad.”
Beck’s album, however, was certainly inferior to Beyoncé’s Flawless in the eyes of West as he included in his interview that, “Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.”
Well “artistry” in that case has a definition that is seen in the eyes of the beholder, as Beck singlehandedly wrote, produced and recorded Morning Phase, whereas Flawless features a litany of producers and writers. Not one song was either solely produced or written by Beyoncé.
And Beck is no stranger to the music industry, having been active since 1985, as opposed to West who became active in 1995 or Beyoncé in 1997.
I can’t help but hold (albeit a somewhat unreasonable) grudge against the E! reporters who allowed this nonsense to go on. No relevant follow-up questions, no calls for fairness, nothing. They simply nodded and voiced some agreement, which I believe ultimately led this story to get as bad as it has, as they made no attempt to guide West back onto a more levelheaded path.
I’m not on either side of the fence, I truly am not well-versed enough about either artist (I actually hoped and thought it should have been Ed Sheeran’s X), but it seems to me that with every word that comes out of West’s mouth, he is doing nothing but further tarnishing his already tainted image. It is time for him to step aside. His time of making original and worthwhile music with only his name attached to it is long gone.
The idea of great music will change depending on who’s being asked, so let’s just stop angrily defining others music as undeserving. Every musical artist, popular or not, pours their heart and soul into their craft. Not everyone can be a winner though.
And to all the Beyoncé lovers who say that anyone who thinks she should have lost this award has clearly did not listen to Flawless, I can say with little uncertainty that you clearly have not listened to Morning Phase. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.