“There’s no way the idiots at the Grammys don’t give the award to Macklemore.”
I knew then Macklemore would sweep. The writing was on the wall.
Still, Rap Twitter (and Music Taste Twitter for that matter) let its frustration be heard. Macklemore’s performance, while promoting a message of equality that was mostly supported, was crapped on all night for, well, not being as good as Kendrick Lamar’s smashing set with Imagine Dragons. Also, Madonna looking like Professor G.H. Dorr didn’t help.
Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar didn’t win sh*t. He was blanked on all of his Grammy nominations. And this was the best thing to happen to him. This video will explain why.
That’s a video of Daniel Bryan, one of the Internet’s most prized WWE Superstars, losing his first WrestleMania match in an almost-record 18 seconds. The crowd reaction was swift and deafeningly negative. Bryan lost the match to Sheamus, the prototypical WWE Champion. The big, burly bully built by the machine to triumph. It’s safe to say that a good portion of the crowd bought their tickets solely to see a Daniel Bryan match and were robbed due to time constraints and a seemingly tone deaf understanding of what fans really want.
However, this ended up being the biggest moment in Daniel Bryan’s career.
As fans realized just how much his character was being buried, they pushed back with thunderous “Yes!” chants throughout the rest of the entire WrestleMania pay-per-view and damn near hijacked the next night’s RAW with Daniel Bryan chants. The match, ostensibly a death blow to Bryan’s career, so infuriated fans that they created today’s most popular star. The “Yes” chants are still going as strong as ever two years later and as much as the WWE brass tries to push their heavyweights over Bryan, the crowd’s resistance only acts to give Bryan bigger reactions and unforgettable moments.
Last night was no different. As Twitter was complaining about Macklemore winning his Grammys, thousands of fans in Pittsburgh booed for the final 15 minutes of the Royal Rumble because Daniel Bryan wasn’t even included in the match. The perceived slight against Bryan only elicited more chants. Last night was such a disaster for the WWE that I sincerely think they’re playing against the fans in a way to get the loudest reactions for Bryan when he does eventually get his big main event moment. I guarantee the roof will come off the building when Dragon shows up on Monday Night Raw.
This parallels Kendrick Lamar’s story.
As a large portion of rap fans on Twitter fully turned against Macklemore (who, again, isn’t necessarily doing anything wrong here), they rallied behind Kendrick. The Internet crowd let out its own version of “Yes” chants by voicing support for the guy who’s getting shafted out of rap’s decreasingly relevant prize. It’s WWE 101. As the guy “we” don’t want gets positioned for the top spot he doesn’t really deserve, the crowd will only stand firmer behind the People’s Champ.
Kendrick Lamar and Daniel Bryan have one thing in common: they’re the best in the world in their chosen fields. As Bryan was gaining the love of his fans, he’s been putting on the best matches on any WWE card (last night was no different as he opened the Rumble with a classic against Bray Wyatt). Kendrick Lamar did the musical equivalent last night, with one of the best Grammy rap performances we’ve seen in years.
By the time Kendrick hit the stage last night, we’d already been made aware – thanks to the Grammys decision to announce certain awards pre-show – Macklemore won all the Rap category awards. The crowd was at a fever pitch to see our guy steal the show.
And steal the show he did.
Sure, it would have been great to see Kendrick Lamar win his awards and represent for Hip-Hop. But, in the long run, this may prove to be a bigger moment for Kendrick. We all watched him lose all the awards in a moment that got 18 fewer seconds of TV time than Daniel Bryan’s loss to Sheamus. Now, we’re fully behind him more than we were before. The Grammys insulted our guy. They insulted us. This is what they think about you.
So, screw’em. This is Hip-Hop. And the current Rap king isn’t going to be determined by an award show that never cared about us in the first place. That decision lies with us. The fans. Kendrick may never win his big Grammy. Daniel Bryan may never headline WrestleMania. But if they’re going down, they’re going down as a chorus of rabid fans yell in support for our champions. And, really, that’s more important than any award or accolade.