The Scoreboard is Uproxx Music’s bi-monthly look at who is putting points on the board and who is taking major L’s in the music world over the past couple weeks.
A lot happened in the last half month, but the majority of that went down in just a couple days. Specifically, it was music’s biggest night, the Grammys. That qualifier still rings true, but that doesn’t mean everything was sterling. For instance, the performances were mostly great, but some stuff behind the scenes (and even some stuff in front of the scenes): not so much. Meanwhile, 50 Cent made millions on accident, bots are doing good in the world, and China doesn’t seem very excited about hip-hop.
Win: Cardi’s note from Bono at the Grammys
Cardi B may have had the best night at the Grammys, mainly just because of how fast everything happened for the brash rapper: She only just signed a record deal in February 2017, in case you’ve forgotten, and it took her less than a year to become one of the biggest stars and #WCW subjects in the world. Musically, she came from nothing to dominate 2017, and she started 2018 off with a reminder that, no matter how uncomfortable a comfortably vulgar woman with a thick Bronx accent might make the more uptight among us, she’s not going anywhere. She brought energy to Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” performance, was a highlight of the Fire And Fury sketch, and she got a special note from Bono, reacting with about as much unbridled enthusiasm as a teenage me would have.
Loss: Song And Album Of The Year
Bruno Mars is like the recommended age label on a puzzle box, in that he’s suitable for ages 3 and up. No matter who you are, I almost guarantee he can get you dancing with his modern-yet-throwback vibes. Yet, he got no respect following his major Grammy wins — at least not from Justin Vernon, who, by the way, is not being sh-tted by anyone. Should Mars have won Album Of The Year over Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Lorde? The critic in me is skeptical, but the mostly functioning human with a life full of love and laughter in me says that art is subjective and we’re all going to die, so I’m not losing sleep over it.
Win: Next to perform…
Bruno Mars and Cardi B did put on a pretty great performance, though. That was one unmistakable highlight of the broadcast: There wasn’t really one performance that flopped. Kendrick Lamar opened the show with the most creative, U2-and-Dave-Chappelle-featuring display, U2 pulled their best Lonely Island featuring T-Pain, and Kesha, after years of dealing with personal trauma, showed that she overcame it all (or is at least in the process and doing great) with a poignant and all-star group performance of “Praying.” It was so emotional that on that night, even pimps probably cried.
Loss: Women (or lack thereof) at the Grammys
The Grammys had a lot of good and a lot of bad, but perhaps the biggest mistake is what they largely didn’t have at all: females. Alessia Cara won Best New Artist, and shockingly, that was the only televised award that was won by a woman. Here’s a damning statistic: Of the 899 Grammy nominees of the past six years, only nine percent of them (so about 80) were women. Worse of all, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow thinks that women are the problem: “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome,” he said.