or how Mainstream music became disconnected from it’s fans
Kanye West just almost Taylor Swift’d Beck at the Grammys. Yup, this stuff is getting so ridiculous that you can name 3 music super stars and use one of them as a Verb. Also, you can see JayZ and Beyonce look on in horror as it almost happens. Jay Z literally mouths “No, Kanye!” But enough of that, let’s get into the the events.
At The Grammys
“I was just so excited he was coming up. West deserves to be onstage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?” – Beck
It’s Sunday night at the Grammy’s, and Beck’s Morning Phase has just won Best Album of the Year. He is coming up to receive his award and give his acceptance speech. Quite possibly one of the greatest moments that some musicians will ever experience in their career.
And here comes Kanye “Gay Fish” West to mess it all up. In what seemed to be a repeat of his previous Grammy interuptus, Kanye rushes the stage. His seat companions, who include Jay Z, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, among others, look on in horror and amusement. The Camera literally cuts from Beck, giving his speech, to focus on the disturbance.
This is the point (not televised, but captured none the less by another source) where Jay Z mouths “No, Kanye!”, and whether in reaction to that, or maybe a tiny moment of self awareness, Kanye has second thoughts and returns to his seat. He plays it off as a stunt or as a joke. Beck makes the best of an awkward situation and says “No, come back! I need some help.” Mischief managed, Beck goes on unphased, being a little more seasoned then Taylor Swift. And that should be all right? Well, apparently not for Kanye.
At the After Party
“If the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us… Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.” – Kanye West
Apparently his stage antics were not a play, but rather sincere. Kanye will, later that night and afterwards, will publicly state that he sincerely believed that Beck did not deserve his best album award.
I try not to quote Kanye in long swathes, because it hurts to follow both the logic and grammar structure, but I feel like I can’t do it justice unless I put the whole thing. So here it goes:
“Because what happens is, 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 they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place.”
He continued, “Then they do this whole promotional event, they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. Like, no, we not playing with them no more. By the way, I got my wife, my daughter and my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight. But you all know what it meant when ‘Ye walks on the stage.”
Note that Kanye actually reaches a new low (or high) by both referring to himself in the 3rd person, and using the deific “Ye” in “Ye walks on the stage.” 3rd Person deific! This man is unstoppable. Recap video below (apologize for the somewhat hype media reporting)
Beck Stays Classy
Concerning Kanye interuptus: “I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?”
Concerning Beyonce: “I thought she was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyoncé!”
And finally, concerning the “Beck does not respect artistry” comments: “You can’t please everybody, man. I still love [Kanye] and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does.”
With Beck reacting like a classy gentleman, and Kanye reacting like he is God’s gift to music, how are others reacting? I took a sample of facebook users (I posted the meme on facebook an recorded what people said, okay?) and the results are here:
“It’s not very often that someone exists that is so shamelessly narcissistic. To believe yourself a god, there is no greater naivety.”
“He needs to get stranded in the middle of the desert sometime.”
“Right after telling Beck he doesn’t deserve the award he says, ‘smacking people in their face after they deliver monumental feats of music you are disrespectful to inspiration.’ he honestly has no clue of how hypocritical he is.”
“I want to be Kanye West when I don’t grow up”
“So he could have been good at anything and he chose to specialize in horrible music?”
“Oh gods…the monstrosities that makes up a person like Kanye are SO many: lack of intelligence paired with the inability to keep his mouth shut, and consistent back peddling when he inevitably puts his foot in his mouth. But, hey, we as members of pop culture have only made him more famous *because* of all of this. He’s relevant because we made him that way. That doesn’t make me dislike him any less, though.”
“Wait…. I have a feeling like it’s going to have to do with something at the Grammys… Did Kanye do something stupid again or are people still just bringing up the past?”
Thank you to: Erik Moffet, Mari Murdock, Robyn Groves, and Danny North for providing quotes.
The Writing Process
“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.” – Kanye
1. How to deal with Detractors
2. The Music Industry disconnect
For whatever reason it may be, the music industry has developed a huge disconnect from it’s viewers. What do I mean? I mean that only in music do we see music that is popular not coincide with what fans seem to desire. In fact, the industry has somehow been able to turn that paradigm on it’s head: now the music industry believes that it is their job to tell you what music you should like.
Also, the musician as a celebrity is an interesting subject. Writers become famous because they write well (for the most part). Similarly, actors become famous because they act well, directors because they direct movies well, video game companies because their games play well. But musicians, or if I may boldly qualify, mainstream musicians, often get popular because they generate hype and controversy. And they can build an entire music career with no musical talent or music writing talent (song writers, studio recordings, voice overs, lip syncing).
While this can be accomplished to some extent in the other industries, it is never as complete as the music industry. I only need to say “Rebecca Black” and her “music” career, which was devoid of any actual tenable music.
Hype garners attention, and attention sells records, get’s play time. So much play time. Pop music is rotated so heavily as to reach the point of saturation almost immediately.
The music industry seems to want to get listeners into this logical equality statement that looks like this:
There are two very real and possible outcomes that have severe shortcomings.
“I’mma let you finish, but…”
Sorry this post came so late. With the fallout of Winter Dragon, not getting enough sleep, and preparing for Life, the Universe, and Everything life has been pretty hectic. I have a lot of exciting projects coming soon, exciting interviews with David Farland, the Strike, and some I can’t mention yet by I am dying to talk about. Also the Oscar Review cycle, and other book/movie/tv/video game reviews, and also a really amazing announcement starting hopefully next month! Stay Tuned! If any of this excites you, please please sign up for the Quantified Opinions newsletter to get the very special First Newsletter by the beginning of next month.
MORNING PHASE IN STORES NOW
Sign up to join and receive the Quantified Opinions newsletter! Updated three times a week! (or more or less)
Contact me at: