Bruno Mars undeserving of Grammy recognition

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On Jan, 28, the 60th annual Grammy Awards took place in New York City. Artists of all genres came together to celebrate a night of music and reward the best artists of 2017.

Although every artist worked hard on their respective music to even earn a nomination, many fans believed some artists were undeserving of their awards. Artists like Ed Sheeran and Alessia Cara have faced the most backlash for their awards, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist, respectively. Although I also do not agree with those choices, my biggest issue is with Bruno Mars winning Album of the Year.

Bruno Mars won seven awards in total on the night for his latest album, “24K Magic.” The man has been making amazing music for years, so for him to win more than one Grammy did not shock me at all. Mars knows how to make a single that will get people dancing and singing along within the first three listens. In saying that, his singles were the only good songs from his album. I can fully understand why the songs “That’s What I Like” and “24K Magic” won awards, but not the album. I feel this way especially because of the competition he had to go through to earn the album of the year award.

Mars beat out the creative works of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde and Childish Gambino. Mars has released albums that are like “24K Magic” in the past, while the other artists either presented their stance on societal issues or took on whole new sounds in their albums. Lorde’s album was decent, but heavy claims can be made for the three other nominees.

Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love” goes back in time and adapts the funky sounds of the ‘70s. His metaphorical lyrics leave his listeners with the ability to interpret each song however they would like without revealing its true meaning. The hit single “Redbone” sent listeners into a frenzy alone. This is a dramatic difference from his previous work as a rapper, as it is music that both younger and older generations can relate to.

Hip-hop veteran Jay-Z’s album “4:44” comes as a response to Beyoncé’s album “Lemonade,” in which she accused Jay of being unfaithful. He admits his faults over diverse hip-hop beats and tells the difficulties that his relationship, and many others, face. In doing so, he offers advice and what it means to be in a faithful relationship. He also delves into issues within the African-American community and offers his beliefs of what could be done to improve the community.

Kendrick Lamar’s album “DAMN.” stayed close with Mars during the show in terms of odds to win awards. I believe that this is the album that should have won the Album of the Year award. The album went triple platinum and did so while testing out new variations of sound. Kendrick was able to express himself and ideas with the album. This is a change from past albums that have seen him take on issues in society as well as his past experiences. “DAMN.” is no ordinary rap album, as it tied in the generational music with lyrics of purpose.

As much as I thought that Kendrick had this award in the bag, I knew that he was not going to win. In past years, hip-hop music has been somewhat one-dimensional, but the albums up for contention this year were incredibly diverse in sound and lyrics. These artists visited new territories with sounds and lyrics, while Bruno Mars coasted with the same generational pop music that he has been doing for years. It may just be me, but the other nominees gave their listeners something new to listen to without giving up who they were. Many may think that Mars should have won this award, but with the competition he was up against, how?

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