The 64th Grammy Awards on April 3, 2022, highlighted the best pieces of music produced in the year. To determine the award winners, the Academy holds an anonymous vote, which often doesn’t align with popular opinion. This year’s winners and nominees proved to be no exception, with snubs and upsets throughout the program.
Whether viewership declines or has an optic, controversy is everpresent. After this year’s Best Rap Album went to Tyler, The Creator, for his”Call Me If You Get Lost,” fans took to online spaces to convey their disappointment because of Kanye West’s being banned from performing or attending the ceremony because of his “concerning online behavior.” While I cannot speak to West’s security, I agree with the Academy’s decision to award Tyler, The Creator, given his level of production, high profile features, and creative risks on the album.
Other tense moments occurred when the comedian Trevor Noah, the host, made jokes made at the expense of Korean pop group BTS. Noah referenced the popular Korean TV show “Squid Game” when talking to the music group, as well as sang the song “Red Light, Green Light.” Fans took to social media to wrangle over his choice of jokes, as well as his attempt to speak Korean which many found disrespectful. Since the The Grammys restricted a top performers, Noah’s comments were jarring to performers and the audience alike. Why the Academy green lit the wisecrack confused me, given the notorious “slap” at the Oscars.
While many contributed to making the 64th Grammys successful, moments that caused dispute led to more negative headlines. As the viewership of award ceremonies hit all-time-lows, I suspect moments like these will become more common as the Grammy’s cultural significance begins to fade.