The Grammy Awards Are FINALLY Relevant In 2018

The Grammy Awards Are FINALLY Relevant In 2018

This year's nominations actually reflect the artists and songs that have dominated the charts.

Artists who are minorities, aside from industry moguls such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Michael Jackson, have been snubbed for years by the Recording Academy in favor of traditional, well-established artists who may not be as popular. However, the 2018 Grammy’s have sought to change that with the show’s most prestigious award, Album of the Year, not having any albums by white men nominated for it. Instead, Jay-Z, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and Bruno Mars will compete for the prize of the night.

Streaming has propelled rap and, now latin songs, to the top of the charts (see Migos’ "Bad and Boujee", Cardi B’s "Bodak Yellow", and Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito") and has pushed these new, fresh-faced artists to the forefront of popular culture. Lil’ Uzi Vert, SZA, Khalid, and Logic collected nominations and new girls on the block Aleissa Cara and Julia Michaels found themselves getting Grammy nominations as well. The Grammy’s heard the backlash and has, for now, listened.

The Grammy’s have had controversies in recent years when it came to the winners of their top categories. Twice, Beyonce’s albums have lost out to the work of white artists that is considerably more mediocre. In 2015, her self-titled album with a Metacritic score of 85 lost to Beck’s "Morning Phase" which had a Metacritic score of 81. In 2017, her groundbreaking and culturally significant album "Lemonade", which a Metacritic score of 92, lost to Adele’s considerably safer record 25, which had a Metacritic rating of only 75.

The 2016 Grammy Awards had some people scratching their heads when Taylor Swift won album of the year for "1989" over Kendrick Lamar’s "To Pimp a Butterfly" with Swift’s record having a metacritic rating of 76 compared to Lamar’s outstanding score of 96. Lamar’s album tackled important themes such as racial inequality, depression, African American culture, and institutional discrimination and was even hailed as “The Great American Hip-Hop Album” by some critics. However, it could be argued the Swift winning her second Album of the Year Grammy was still significant since she was the first woman to win in the category twice as a main artist.

This year, however, Kendrick Lamar is back with seven nominations with nominations for his album "DAMN" in the Album of the Year category and his song "HUMBLE" in the Record of the Year category. Most noticeably omitted from the latter category was Taylor Swift’s single "Look What You Made Me Do" and rightfully so. Other songs in the category (see "The Story of O.J. and Redbone) are much better written and sound like they have their finger on the pulse of this year’s music trends.

However, simply nominating an array of female artists and artists of color aren’t enough to turn the tide of the show’s waning relevance. In order to prove that the academy isn’t as woefully behind the trends as in years past, these artists need to take the prizes home. After all, it’s about time that Kendrick Lamar wins an Album of the Year grammy. He’s waited too long for this.

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Who IS Allowed To Talk About Gun Control?

I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

Who is allowed to talk about gun control?

I see a lot of stuff on social media saying that teenagers don’t know enough to talk about gun control. Why? If a teenager dies of cancer, their friends talk about cancer. If a teenager dies because they were hit by a drunk driver on Prom night, the high school scares their students into not drinking and driving. Guess what, 17 teenagers were killed last week. Why are their friends not allowed to have an opinion on that? They have been going to funerals every day since Friday. I can’t imagine having to go to the funeral of the guy I sat next in math class. People my age aren’t supposed to die, we are supposed to graduate and get our dream job. A high school student should be thinking about homework and what movie they're seeing this weekend, not if that noise in the hallway was a man with a gun.

In media, we project images of strong teenagers. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, they are all books and movies depicting kids in situations they don’t like. The main characters fight the system causing an uproar from the adults. But, in the end the teenagers are victorious, their prize is happiness and spending their adult lives in peace. Why would adults feed their children these novels and not expect the message to be taken to heart.

Ou president is a 71 year old white man, there were approximately 14 incidents where shots were fired in a school. That is about as many as there have been in 2018. I have no idea what changed, what has made this number dramatically increase. But obviously something needs to change. Why does President Trump feel threatened by the idea of making the ability to purchase a gun less accessible?

Personally, I don’t think that we need to make all guns illegal. There are many people, several of which I’m related to, who legally own guns that have only ever been used to shoot animals during their designated hunting seasons. But, last week I watched in horror as the news story of a guy that I graduated with was shot and killed. He had recently bought a pump action shotgun and was showing friends when it accidentally went off and shot him in the chest.In our society, guns are not going to disappear, but they are far too prevalent and easily accessible to those who clearly do not need to be in possession them.

The students of Douglas High School do not want to do away with guns. They want to make sure that no one ever has to worry about their friends, children, siblings or any one else while they are trying to get an education. I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

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I Hate To Say It, But Social Media Is Ruining Us

Why post everything on Facebook?

I'm guilty of it myself. I post photos on my social media accounts of a fun vacation I went on, or of my friends and I looking good and having a fun time. I strive for that perfect candid that was so unplanned but was still so cute. Events that I am proud of I share with my friends. I write articles just as I am writing this one, to share my ideas on the media.

But why do we have a tendency to share all this online?

There is nothing wrong with posting pictures that you want to expose to others. However, when it becomes a comparison, it becomes a problem. Often times, social media portrays people's lives onscreen different from their reality. Instagram can make it seem that someone is living their best life when in reality there is a failure to show the pure, raw and difficult insight or emotion your follower is actually experiencing. It can be a fake, false distortion that has the ability to put others down and reconsider their own lives. It essentially this "Barbie doll" misconception. Unfortunately, no one's life is as easy and perfect as we think it is.

Another issue faced by social media is Facebook's "What's on your mind?" question bar. I feel like this question is almost rhetorical, as if we all answered this question honestly with details, is it really what is appropriate for all audiences? Telling information face to face in our inner circle is one thing, but there is certainly a distinction between Facebook friends and true friends. People don't always have everyone's best interest at heart. Most of us are not close with half of these friends we have added. So why do we need to share our every movement of every day with them?

Sharing pictures of your own, your child's or a loved one's graduation or milestone is completely justifiable and in fact, encouraged. But when media is used to brag or showcase something that you would not normally discuss in real life, it may be time to reconsider.

We are told numerous times by our elders that we are overly absorbed in what is in our hands. We are not making as many everyday connections outside the realm of the device in our fingertips. I never thought that I would agree as much, and I hate to say that it is something I've become more and more aware of is true.

To conquer this general trend and harmful trend found in modern times, enjoy the moment and be present. Who knows if you'll have the same opportunity to be in the same place with the same people twice.

Stop recording the concert, and enjoy the fact that you're seeing one of your favorite artists live. Enjoy your beach day without making the entire day that is supposed to be about relaxation, about taking a good pic.

Social media is a blessing that we are all grateful for, but let's not let its curse get the best of us. Since when was this supposed to be a stressful thing?

So go on a cleanse. Put the device down, and go see the world for yourself, not for anyone else.

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