I shouldn’t really be that surprised, I mean come on, its the American Music Awards. After The BET Awards, its probably the least credible awards ceremony of them all which claims to celebrate the best music from the past year.
But even with my low expectations I was still annoyed at what a complete mess the whole thing was. First lets talk about the winners list and what a total crock of shit that was. Now its no secret that RnB and HipHop are severely under-represented when it comes to awards show, especially since the EDM wave became the predominant sound and many original RnB artists decided that making good music just wasn’t for them and decided to make generic EDM tracks to score hits in this iTunes generation we live in. So because of that theres been a blurring of what/who is an RnB artist and who is a pop artist and what annoys me the most is that a lot of these award shows hold this mentality that black artist= RnB. Regardless of what actual genre they belong to, they are always included in the ‘urban’ categories of award shows because anything that isn’t pop or rock or country must belong to black people.
Case in point being Rihanna (whose Icon award I will get on to shortly). She won the awards for ‘Favourite Female Artist- Rnb/Soul’ and I’m sorry but since when has Rihanna been Rnb or even Soul for that matter? The award directors probably saw her ‘Pour It Up’ video once and though ‘Oh yes very well, she is the best RnB artist there is because she is black and doing that twerking dance all these black people seem to be on about’.
The simple fact is that there really isn’t any RnB female artist doing it big in the industry right now. The other two ladies nominated were Ciara and Alicia Keys, Ciara’s album was more RnB than anything Rihanna has ever done but no one is checking for her and Alicia Keys’ new material is less RnB more Pop so there really isn’t anyone to choose from based on their music except the one who is most popular out of the three who is Rihanna.
Justin Timberlake won the male equivalent of the same award but also won the Favourite Male Pop/Rock Artist as well. I’m sorry but how can the same artist be nominated for two different categories based on genre? Granted Justin Timberlake is Pop but he isn’t Rock and granted he is Rnb but he isn’t Soul at all.
The other guys nominated for the RnB/Soul category were Miguel and Robin Thicke who both are heaps more worthy of the award. Miguel’s ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ album remains one of the best Rnb/Soul albums released amidst the EDM wave, it even dabbled with Rock! And Robin Thicke has always been Rnb/Soul but because of his song ‘Blurred Lines’ people assume him to be a Justin Timberlake rip off which is another topic that warrants me to slap a hoe without any hesitation. It could be down to the fact that he is simply the most popular out of the three therefore he gets the award just like Rihanna but you could also put it down to the fact that he is a white man in a traditionally black genre and heaven forbid a man of colour is celebrated at an awards ceremony which only does appeal to middle class white America.
When it came to performances Miley continued to be as weird as possible which we are all slowly getting use to now so the novelty has worn off. Katy Perry proved that when it comes to her, a loud backing track is girl’s best friend and Justin Timberlake performed a song no one even cared for from an album no one seemed to care that was released. Only two performances really stood out for me and that was Ariana Grande’s and Kendrick Lamar’s.
Ariana’s performance was one of the best of the night, her vocals were outstanding and proved to everyone she deserved the new best artist award at the American Music Awards. I just need her to mature her image a bit when it comes to album number 2! But nothing too drastic, not all of us have dreams of grinding on Robin Thicke.
Kendrick Lamar’s performance was wasted on the audience which made me wonder why they even asked him to perform in the first place. He performed his tracks ‘Swimming Pools’ and ‘Poetic Justice’ with such vigour only to be received by an audience just sitting there waiting for it to be over. Only when the camera panned to the girls of Fifth Harmony dancing and singing along and being the ONLY people in the audience to do so was it made clear that this audience just weren’t in the mood for negro music. The fact the camera then panned to Taylor Swift awkward swaying side to side pretending to feel the songs while her face said ‘wtf is he rapping about?’ spoke volumes!
Like I said, the American Music Awards are aimed at middle class white America and unless you are white or fully embraced by white audiences i.e Rihanna will you never be celebrated at these types of award shows. Which brings me on to my final insight of the night nicely.
We all know how I feel about Rihanna winning the Icon Award and how undeserving she is to be honoured with it but only when they showed her intro video stating all her accomplishments did I fully realise what a damn waste of time the whole thing was. ’33 Million Twitter Followers’, ’10 Million Instagram Followers’, ‘Most views on VEVO’.. I’m sorry but when did these stats correlate to being an icon?! Hell, Hilter had a lot of followers but no one gave him an award celebrating how iconic he was. The whole thing was a pointless exercise and you could tell just by how reluctant most of the audience were to stand up and applaud her for the award.
To be fair when you think about it the whole American Music Awards this year was a pointless exercise in how out of tune this awards ceremony is with the actual music industry. The whole thing smelt of a high school popularity contest with the ones most deserving being ignored in favour of those who would pull in the big ratings. But on the plus side at least TLC performed ‘Waterfalls’ on the night, but knowing this generation, the teenage audience members probably think they’re a new girl group inspired by Nicki Minaj or some bullshit like that.