The Grammys took place last night and the winners list is here, though it must be said, the Grammys have repeatedly shown themselves to be culturally irrelevant in the winners of the awards. Adele’s OK album winning over Beyoncé’s for album of the year continues the problem that a black artist has in winning one of the night’s major awards. Frank Ocean just refused to enter his work and explained why yesterday.
So the awards are establishment-lead trash but the live performances are what keeps people coming back. There were 16 performances last night and here are the most notable ones:
Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin & Tamela Mann
Chance The Rapper’s performance was a highly-charged medley from Coloring Book complete with choir, Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. Chance won Best New Artist and this is how he accepted.
A Tribe Called Quest, Anderson .Paak, Consequence & Busta Rhymes
A Tribe Called Quest performed ‘We The People’ (with some bits from ‘Award Tour’ and ‘Can I Kick It?) with Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes and Consequence. Busta called Trump President Agent Orange, they brought American Muslims on-stage and Q-Tip called the crowd to ‘Resist!’.
Bruno Mars’ did a tribute to Prince with Morris Day and The Time (a band that Prince played with and formed in school) – ‘Jungle Love’ was played too but isn’t in the video. Mars did ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is a Purple Rain-era velvet suit and it turns out he can slay on guitar:
The big winner of the night – Adele performed a tribute to George Michael that was she restarted as she was off-key. Performing ‘Fast Love’ she slowed the song down to a craic-less coma level cover that could have been so much more. She also performed ‘Hello’ at the start and acknowledged that Beyoncé should have won the album of the year trophy (the Grammys do not have a strong history of giving big awards to black artists).
Recent Polaris Prize winner Kaytranada is a frequent dealer of dancefloor edits and he’s come through with two edits that were needed of two of the best tunes of the year – Chance The Rapper’s ‘All Nite’ and Solange’s ‘Cranes In The Sky’. Both available for download too.
Chance the Rapper performed ‘No Problems’ with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz on Ellen, using the backdrop of a “Generic Records” company board meeting, which they promptly tear up the way Chance keeps his career independent and in his own control, as he discusses below with Ellen.
Lil Wayne also referenced the recent US Olympic debacle with the new line “And if that label try to stop me/ I’m goin let ’em rob me / Yeah, right, like Ryan Lochte.”
Coloring Book, Chance’s latest free album has grown to be one of my favourites of 2016.
Chance The Rapper’s original show in the Olympia Theatre is to be rescheduled due to conflicts but the good news is that Chance will now play two shows in the Helix, on Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th November instead.
Current ticket holders will have first choice on exchanging their tickets for either of the new dates. A limited number of extra tickets will subsequently go on general release. Please contact Ticketmaster for any questions (I presume they’ll be in touch with ticketholders direct).
Chance The Rapper is finally coming to Ireland for a headline show. The Chicago rapper comes to Dublin for one night on Friday November 11th for a show at the Olympia Theatre. Tickets are €39.50 + fees on sale Monday from Ticketmaster.ie at 10am.
Chance is one of the best new artists to emerge in recent years. Endorsed by Kanye (and upstaging him on his recent album The Life Of Pablo), Chancelor Bennett has been repping the independent route since appearing with his Acid Rap mixtape. He diverged to bring in his music mates on the Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment Surf album last year and earlier this year, he dropped his free release Coloring Book.
The Dublin date is part of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour. You should get tickets.
Here are a list of my most listened and loved records of 2016 so far with Spotify playlists for overall and Irish albums of the year. Anderson Paak’s soulful album has been on constant, while Bowie left us a legendary parting gift, Bibio turned in a career best work, Kendrick dropped an outtakes album that is better than most regular albums, Radiohead returned with a personal album, Chance the Rapper continues to take over, Christine & The Queens stole our hearts, Rusangano Family made the best Irish rap album in quite a while, Blood Orange made a sprawling album of guest-filled tunes made for repeat, Beyoncé, James Blake aand Radiohead dropped albums at short notice, Kaytranada kept up on his promise and Skepta made a great grime album.
I would love to hear what records moved you so far this year, leave a comment below.