Taking sides: Should Andy Samberg win a Grammy?
Welcome to Taking sides -- our weekly post where Click Track's contributors argue over the week's juiciest morsels of music news. This week's topic: the rap on comedy rap...
Funnyman Andy Samberg's funnyband The Lonely Island has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Samberg began campaigning for victory this week with a new clip on Funny or Die.
Is this nomination a slap in the face to hip-hop? Or is that taking things too seriously? Should Samberg and co. actually win this award?
(Debate and video, after the jump.)
Allison Stewart: The sad thing is, Lonely Island has one of the better songs in this category. I think the bigger problem lies not with hip-hop, which has been having a bad year, (well, not that bad), but with the Grammy selection process. Most of the tracks seem to have been picked by hapless older voters who nominated the most familiar, least threatening artists: "How about Beyonce?" Or, "Justin Timberlake is someone I've heard of." Grammy voters resemble Oscar voters in that, like film critic Manohla Dargis said recently, you can never underestimate their bad taste. If I was a Grammy-eligible hip-hop artist who got passed over this year, I wouldn't take it personally.
Chris Richards: Strangely, nothing makes my blood boil quite like comedians rapping. Lighten up dude, I know. But I feel like there's something inherently disrespectful about hip-hop being the go-to genre for parody (see: Natalie Portman on SNL, Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin on SNL, Samberg's numerous digital shorts on SNL...). How can the hip-hop community not be miffed about this nomination? The-Dream's Twitter-tantrum after being snubbed for a nod proves that artists still care deeply about these awards. On that note, Kanye West appears on three of the five tracks nominated for this category. If he loses to Samberg, I fully endorse the imminent hissyfit.
Sarah Godfrey: I think Samberg is a comedic genius who seems to like and respect the genres he parodies -- and he’s actually a tight little rapper. But can’t the same be said of Weird Al Yankovic? I thought “I’m On A Boat” was hilarious, but would rather see the whole Lonely Island project recognized in the Best Comedy Album category (where Lonely Island isn't nominated), rather than having a joke track take up a nominee slot. It's mildly offensive, but it's the Grammys. If we're talking Grammy crimes against hip-hop, this is waaaaay down toward the bottom of the list. It's not nearly as bad as nominating Young MC back in 1990, or MC Hammer in 1991, or a post Jazzy Jeff-era Will Smith in 1999, or Coolio in 1995, 1996 AND 1997, or…
David Malitz: Maybe they just felt the need to keep nominating T-Pain -- he was nominated in 2008 and 2009. It's a bit lame, considering some of the decade's best songs previously won in this category but it's hard to get too worked up about it. But that's mainly because it's the Grammys, not because it's not offensive. Still, no matter how seriously you take the Grammys, Andy Samberg should not win one before he wins a Teen Choice Award.
Should Samberg should win the Grammy? Scroll down to comment!
December 17, 2009; 12:09 PM ET
Categories: Taking sides | Tags: Andy Samberg, Grammys, Lonely Island, T-Pain
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