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TGJ Roundtable: Grammys 2017 Review

Published: Monday 13th Feb 2017 by Sam

Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!

Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!

Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.

Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…

Grammy Awards 2017

Sam

Beyond being the most memorable Grammys in years, last night was easily one of the most resonating award shows in recent memory. 

As anyone from the “MTV generation” will agree, award show slayage is defined by the ticking of three boxes: great performances, commendable wins / speeches, and off-script moments that have you OMG’ing. 

The 2017 Grammys checked each and every one. 

In unpacking my views, it’s perhaps best to do so using said headers…

The Performances

Beyonce saved her first public appearance since announcing her pregnancy with twins for music’s biggest night – and didn’t disappoint.

Her showing was expectedly slower in tempo, but still captivating, arresting, and rousingly regal. What’s more, as a fan who continues to yearn for the ferocious Sasha Fierce from yesteryear, last night’s performance still managed to satisfy and electrify. Indeed, in literally being on the edge of her seat, she had me on the edge of mine.

Another highlight was Bruno Mars’ showing of ’That’s What I Like.’ What it may have lacked in “moments,” it more than made up for in vocals, choreography, and precision. He really is one of the best performers of the current generation. 

Similarly, Adele’s rendition of ‘Hello’ was simple, but effective. It’s an enormous song – both sonically and commercially – and had not yet been performed on a stage of this magnitude. As such, it was great to see her do it justice. 

Other highlights included Chance The Rapper’s praise and worship, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, and Cynthia Erivo.

Lady Gaga’s embrace of the eccentric (again) brought joy to my heart. But we’ll get to that later.

The Awards & Speeches

While corners of the net are melting down over the clear talking points (see: Adele’s wins and Beyonce’s snub), I’m somewhat “ok” with their overall narrative. Especially given the public shows of respect and affection between the ladies on stage.

Of course, the broader context of Beyonce being consistently shut out of the “big” categories does make one wonder.  But it was cool to see her walk away with Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video for ‘Formation.’

I thoroughly enjoyed ’25’ and actually feel it to be Adele’s best holistic body of work, hence if Bey were to lose out to anyone it’s warming that it was her. 

Elsewhere, Solange’s win for Best R&B Performance warmed my spirit, as did Cynthia Erivo and the cast of ’The Color Purple’ bagging Best Musical Theater Album. The latter is an actual slay from start to finish. Check it out. 

Off-Script Moments 

Am I the only one who felt at numerous points that the Grammy’s were being produced by ’The Real Housewives Of Atlanta’ team? The drama!

Adele’s start-stop tribute to George Michael defined OMG. Beyond the shock of the moment itself, I was stuck thinking of the chaos that must have gone down in that control room. Every second (literally) of such shows are accounted for and for such a mass watched special, there’s also multi-million-dollar ad component too. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any ramifications. 

As for the moment itself, Ms. Adkins is lucky that she was a) the night’s MVP, b) able to rest of the excuse that she “wanted to make it right” for George, and c) a big enough power player to be able to brush it off. Any other act under any other circumstances could have been career crushing. 

Gaga and Metallica’s showing was equally awkward – but in an oddly amazing way. 

From the rocker’s not being introduced despite it being their performance, to their mics not working, to the song sounding like construction noise, it had all the makings of disaster. 

However Gaga is such an engaging, crazy performer, that it made for an wowing watch. 

Notable Mentions:

  • Katy Perry sucked, which is unfortunate as I’m “here” in earnest for her new song. 
  • James Corden was a great host. 
  • The Weeknd was a snooze; he may have it “coming” but it never arrived. Boring.
  • Rihanna not bagging anything for ‘Work’ was surprising.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable show. 

**************

David

Last night’s ceremony was indelible!

Though I was disappointed to watch Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ left out in the cold, the show’s line-up reminded me that today’s industry is filled with a diverse range of talented entertainers.

Beyond Beyonce’s performance and wins, Katy Perry’s comeback and Adele’s moving George Michael tribute and award-collecting, Chance the Rapper’s success on the night stood as its highlight.

Why?

In a time in which impressionable kids find themselves inundated with soulless (and suspiciously drug-pushing) party numbers, watching Chance- an articulate and artistic male artist of colour- receive recognition for his work was monumental.

His glorious night can only encourage the industry’s eco-system to support credible musicians with art which gives the critical mass something to invest and believe in.

Back to Rihanna.

It stings to watch ‘ANTI’ suffer because of an unfortunately-handed rollout but I hope that this doesn’t deter Rihanna from venturing into more subversive musical territory with her next studio effort.

**************

Rashad

Is it me or was the Grammys markedly less boring? Between Adele and Metallica’s sound snafus and major upsets, it actually made for an overall enjoyable watch.

The night belonged to Bruno and Adele.  Bruno delivered two flawless performances and reminded us all that he is infinitely better than his closest male competitors (Ed Sheeran & The Weeknd). Adele – whose historic sweep of the Grammys left a lot of people sour (myself included) – had already won America’s heart with her botched tribute to George Michael.  That “save” was iconic and helped rescue her from what I believe would have been a terrible performance anyway (leave it to Adele to make even “Fast Love” sound like a funeral song).

If you ask me though, the tribute was poor – not due to Addy’s hiccup – but to the fact there was only one performer and a random song from his polished catalog selected.  His legacy is so chockfull of much more appreciated numbers.

Elsewhere, Tori Kelly slayed (as expected) and the overall Bee Gees tribute was enjoyable.  Chance the Rapper gets all the thumbs up for his public proclamations of faith.

Finally, as a #Beyhive member I’m hoping my membership doesn’t get revoked, but…erm…that Grammys performance was confusing as hell.  The spectacle was great given what I assumed she was going for (a la 2011 Billboard Music Awards “Run the World” pt. 2), but it just left me scratching my head a bit in parts.  As always, I love that she’s pushing the visual envelope however.  This will serve her well in later years, much like it’s doing Madonna.

P.S. – Man, they’re wrong for how they did my girl Rih!

**************

Joe

Yesterday, the Grammys lived up to its reputation as “the biggest night in music.” Indeed, this year’s ceremony was packed with memorable segments on several fronts.

If Adele was the big winner of the night, the very thing which won me over – yet again – was her realness and authenticity.
Starting the festivities off with a stellar rendition of ‘Hello’, she pulled off quite the ballsy move during her George Michael tribute and obviously THAT acceptance speech where she showered her “rival” Beyonce with praise.

Although she took home only 2 out of 9 gongs yesterday, Beyonce will remain the main talking point of the night and rightfully so. The pregnant diva delivered the best performance of the night with her ethereal 9-minute showing, once again proving to the world that she is the ultimate performer of this generation.

If there ever was a ‘WTF’ Performance award, I would give it to Katy Perry who’s showing was disastrous to these eyes and ears. I’m still trying to figure out why some artists think they don’t need dancers. The Weeknd was a bit of a letdown too as not much was happening on stage, which is a shame as his music is very visual. Still, he was in good voice for the most part so kudos.


Gaga’s performance was interesting, as the technical issues made for a cringe watch. But one has to give it to her for salvaging the whole shabang with her Rockstar attitude and energy and as always those vocals. Talking about vocals, Bruno Mars is another name to always deliver on that front and his ‘That’s What I Like’ performance was no exception.
Sidenote: Am I the only one who thinks that he could have made that a real “moment” had he went on and serenaded Jennifer Lopez who was front row and center and clearly ready for some camera action?

As far as the other performances go, John Legend and Cynthia Erivo delivered flawless singing; Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood got the whole room going with ‘The Fighter’; A Tribe Called Quest made sure to school the people on the woeful ways of a certain “President Agent Orange”; Alicia Keys beautifully sung a song which should have been included on her own album and released as a single at some point; and Chance The Rapper turned the Staples Center into the biggest church in America.

As a long time supporter of his, I was elated to see him take home 3 awards; it’s always good to see Adele win as her talent is unparalleled. I was expecting Rihanna to bag at least one trophy and even though ‘Lemonade’ isn’t my favorite album of the year, it deserved as much as ’25’ to win AOTY – if only for its cultural impact and critical acclaim.

Thank you the Grammys for a fantastic night.

**************

Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and your thoughts on the 2017 Grammys.

Your thoughts?

[Photo credit: Getty]

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  1. Shakira stan February 13, 2017

    Bruno stole the show, Adele swept the awards. Not a good day for the hives.

    • Elsie February 13, 2017

      Maybe these big black artist should start attending award show where they are actually being awarded and recognized for their artistry

      • We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

        Good point! However, the Grammy committee could also stop being so racially bias. It needs to start diversifying. Predjuice is never okay.

    • Jasmine February 13, 2017

      I don’t think it matters if Beyonce wins or loses an award. She is a superstar now and when she graces any awards show with her presence she is awarding the show itself and boosting their ratings. I say all this and I am not even a Beyonce fan just a realist. If an awards show wants to stay relevant they will want to book Beyonce. Period. Adele had a good album and she won awards for it. I won’t get into whose album is better because the reality is that it does not really matter whose album was better.

      • LOL February 13, 2017

        LMAO THE LIES YOU TELL. STRUGGLEYONCE DOES NOT BRING IN RATINGS FOR ANYTHING, EVERY SHOW SHE DOES HAS A RATINGS DIP LMAO

      • Memo February 13, 2017

        She can’t even get ratings for her documentaries or whatever she does and her Super Bowl performance showed a dip in ratings.

      • HailLegendBeysus February 14, 2017

        @Memo Lmao But Beyoncé moment was the most tweeted and Blue Ivy crashing the Carpool Karaoke skit was the second most tweeted. Not to mention the Grammys had an audience of 26 million viewers which was up from last year. 😂😂😂😂😂

      • JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2017

        Hail You are so damn biased. Weren´t you guys mocking Gaga´s most “tweeted” Halftime show ever article? (only to have an “in your faces” moment when numbers were released and we knew Gaga´s was teh most successful halftime show since Madonna´s). Why is that “most tweeted” moment at the grammys so relevant now then? LOL A joke.

      • Chicerrtain February 15, 2017

        Why should beyonce get preferential treatment.? It is obvious she insists on 9-13 minute sets. Why not 3mins and then get out. She gets too much attention. It is annoying. Lots of artistes can dance and have their own dancers. Why beyonce?

    • LISA LEVINE February 14, 2017

      Beyonce’s Cd is a epic group-effort art piece which i DID NOT PURCHASE. I did purchase Adele’s 25. I wanted Vocals, emotion and real song writing. I don’t think the industry chose because of race, I think they chose because Adele, let her heart and vocals on the table, and America brought it. Adele sould 10 million copies and deserved the Award. Adele is diamond selling now. Beyonce is not.

  2. TheBeysusImpact February 13, 2017

    I’m glad it was Adele that stole Beys awards though 🐝🍋🐝🍋🐝🍋

    • Jasmine February 13, 2017

      If someone “stole” something that means they are stealing something they don’t own or deserve. Are you saying that Adele is not deserving of grammy awards? Last time I checked grammy awards do not “belong” to any artist. They are just gold statues that are handed out every year in February.

  3. Meme February 13, 2017

    This off y’all are mad disrespectful on this board. That post with Rihanna was uncalled for. She’s out here working just as hard if not harder than any other artist. She put together a cohesive, superior quality album and the Grammys paid her dust. Chance was the only black artist who got proper recognition last night. They did both Beyoncé and Rihanna wrong.

    • LB February 13, 2017

      Im not a Rihanna fan but its clear they f**ked both Bey and Rih this year. Its sad that the Grammy’s don’t fully recognize and celebrate talented, successful, boss black women.

  4. Pat February 13, 2017

    Bruno owned it performance wise. Bey really wanted those awards. U could c it on her face. Kudos to adele being so gracious. It was a pretty good show overall.

  5. BEYSTAN_ SINCE 1997 February 13, 2017

    Besides Beyonce getting snubbed for AOTY, I can honestly I enjoyed this years show.
    Adeles Tribute to George Michael, Beyonce, Bruno Mars were all great!

    On another note artist like Bey, Rih, Drake, Kendrick, & Kanye need to start attending the BET, Soul Train. NAACP, & Trumpet awards that were made to honor black music/entertainment. Yes Grammies are the biggest honor a music artist can get but, white men dominate the committee & albums like (To Pimp a butterfly & Lemonade don’t stand a chance against white artist like Adele 25 or Taylor Red). Overall loved the show

    • Jasmine February 13, 2017

      I agree about black artists should support the NAACP, BET, etc awards but we all know historically as a black artist gets the chance to become a superstar they stop attending those awards. I think Beyonce still attends and has performed at recent BET award shows. The Soul Train awards have went too downhill and many times it is not even televised. The NAACP and Trumpet awards is a hit or miss with attendance.

  6. JOHNVIDAL February 13, 2017

    At least there were great performers like Bruno and Gaga. The awards themselves weren´t going to be amazing news anyway (see todays digital sales charts, grammys are having less and less impact). At least nothing infuriating (like Taylor Swift winning big too many times in the past) happened since Drake, Justin Beiber and Rihanna were losers. I mean, they deserve nothing. I´m tired of basicness. Adele and Beyonce were the best ones. And one of the two won. With the crazy amount of grammys Beyonce already has I feel like I really don´t want her to win the big one. Like seriously, she is not a Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Sprindsteen type of singer-songwriter as to deserve 20 grammys or whaterver the number is and also keep on winning more and more years. Just no. Musically she is not even a Mariah Carey. I wouldn´t have any problem with her winning over Adele for Lemonade or “Beyonce”. I think she´s at her best artistically lately. But after all the grammys she already has? No. Adele is too damn acclaimed too. She´s great and has done for music what nobody has able to do in teh last 15 years. But this second total win in a row is too much too. For the same reason as Beyonce, she´s no damn musical genious or anything as to deserve these tremendous historic accolades. But she was the best option among the nominees. Sad but true. At the end of the day it may not even be grammy´s fault. It´s just the state of maisntream music.

    Congrats to the two ladies anyway. They are killing it in their respective lanes.

    • We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

      Beyonce deserved Album of the year. Her album “Lemonade” covered everything that took place in 2016. She deserved it! In a time of bigoted presidents and police brutality I do think that Lemonade deserved AOTY. Although, I am happy Adel egave a shout out to Bey; I feel like both are Legends in the making.

      • 💎Yellow Diamonds💎 February 13, 2017

        Bey been in the game for like 20 years, she’s already legendary. Name an artist that can still sell millions and is 20 years into their career. Honestly these day 30k is like the new standard she sell above and beyond that. Like it or not she also puts on a good show when on stage. To me she is our generations Tina Turner.

      • Chicerrtain February 15, 2017

        Really? That dirty album with stripper language in almost every song? That a stupid song like formation got nominated and won best video is annoying. Let her stupid album not start a trend. Mind you, I am black.

    • King B February 14, 2017

      So, she doesn’t deserve to win because she already has many? And saying she’s not a musical genius is a lie. You never know how hard it is to create a body of work with a certain theme. Creating a cohesive records and at the same time all of the songs are of different genres (from trap to country) are not easy. That’s not all, they have to create a movie that match the theme of the album, look for the poem etc. And furthermore you stans for Gaga, whose songs sounds the same since 2008 and she’s always playing it safe. Btw, Halo Live Version shouldve won Best Pop Vocal not Bad Romance.

      • JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2017

        LOL Boy Beyonce is NOT A MUSICAL GENIOUS. I´m so very sorry but you need to leave the buble you live in. She is barely a songwriter, how is she going to eb a musical genious???? She has a vision, that´s all. And I congratulate her for that ever since she released “4”. She changed for the better. But stop it. Her biggest asset is that she is a force on stage.

  7. Swiftie February 13, 2017

    The awards were boring.
    The Weeknd was meh
    Beyoncé made me sleepy
    And Katy Perry’s peformance was a good bathroom break wait till T6 comes out and earns her third AOTY

  8. The Wig Snatcher February 13, 2017

    I’m surprised that I agree with everything Joe said. Rashad is usually the one I most agree with. Well said to both.

  9. LmfaoHoe February 13, 2017

    Adele voice live isnt anything to me. It was boring. And her rendition of Fastlove just was soulless. She might as well song One More Try ! Rihanna was robbed obviously and Bey should’ve got AOT point period. Her album and the impact of 2016 along with the tour had met the success it was out to achieve. F*** the Grammys though. Did my research and I cannot believe how Mariah was robbed years ago too. But those white muthfuckzs have no problem giving Basic Swift as two AOT awards? at the point the Grammys lost not only they damn minds or hearing but damn dure credibility.

  10. HOWYOULIKEIT February 13, 2017

    Bey shouldnt go to that show in the future. Enough

  11. GaGa’s Little Lamb February 13, 2017

    Am I the only one besides the Katy Cats that actually enjoyed Katy’s set? Vidually it was appealing and I found myself singing along.
    Beyonce never fails to amaze me every time she hits the stage,the production,attention to detail,costumes,vocals and choreography just when you think she set the bar high enough she goes and Sets it even higher

  12. Suicide Blonde February 13, 2017

    Rashad is always the most honest and unbiased.

  13. We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

    I just wanna set the record straight for Suicide blonde. That blue eye devil had the audacity to call Beyonce pretentious because she was supppsedly mocking the “virgin mary”. First of all b****, her performance wasnt inspired by the Virgin Mary. It was about the African Goddess Osun or Oshun. She is the deity responsible for love, creativity, fertility. Osun is also the Goddess of water. African Mythology is Awesome!

    • 💎Yellow Diamonds💎 February 13, 2017

      Slay!

    • Suicide Blonde February 13, 2017

      All while including western culture items in it (European), also paying homage to the Roman goddess of love, s**, beauty and fertility VENUS, aww European mythology is awesome!…It even inspired people of other races.

      • We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

        Lies! She was portraying the african godness Oshun .. do a little research. That performance with the visuals and sound effects was pure artwork

  14. #1 Lamb February 13, 2017

    Bey had the best performance pregnant and all.

  15. We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

    Can we also give Solange a round of applause for winning her first Grammy last night. A Seat At the Table is my s***!

    • Rawtruth February 14, 2017

      The b**** is ungrateful tho!

  16. LB February 13, 2017

    After shaming your husband, exploiting your family, elevator-gate, exploiting BLM, still not good enough to win Album of the year. And this after the payouts, oh sorry, contributions that went to the Grammy committee, I cannot.

    Anyway I am here to announce that my Trey Songz inspired first single is coming out in Q4. If you like p**** popping music, you’ll love this. See y’all then.

  17. LB February 13, 2017

    It’s so funny looking at this fakectivists.

    The same ones that clown the BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, NAACP Awards scream racism at the Grammy’s LOL. Those hypocrites can kiss my black ass.

    • LOL February 13, 2017

      LMAO EXACTLY. THE GNATS ARE JUST MAD CUZ THEIR INSECT QUEEN GOT SPRAYED WITH RAID LAST NIGHT LMAO.

    • We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn’t kill ~ tyler February 13, 2017

      Why would a BLM inspired album win AOTY when the Grammy committee is full of old, white, men who would love to have a black woman chained to their bed like some bed wench ?

  18. LOL February 13, 2017

    LMAO JUST ADMIT IT BUGS. YALL ARE MAD CUZ ADELE SNATCHED THAT LACEFRONT RIGHT OFF STRUGGLEYONCES HEAD, THEN RUBBED HER FACE IN IT DURING HER ACCEPTANCE SPEECH LMAO.

    ONCE AGAIN, JAY’S H0 GETS UPSTAGED AND THE INSECTS ARE BUTTHURT LMAO. TELL HER TO WRITE A BIGGER CHECK NEXT TIME LMAO.

    • Krista February 13, 2017

      And nobody’s talking about gags

  19. Rellz February 13, 2017

    Look at the stans of flops who couldn’t even book the grammy stage OR an award worrying at BEYONCE. The irony. Congrats Adele though, loved her accepting speech.

  20. JanStan February 13, 2017

    “Monsters, we sold out every ticket to every show that went on sale today in North America. LOVE YOU!”

    That awkward moment haters said she was over and now she’s selling out stadiums (and adding 2nd dates). True talent and hustle did that!!! Yes queen!!!!!!!!!

  21. Rellz February 13, 2017

    Really proud of Solange as well!!! Congrats girl. Very deserving.

  22. Anne February 13, 2017

    I was for sure pulling for Beyonce and of course I’m disappointed but even though she has yet to win the biggest award, it’s always about Beyonce. She manages to somehow steal the show regardless. Her winning best urban contemporary was a consolation considering how competitive the category was this year. Also if she had to lose the big ones at least she lost to someone like Adele who is not only talented but the only nominee who would have honored Beyonce in the way she did. Let’s face it, Adele is part of the hive and beating Beyonce was a win/lose for her. No other winner would have acknowledged Beyonce’s worthiness. I admire her for being honest even to the point of downgrading her own achievement.

  23. #TeamTinashe Stan February 13, 2017

    Can we just applaud Chance The Rapper more for showcasing his love for JESUS CHRIST!? Wow. He accepted his honors with great praise to God truthfully and it felt real. Also his performance was PURIFYING!

    I just wish that black artists would push this hard and feel comfortable with attending and accepting their awards at the BET Awards but the MAJORITY disrespect it because they feel uncomfortable being in a room full of ….. you know their “OWN PEOPLE”. That’s how I feel! And they will perform/accept award quickly and leave in the midst of the show.

  24. bianca February 13, 2017

    Bey did great as usual she’s a performer she one some awards and was adored in her glowing state however she walked away with some humble pie. She didnt win the big awards because the only concept was to out do every artist and dominate everything from tours to awards. Which showed in lemonade. Yes it was artistic n all but the long video didnt fit the music. The movie was about beauty shots of beyonce while addressing a few issues and the music was about a woman dealing with a cheating husband that she reconciles with. She got lost in the artistry of the videos while making mediocre music thats why so many ppl didnt like it. Not everyone sat down to watch the movie.

  25. RihYonce February 13, 2017

    Ok the Grammys are gone & over. Let’s talk about how LEMONADE is #2 on iTunes !!!! Looks like it might be going back to #1 for the liike 20th Time 🍋

  26. Now at youfr best game way tuesidnz February 15, 2017

    Nice

  27. Chicerrtain February 15, 2017

    Seriously, if lemonade won more than it did, that would have been annoying. That album is dirty trash for the most part with whorish language. Beyonce is the most overated artiste of all time. If she stomps her feet, people act like it is acrobatic.

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