TGJ Roundtable: Grammy Awards 2016 Review

Published: Tuesday 16th Feb 2016 by Sam
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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.”

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 about the hottest topics in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor about the…

Grammy Awards 2016

Sam

Billed as “Music’s Biggest Night,” this year’s Grammy ceremony was sadly boring, banal, and basic. 

Where does one even begin, because there was far too much “dreckitude” on display to digest. Perhaps, it’s best then to detail the little I actually liked first. 

Lady Gaga was sensational. For me, more than the cool tech elements supplied by Intel, it was her nuanced embodiment of David Bowie’s look, sound, and discography that really resonated most. She is a star in the truest sense of the term, hence it’s so warming to see her light burning brightly again in the public domain. All I need is for her to follow through with that all-important “comeback” single and it’ll be a wrap (in the best of ways). She has the momentum, all that’s needed now is the music. 

Elsewhere, Kendrick Lamar was another highlight. 

I must preface by saying that, as someone who is big on diction, I do wish that he spat his bars in such a way that the masses could really hear what he was rapping. He spouted powerful and needed lyrics, but in the midst of emotion some of it sounded like he was spitting into the mic. Literally. 

Thankfully, he paired the showing with compelling visuals which really drove home his point. Kudos. 

Everything else (besides Andra Day, Tori Kelly, and Miguel perhaps) was pretty much a disaster. 

Rihanna’s suspect cancellation is an embarrassment for all involved. Like when lining up the reality that she shot a commercial, performed just days before, and generally sings like she has bronchitis anyway, her flaking is arguably unpardonable. At the very least, with an album to promote, she could have (and should have) just posed on the red carpet, collected the coverage, and had the PR machine spin her performance into an “appearance.” Or am I being too harsh?

On the topic of struggle vocalists, The Weeknd has yet to win me over. He has great songs and a solid album, but his notes last night were all sorts of “old McDonald had a farm.” Indeed, it was periodically painful to hear him attempt to soar when his vocals have clipped wings. Knowing that Lauryn Hill (his one lifeline) cancelled just made the whole thing worse. 

The night wasn’t helped either by the predictable winners or performers that looked as though they rehearsed at a bus-stop enroute to the show. Tech issues saw Adele tank, perhaps sinking with it the possibility of the amazing ‘All I Ask’ ever being a single. Not even a brief appearance by Beyonce could distract from the overall air of disappointment.

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All in all, the best thing about the 2016 Grammys is that it’s given organisers a blueprint of everything NOT to do next year. 

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David

I enjoyed last night’s ceremony. Though it was far from being one of its better shows, the awards presented and performances put on made it worth the watch.

From Kendrick’s bold and brave piece on the mass incarceration of African-American men to Gaga’s powerful tribute to David Bowie, the organisers gave music lovers a diverse show which celebrated – what I felt – was an awesome year in music.

Of course, cancelled performances by Lauryn Hill and Rihanna were disappointing, as well as was Adele’s tech-mess which pulled from what would have been a stellar performance from the unstoppable performer.

Beyonce’s decision to not take to the stage as we know and love makes complete sense as her absence can only help to build anticipation for her performance, and wins, next year.

As for Taylor Swift? I definitely see an Oscar or two in her future after “that” speech.

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Rashad

Clearly Grammys 2016 were sponsored by Ambien or Lunesta. For, why and how else would the showing be able to render what felt like 5 hours (but was actually only half of that) of the most boring collection of “entertainment” since recent memory allows.

Like most will probably say, the stand out performances were delivered by Kendrick Lamar and the Lionel Richie tribute. While the latter was just rehash from two nights before (sans Usher and Rihanna), it still deserves its props. Demi Lovato‘s stirring ‘Hello’ performance may have bordered on overkill, but there’s no question – the girl killed it. Showing off chops many may have not known she had, I can’t help but hope her future efforts do a better job of displaying them.

Lamar, on the other hand, unquestionably shut it down from start to finish. How refreshing to see a young artist (especially a Rap artist) be so willing to challenge the status quo so brazenly! Kudos to Kendrick.

ts-l

Elsewhere, Taylor Swift was still being rewarded for her flavorless brand of Pop. At this point, none of that is surprising. My only regrets of the night were A) wishing someone cared enough to run on stage and give my girl Adele a cough drop as she struggled through her performance (at points sounding like she was gargling concrete) and B) Rih didn’t hit the stage to show off ‘Kiss It Better.’

Alas, overall, the show – for its lack of excitement and few things worth talking about the next day – earns two thumbs down for me. I’m keen to see if the ratings reflect this.

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Joe

Looking back, there seemed to be a thick air of “uneventful” surrounding the 2016 Grammy Awards: from its odd scheduling (Grammys on a Monday?), to its oh so lackluster list of performers, the anticipation for Music’s Biggest Night never seemed to reach the levels of previous years.

In all fairness, I’d say the level of excitement – or lack-thereof – preceding the event had a direct impact on the degree of excitement it managed to generated…which was not much.

A year after taking the stage with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, Rihanna was set to re-ignite the ‘ANTI’-era with a big return to the stage… but no! Ms Fenty – undeniably “the” headlining act – was a no show. Adele delivered her worst performance of the year when singing ‘All I Ask’, one of the better cuts of her ’25’ album and The Weeknd – who was left hanging by Ms. Lauryn Hill –  sounded like messy Monday morning.

The diverse array of tributes were actually the most exciting moments of the ceremony. Demi Lovato, Tyrese and John Legend held it down for Lionel Richie with stellar vocals and Lady Gaga dazzled with a dynamic and daring display in remembrance of the late David Bowie. Miguel’s Michael Jackson tribute was unexpected but wholly effective.

Thankfully, King Kendrick Lamar – who should have had an “S” on his chest – was there to save the day. His politically-charged performance was easily the highlight of the night.

Ironically, what I would call the other standout wasn’t even part of the actual show and came in the form of Gwen Stefani‘s brilliant “live music video” and its flawless commercial break execution.

Better luck next time, Grammys. 2017’s cast is already looking more exciting than yesterday’s so the only way is up.

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Do you agree with our points? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and the 2016 Grammys!

Your thoughts?

[Photo credit: Getty]

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  1. #JACKIE February 16, 2016

    It was BORING

    • maurice February 16, 2016

      Snoozefest, it sure was.
      Nothing excited me or left a buzz or anything.
      Ellie Goulding performance was cute though — gave me chills with that black woman.

      • Meteorite February 16, 2016

        That black woman’s name is Andra Day

  2. HailBeysus February 16, 2016

    Lmao y’all a mess with the shade ?????

  3. Carey Like Mariah February 16, 2016

    Am I the only one who thought Beyoncé looked a bit out of it when she was speaking? Maybe she was just nervous, but she looked like she was in pain or had just finished crying backstage. ?

    • HailBeysus February 16, 2016

      Omg! Ikr! People were saying that she was crying back stage. She didn’t even look like she wanted to be there. Her voice seemed a bit shakey when she spoke. Bruno yelling “Lets Go Beyonce!!” Makes me wonder if something bigger is happening behind the scenes. The elliet are coming for Bey! I just can’t with these evil bastards!!!

      • shakira stan February 16, 2016

        Shut it !

    • johnyvb February 16, 2016

      You’re not the only one. She seemed out of place. They must have paid her well to attend though.

  4. shakira stan February 16, 2016

    As much as I hate Sam,he is right about rihanna, an appearance wouldn’t hurt ,even lip synching .lord knows this era needs all the promo it can get .
    I felt the biggest low this year was beyonce’s and her outfit. She looked fat ugly and the dress looked cheap plus she sounded like an iilliterate ,I could tell Bruno was uncomfortable with her stinking breath .

    • Dev February 16, 2016

      I disagree. You and Sam feel she needs promo but she clearly feels something else. It was stated that she recorded a commercial and preformed the night before and (regardless of ticket sales as i know this will be mentioned) she has a tour to do, so cancelling the already lame grammy’s over a few concert dates was a good decision

      • Jamon February 16, 2016

        Of course Sam is going to talk s***. All the other journalist said they were disappointed she and Lauryn Hill didn’t perform. But Sam has to be biased and act like he’s her manager or doctor and say what she should have done (a male Wendy Williams). He didn’t BASH Lauryn Hill at all (which he did right by not talking about her). Rihanna is a well known, global Superstar, who doesn’t need your comments. NO ONE KNOWS YOUR Ass!!

  5. Miss Maam February 16, 2016

    I agree, the show this year was BORING!

    However, the biggest disappointment for me was the snub for “Reality Show”. That album deserved all three noms. Also, Jazmine Sullivan (who is now a 11x nominee) deserves a Grammy.

    • ???Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans??? February 16, 2016

      Damn, the same number as Katy. She might win some pop Grammy’s next year, though.

  6. #TeamTinashe Stan(#JOYRIDE…..Coming Soon) February 16, 2016

    I liked the Grammys but didn’t like that they were giving the LifeTime Achievement Award to RUN DMC but not televise it nor do a special performance for such an ICONIC group. But with this award show it is very clear to see that we need to start valuing our new artists. Many of these artists such as Beyonce and others that are established we can’t depend on them all the time to show up at awards. I still think “Aquarius” got snubbed but it’s okay! 😉

    • The voice of a generation February 16, 2016

      So true. She should had atlewst been nominates for best urban contemoary album. Her album was more R&B then f****** weeknd aka saturday

  7. The voice of a generation February 16, 2016

    This blog/website should just be called a forum for pressed loose bottoms because y’all are unprofessional AF. You’ll never be respected. Shading rih and making a paragraph for bleachonce stumbling, 5th grade speech.

  8. Duffster Lovato February 16, 2016

    DEMI SLAYED!!! She had the nights best performance.

  9. José February 16, 2016

    This year’s show was a little on the boring side, Gaga and Kendrick slayed but that’s pretty much it. The winners were so predictable honestly now I can finally see that the Grammys is nothing but a popularity contest. Saddens me that the real artists that work on maturing their craft will never get the accolades and recognition they deserve. And yaaaaasssss at Nicki for being Grammyless for another year

    • JOHNVIDAL February 16, 2016

      Total agreeement. Those two were the only ones slaying last night.

  10. The voice of a generation February 16, 2016

    Anyways the Grammy’s sucked. I’ll never understand how a award show gives out most of there awards before they broad cast and filled with performances. There was no energy and it was boring. No A list performers. Also there handing out grammmys like fucming candy. How does Justin beiber have a Grammy when legends like Bob Marley and tupac don’t. The Grammy’s are like the VMA

  11. José February 16, 2016

    And what’s with this “Taylor Swift is the first female to win AOTY twice” mess these basic swift stand need to do their research for before making up such records

  12. The voice of a generation February 16, 2016

    Even though I can’t stand beyezbel I agree with the H**+e if the Grammy’s are about acclaim and excellence why did Taylor swift win? Her album was not better than Kendrick or Alabama shakes. She won because she is popular. Of that’s the cause beyst should had won over beck. So fraudulent and inconsistent

  13. Duffster Lovato February 16, 2016

    Asides Demi, John Legend and Kendrick, the show was boredom not even Adele could save it, why in heavens name did Bey not perform?

  14. The voice of a generation February 16, 2016

    Kii I can’t at Nicki minaj walking out empty handed once again! 10 nominations and still no wins

    • José February 16, 2016

      Kii shes coming for Katy’s wig

    • StopLyingggg February 16, 2016

      Because she’s trash why don’t u barbs understand that she will never get a Grammy lol how TF u the only rap chick sayin she the queen of rap without a number one or Grammy in 7yrs

  15. .:: Centurion ::. February 16, 2016

    I DIED when Beybøla was talking. How is this høe 36 years old, but speaks like a flushing toilet? Beybøla is one hell of a Performing Arts dropout retārded high on medication like the label slave she is.

    • HailBeysus February 16, 2016

      Kiii is that 7 day ban up already??? ???????????????????

  16. Smile February 16, 2016

    Lol Sam couldn’t WAIT to talk about Rihanna… I imagine him like The Riddler in Batman Forever when he’s locked away in the asylum at the end “no… Iiiiiiii am… Rihanna!” *flaps wings*

  17. .:: Centurion ::. February 16, 2016

    Nicki is still Grammyless and has been getting Ls for 5 years in row. ?

  18. johnyvb February 16, 2016

    I was kinda disappointed last night all throughout the ceremony. From all the tech problems that happened, people not attending AND they actually invited Pitbull to close the Grammys… I mean, really? Pitbull? I was embarrased. Why didn’t RUN DMC close the show?
    Anyway most of the performances where okay, although not amazing. Shot out to Kendrick, Demi, Andra, Ellie, John Legend, Miguel, James Bay and Tori!

    Also, was I the one who thought that the whole thing Gaga/Intel was overhyped? She did great, and it was an INCREDIBLE tribute, but what was SO innovative about it?
    And BEY… what was wrong with you? You acted like it was your first time being there and like you’re not on this industry for how many years. Light up girl!

  19. Shady81 February 16, 2016

    Only good highlight for me was performance wise was: Kendrick Lamar he did incredible, the Maurice White tribute, Hollywood Vampires (or Shall I say Johnny Depp and Em’) because I Johnny Depp totally stole the show from Alice Cooper and the rest of them.
    #JohnnySlayed.

  20. What now February 16, 2016

    This entire Grammy ceremony was horrible! I hope they sacrifice the sound engineer that messed up Adele. She got so scared and nervous, that she went off key and never recovered. She looked pissed asf and like she wanted to cry at the same time. Gaga was good for the tribute. It was very unique. I just wish Natalie Cole and others that just passed got a tribute as well. Also, RIP Vanity. She died right before or during the Grammys last night.

  21. Blue Fresh February 16, 2016

    The Grammys, ONCE AGAIN, have shown us that they cannot be trusted. Remember Pharrell’s atrocious album G I R L won over BEYONCE last year. Never forget that mess.

    The fact that Taylor Swift has two AOTY wins points to the sad state of those awards. She epitomizes mediocrity. It’s truly disgusting.

    Adele was a twice warmed over hot @$$ mess. No more passes. And by the way, her album is bad too. Sorry.

    How in THE HELL did Jack Ü win over Jamie XX? Disgusting.
    Meghan Trainor over Courtney Barnett? Disgusting.

    Poor Jazmine, poor Florence. Unlike Taylor, these two deserve Grammys.

    Congrats to Alabama Shakes, Ghost, D’Angelo, and Lalah Hathaway. Kendrick, they did it to you again. *sigh*

    • shakira stan February 16, 2016

      Uhmmm Beck won last year .
      But can’t expect more from a hive.

      • Blue Fresh February 16, 2016

        See, when you attempting to check someone, please know what you are talking about.

        Best Urban Contemporary Album went to G I R L over BEYONCE and it remains one of the biggest jokes ever.

      • HailBeysus February 16, 2016

        Kiii BLOOP!

      • shakira stan February 16, 2016

        Be specific next time you w**** !

    • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy February 16, 2016

      Are you my spirit animal? Never have I agreed with a comment so much. Pharell’s album GIRL was a fvcking joke. As it didn’t sound complete, it was like he was trying to throw something together to ride high off of Happy. Yes, Adele’s album is horrible, and Jamie XX was the clear winner in that category. Furthermore, how tragic was Jack U’s performance; it sounded atrocious. And yes, Taylor is the poster child for all things lacking salt

  22. Berto February 16, 2016

    I think what we need to be talking about is why Jazmine Sullivan didn’t win a Grammy again. Nominated 11 times and still not recognized for her talent

    • Blue Fresh February 16, 2016

      I’m with you. She is totally deserving. With D’Angelo and The Weeknd in 2 of her categories, I knew it would be tough this year. 🙁

  23. ?Queen Molly? February 16, 2016

    Seriously the worst grammys ever. Such a snooze

  24. iSpeakTruthNoFallacy February 16, 2016

    How is Sam going to spend more time talking about an artist who wasn’t there compared to the rest who showed up? In terms of the awards, they were nothing short of banal and lackluster. First, I am utterly sick of Lady Gaga; her career is with the burrito I ate yesterday. Second, Adele finally proved that she is no Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston. I know Jasmyne Sullivan has to be somewhere laughing her ass off. Third, I wish J. Cole would’ve won best rap album. It seems that only white people like Kendrick Lamar, because the hip-hop community at large saw it as a disappointment compared to his first effort. Furthermore, it’s interesting to see how comfortable mainstream audiences are with Kendrick’s pro-black performance yet were ready to lynch Beyonce for Formation. Why is such so? Now, back to Miss Caribbean Coconut, your absence is nothing short of detrimental. Not only is it bad press, or lack there of, it’s also bad business. You won’t ride high forever, and there will be a time you will need the Grammy’s for relevance just like Gaga now. If you keep up your antics all of the doors will surely close and the industry will gladly accept your demise especially since every poptart on the rise is looking to be you.

    • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy February 16, 2016

      Oh, how could I forget about Ms. Swift (look how easy it is to). The fact alone that she won best vocal in anything is truly a giant middle finger to every voice major in college. She’s simply french fries without salt, just bland as fvck. Plus, her performance of Out of the Woods was epically terrible; she sounded like babies being aborted.

      • Blue Fresh February 16, 2016

        So good to see the truth about Taylor. Taylor Nation™ got people scared to tell the truth about their beige, khaki, season-less fav. She’s a performance artist who specializes in middle of the road.

      • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy February 16, 2016

        Her swifties are nothing more than suburban middle schoolers who don’t have a musical identity yet. The mainstream will replace her with another poptart in 3 years. Case in point is Gaga. Taylor Swift is like that gallon jug of vanilla ice cream that people buy for birthday parties…Just to say that they have ice cream.

      • Dev February 16, 2016

        I have to console myself by saying she won best POP vocal and pop vocals mean nothing.
        Her preformance was overacted and sounded awful.
        GaGa was good, but she’s always good when she’s anyone but her actually self.

  25. Beyonce wins February 16, 2016

    Grammy’s so mainstream …y’all notice none of the r&b and gospel categories are never televised, how the hell can r&b survive if we don’t have r&b acts perform like jazmine Sullivan, lalah Hathaway were there, there was no real tribute for Natalie Cole, I guess she didn’t make a real impact. Ice cube got out of there and said fcuk the bulls!ht Ciara just so complacent with showing up evey yer looking glam, and never getting acknowledged for her music…the Grammy’s only know of Beyonce rihanna Alicia keys usher, jayz, kanye john legend, jennifer Hudson, far as letting black artist performing or presenting, and are basically the favorites of black musicians, in this era.. Where is will and Jada now,if u are going to boycott, boycott that all black artist are not given the opportunity to grace the Grammy stage to present their music to the masses… You damn near have to have a song out that crosses over all generes… I’m sick of the grammys

  26. pat February 16, 2016

    This generation has no relevant performers n it showed last night….snooze fest

  27. UR February 16, 2016

    They just had to give the biggest award of the night to the whitest of White People. I’m by no means hating on Ms Swift. I just can’t understand Kendrick’s loss.

  28. Meteorite February 16, 2016

    RP: I miss when the Grammys used to mean something and they gave the underdogs a voice. I miss when the Grammys used to recognize REAL talent and not this pop radio trash. What happened? It would have been amazing to see Jazmine or Florence or someone unknown take the stage and let them get a chance to shine, shìt… Aside from Adele, Kendrick, and Tori no one stood out to me, well maybe Alabama shakes and Gaga too. When you take the Grammy stage you’re supposed to leave your heart out on that stage and show your peers and the world who you are and what craft is and sadly that was missing from the masses. But it was overall garbage. I pray 2016 gives some real music. Like I really need some redemption. I want to give my coins away but no one is making me go “Damn!” (In a good way). I just can’t -sighs-

  29. Meteorite February 16, 2016

    And another thing! In what world does Meghan Trainor win over Tori Kelly, James Bay, Sam Hunt and Courtney Barnett. 4 people who are more vocally advance then her and who also write and produce their music as well. Who’s dìck LA Reid have to suck for her to win? Further more all about that bass came out in summer of 2014 well before the Grammy cut offs, shouldn’t she have been nominated for last years Grammys?

    Then how in world does Taylor swift win album of the year? The girl with the most basic lyrics ever! And she can save that pro female speech for someone else because her whole entourage that made that album were men! I didn’t see one female producer or writer up there with them. And she needs to come out of La-La Land because Kayne West put her on the map for commercial success. Sure she had succes before then but she wasn’t everyone’s “best friend” until after.

    I can’t…just so many other things went wrong last night…

  30. JOHNVIDAL February 16, 2016

    Let´s not fool anyone here. The only two great music performances last night were Kandrick and Lady gaga. Both were (and are) phenomenal. The rest is so mediocre I don´t even have words. The Taylor Swift thing (both her wins and her talents/performances) are a disgrace to music industry and the biggest joke in grammys history. How the hell do many legands full of unique talent and musicianship for the gods not have AOTY but Taylor Swift has two to her name now??? This would have NEVER happened 20 or 30 years ago. It all started to go downhill 15 years ago and keeps getting worse.
    Kudos to Gaga and Kendrick for their talent though. You could see in Florence, Bruno Mars or Adele´s faces who were really good last night and who they were standing up for just to be nice.

    • Blue Fresh February 16, 2016

      Speak the word!!!!

    • JanStan February 16, 2016

      Completely agree. Ive never been a Kendrick fan and not really familiar with David Bowie but i LOVED both performances. Both true artists who performed in a way that transcended musical preferences to put on a show that just HAD to be appreciated.

    • Lmfao_Hoe February 16, 2016

      Lol Bruno didn’t stand up or looked at Taylor when receiving her award and Tori Kelly was not having it with her face expression like girl bye, go sit your ass down somewhere.

      • JOHNVIDAL February 16, 2016

        @Lmfao
        I think you didn´t understand a word that I said.

  31. Keegan Parker February 16, 2016

    Gwen Stefani hands down.She was the best I have watched the video over 100 times the song slayyys

  32. King Mark111 /.\ February 16, 2016

    Work is #4 and Stressed Out is #2. Rihanna needs to drop that video Friday. 14th #1 is HERE!

  33. yesterday was Aaliyah 37birthday to the good music February 17, 2016

    Kendrick Lamar and Lady GaGa did amazing at the Grammy award show and beyonce look like she was gonna cry on stage Grammy award show

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