The past few weeks have hit the black music world particularly hard with the loss of Etta James, Don Cornelius, and Whitney Houston in rapid succession. On top of that, the biggest celebration in music, the GRAMMYs, took place just one day after the loss of the iconic Houston, which just made viewing the normal activities overwhelming. On one hand, you wanted take in the glitz and glamour of the evening, but on the other the world was mourning the loss of a singer whose talent and troubles ended up being too large for her to handle. It became a heady mix of joy and sorrow, and a lot of people had a lot of opinions about everything from Adele‘s singing merit to Taylor Swift‘s false surprise at people cheering her praise. And while watching the GRAMMYs I realized what the game’s been missing.
So many people needed to have a seat at the GRAMMYs, including the people watching at home and on Twitter, because their thoughts, reactions, and inputs were really just too much. I personally wanted to escort every person who was out of pocket to the nearest furniture store so that they could park it in a La-Z-Boy.
I wanted to guide Chris Brown to a nice fold out chair, the types they use at group therapy sessions, for having a lackluster performance with flying squirrels and bad lip-synching. I wanted to take the brainwashed Breezy fans who insinuated they would let him physically assault them to the nearest PlaySkool stool for their incredible stupidity at thinking domestic violence is cute.
I wanted to lead the voters who chose F.A.M.E. over Ledisi‘s Pieces of Me as the best R&B album to an Eames chair for some long, hard thought on the difference between techno pop and R&B.
I wanted to direct Rihanna to an oversized hammock for thinking that licking shots in the air was an appropriate way of congratulating an artist on a win, or that her grizzly Tina Turner wig was serving realness (because it wasn’t).
I wanted to lead Nicki Minaj to a church pew for trying to exorcise the viewing audience while wearing the shiniest outfit and wig from Rainbow that she could find. I truly believe I saw the devil that night, and it was the spirit of non-creativity that infected Nicki’s mind and caused her to believe that her antics would be ‘”fresh” or “new.” Newsflash: stop trying to do your best black Lady Madonna impression. Do you boo. It was five minutes of weirdness that would have been better spent reflecting on Whitney Houston.
Most of all, I wanted to sit every person who hated on Jennifer Hudson‘s tribute to Whitney down in a corner. Regardless of whether or not she’s your favorite artist or not, she came in with grace and gave Whitney a send-off that was both poignant and beautiful. And given the time frame she had to pull it together, I think she did an amazing job.
This year’s GRAMMY weekend was a lot to handle for everyone, and I think we all need to take time to cool out after such an astonishing loss. Seats, please. Feel free to take yours.