While everyone sat on the edge of their seat, waiting for political statements from America’s most beloved musicians, the Grammys instead trudged on like most award shows - with a slew of tributes, corny host dialogue, a reminder that Chance the Rapper completely crushed 2016, and of course, total dominance by Beyonce.
James Corden of the Late, Late Show took hosting duties for this years extravaganza, but, fittingly, had his shining moment - a live reenactment of his famed “Carpool Karaoke” bit - hijacked when the camera panned past Rihanna, who happened to be swigging from her hip flask and rolling her eyes. The internet immediately forgot about Corden, Neil Diamond and the karaoke crew, and fixated on Rih Rih - of course.
But before anyone could even focus on the awards show in front of them, the lights at the Staples Center dimmed and Beyonce, with more holograms than George Lucas, showed the world that a second pregnancy has only made her more unstoppable. Queen Bey pulled out all the stops, at one point tipping back in her chair further than we thought humanly possible, leaving the entire world holding their breath.
Everyone can’t be Beyonce though, and last night’s Grammys were not without their missteps. During her tribute to George Michael, Adele fumbled with her ambitious take on “Fast Love” and asked the band, producers and audience for a redo - starting the whole song over. Later in the night, a collaborative performance by Metallica and Lady Gaga turned into a one woman show when James Hetfield’s mic mysteriously cut out for the first few minutes of the set.
As for the awards, Adele made up for her singing blunder by taking home the statue for song of the year for “Hello” and somehow, beat out Beyonce’s Lemonade for best album of the year. Chicago’s golden child Chance the Rapper was the recipient of three Grammys for best new artist, best rap album, and best rap performance. And while she may have been snubbed for best overall album, Beyonce still added to her Grammy collection, winning best urban contemporary album.
The political statement that everyone was waiting for finally arrived at the tail end of the broadcast when hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest collaborated with longtime friends Busta Rhymes and Consequence, as well as rap game newcomer Anderson .Paak. Busta started his part of the set addressing Donald Trump as “President Agent Orange,” while Q-Tip and the rest of the crew invited a diverse crowd on stage while rapping about the exclusion of muslims and homosexuals.
All in all the Grammys were pretty much what we expected, another nationally televised platform for Bruno Mars to wear a leather track-suit, and for Beyonce to remind us that, no matter who’s in the White House, she will continue to slay. But in the end, maybe that was all we needed the Grammys to be.