"Real Artists" Always Allegedly Get Snubbed At The Grammys, But What Does It Mean To Be A "Real Artist"?
One of the most over-used expressions when it comes to artists not receiving the nominations they think they deserve during award season, is that only "real artists" should be recognised and winning awards. But what is a "real artist"? How can I spot one? Isn't it entirely subjective, like taste in music? Kanye West is possibly the most famous purporter of the "real artist" statement, famously badmouthing Beck who won the award for Album of Year at the 2015 Grammys, saying, “If they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t going to play with them no more ... Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé." Which, considering Beck wrote every song on his album, while Beyoncé didn't, is a pretty bold statement.
Since the Grammy nominations have been announced on Monday, will there be claims that any of the nominees aren't "real artists"? And, once the winners are announced, will Kanye West be proclaiming Beyoncé the true winner of everything once again. (I mean, Beyoncé is awesome, but be serious.) And, more importantly, are any of the nominees at risk of being called out for not being "real artists" deserving of their awards, should they win?
Meek Mill famously dissed Drake on Twitter earlier in 2015 for not writing all of his own lyrics, and ,with no nominations of his own, it seems possible that Mill will call out Drake should he win. Particularly as nominated song, "Back to Back," is a diss that references both Mill and his girlfriend Nicki Minaj.
It's also possible that Taylor Swift, nominated for seven awards, could face claims of selling out by making a strictly pop album. Despite Swift's amazing successes, 2015 has been quite tumultuous for the 1989 singer, with critics calling the video for her single "Wildest Dreams" racist, and her taking part in public spats with fellow singers, like Nicki Minaj, on Twitter.
Surely, the mark of a "real artist" is their ability to connect with people, to make music that resonates with an audience regardless of genre, and who don't compromise who they are. It's basically impossible to measure what a "real artist" is, and is completely subjective depending on whose songs you like best. I personally love pop music and refuse to feel ashamed for being a huge Katy Perry fan that's in her 30s.
Maybe the answer is simple: Kanye West knows what a "real artist" is, so we better ask him, TBH. He's sure to have an opinion come the awards ceremony anyway.