Tonawanda News

Columns

January 29, 2014

DUVALL: No apology needed for music's evolution

Tonawanda News — I watched the Grammy’s Sunday with a little more attention than most years. There’s been a Renaissance of sorts in my life for pop music.

Somewhere along the line I attained a healthy disdain for radio music. I retreated into the recess of things I already knew and liked. And then I realized I was dangerously close to turning into the crusty old guy who refuses to listen to anything made in the last 20 years.

Granted, not all pop music is created equal. A lot of it really is bad. I’m just not going to dismiss the genre entirely because of its worst practitioners.

I was armed with the ability to know who (almost) every performer was. There was some shiny kid with a nice haircut singing a song about how it’s OK to be different — it was terrible — and I was happy to know there’s still room for the most white-bread of pop stars to tell America’s youth it’s cool if you dye your hair blue. Some things never change.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Grammy’s came after the show was over.

White rap duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were the night’s big winners. Their gay rights anthem “Same Love” stole the show despite a chorus sung by Madonna, who looked like her face was melting off. Thirty-one couples, some gay some straight, were married during the song with Queen Latifah as officiant, a sight that probably left lots of people in the fly-over states wondering what happened to their country.

If popular music isn’t pissing off old people in the Midwest what’s the point?

In a moderate surprise, Macklemore’s smash hit, “The Heist,” won best rap album.

And that’s where it got interesting. Macklemore, a Seattle native, sent a text message he sent to Kendrick Lamar, a breakout rapper in 2013 who was also nominated. Macklemore wanted to apologize — for winning.

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