Between nominees Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore, there's a sizable chance the Grammy Awards are about to crown the third ever hip hop Album of the Year. So why does the timing feel more depressing than exciting?
Ok, sure. It's the Grammys. Straggling a decade or three behind the culturesphere is practically built into its DNA.
And really, this year's lineup isn't so dreadful by Grammy standards. At least voters don't have the option of stiffing Kendrick Lamar in favor of, say, a Steely Dan b-sides collection beamed directly into your dad's Volvo. Of the five contenders, only Daft Punk was active prior to 2000. That's a shallow metric, sure, but a not insignificant one given the Grammys' boomer-shaded goggles.
They do have the option of stiffing Lamar in favor of Macklemore, which'll ignite the Macklemore 'White Savior' Thinkpiece Industrial Complex all over again. But Lamar, whose good kid, m.A.A.d city has been rightly hailed as a brash and inventive throwback to hip hop's golden '90s, will remain the critical favorite. If it seems like you haven't seen it on any year-end lists lately, bear in mind the Grammys' often confusing frame of eligibility: the award considers music released between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013. Good kid arrived in late 2012, hence the awkward gap in time.