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Steve Stoute's Open Letter to the Grammy's (upset that Eminem & Justin Bieber didn't win big)

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 Steve Stoute's Open Letter to the Grammy's (upset that Eminem & Justin Bieber didn't win big)
Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #1
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nublet 15 heat pts15 space
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*i highlighted the most important parts if you don't want to read the whole thing*


In Sunday’s Style section of the New York Times music/ad mogul Steve Stoute addresses some the Grammy’s questionable voting decisions that had everyone mumbling at this year’s ceremony. Here are his words from the full page ad:


Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture. My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay — so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter. Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic.

As an institution that celebrates artistic works of musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and technical specialists, we have come to expect that the Grammys upholds all of the values that reflect the very best in music that is born from our culture. Unfortunately, the awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate. How is it possible that in 2001 The Marshall Mathers LP — an album by Eminem that ushered in the Bob Dylan of our time — was beaten out by Steely Dan (no disrespect) for Album Of The Year? While we cannot solely utilize album sales as the barometer, this was certainly not the case. Not only is Eminem the best-selling artist of the last decade, but The Marshall Mathers LP was a critical and commercial success that sold over 10 million albums in the United States (19 million worldwide), while Steely Dan sold less than 10% of that amount and came and went as quietly as a church mouse. Or consider even that in 2008 at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, after going into the night as the most-nominated artist, Kanye West’s Graduation was beaten out for Album Of The Year by Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters. (This was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album won this category.) While there is no doubt in my mind of the artistic talents of Steely Dan or Herbie Hancock, we must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. It is this same cultural impact that acknowledged the commercial and critical success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1984.

Just so that I’m not showing partiality to hip-hop artists (although it would be an entirely different letter as to how hip-hop music has been totally diminished as an art form by this organization), how is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? Again, his cultural impact and success are even more quantifiable if you factor in his YouTube and Vevo viewership — the fact that he was a talent born entirely of the digital age whose story was crafted in the most humble method of being “discovered” purely for his singing ability (and it should be noted that Justin Bieber plays piano and guitar, as evidenced on his early viral videos).

So while these very artists that the public acknowledges as being worthy of their money and fandom are snubbed year after year at the Grammys, the awards show has absolutely no qualms in inviting these same artists to perform. At first I thought that you were not paying attention to the fact that the mental complexion of the world is becoming tanned, that multiculturalism and poly-ethnicity are driving new meaning as to what is culturally relevant. Interesting that the Grammys understands cultural relevance when it comes to using Eminem’s, Kanye West’s or Justin Bieber’s name in the billing to ensure viewership and to deliver the all-too-important ratings for its advertisers.

What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions. As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed “Month of May” — only to… surprise… win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform “Ready to Start.”

Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation? Meanwhile the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hides behind the “peer” voting system to escape culpability for not even rethinking its approach.

And I imagine that next year there will be another televised super-close-up of an astonished front-runner as they come to the realization before a national audience… that he or she was used.

You are being called to task at this very moment, NARAS.

And to all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves.

Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art.

Steve Stoute

Last edited by nublet; 02-20-2011 at 04:41 PM..
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3 peeps gave props to nublet cankstoochie (02-20-2011) , LVuittonDon4EVA (02-20-2011) , Shaz2003 (02-20-2011)

29 comments for "Steve Stoute's Open Letter to the Grammy's (upset that Eminem & Justin Bieber didn't win big)"

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #2
damjr87 1 heat pts space
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Steve Stoute goin to bat for 2 white artists, Typical.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - away - #3
youngbasedkltn 1 heat pts space
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recovery and justin bieber sucks tho
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '09 - on now - #4
ShadyVsEminem 196 heat pts196 space
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damjr87 said:
Steve Stoute goin to bat for 2 white artists, Typical.
Happy?
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #5
DrX 56 heat pts56 space
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damn wheres the didnt read gifs when u need them
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #6
nublet 15 heat pts15 space
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DrX said:
damn wheres the didnt read gifs when u need them
this f**got:

1) Came into the thread to read the letter

2) Saw that it was a long letter, which scared and intimidated him as he only reads on a 3rd grade level

3) Wrote some unfunny comment which also exposes him as an illiterate moron instead of taking the time to type in "didn't read gif" into google.

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - away - #7
WorldsStrangest 364 heat pts364 space
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f**got a.ss n*ggas really that butthurt? makes me even more glad they didnt win.

grammys should write him back. say "cy me a river" f**kin b**ch, who cares about a grammy?
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #8
hiphopsince1984  space
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i was upset that the roots didnt win for best rap album considering that they had the best f**king album out of those nominees. but no, lets pick the ex drug addict white boy. yes i'm hating and being racist. you're welcome.

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '11 - away - #9
Ichiban Mugen 4 heat pts space
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Suck it up Stevie...stop acting like you didn't make a s**t load of money off of these artists.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #10
..AMARU.. 3 heat pts space
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Well done Steve

Marshall mathers lp and Graduation deserved best album of the year
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #11
psylence2k 43 heat pts43 space
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I guess I wasn't the only who thought Eminem had been repeatedly shafted , I mean damn how many times can you give him Best Rap Album? dude is 6 for 6, he should've won for MMLP , I cant even remember a credible non-biased music publication that gave that steeley dan album he lost to a better rating over MMLP, that's how you could tell they robbed him. I was sure they were going to compensate him this year with the album of the year award for the times they screwed him the past as well as to acknowledge his longevity, consistency ( to an extent), and record sales (dude sold more this year and the whole decade than anyone else).

Last edited by psylence2k; 02-20-2011 at 05:48 PM..
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #12
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nublet said:
this f**got:

1) Came into the thread to read the letter

2) Saw that it was a long letter, which scared and intimidated him as he only reads on a 3rd grade level

3) Wrote some unfunny comment which also exposes him as an illiterate moron instead of taking the time to type in "didn't read gif" into google.

em stan mad
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '11 - away - #13
Kurt Swagner 2 heat pts space
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '09 - on now - #14
ShadyVsEminem 196 heat pts196 space
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He should of won album of the year for for TES or TMMLP the most,hip hop isnt exactly top of the grammy committees favorite genres list
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #15
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ShadyVsEminem said:

Happy?
Stop being an eejit.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #16
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I don't understand how the Grammy voters thought Brothers by The Black Keys won for Alternative album but they still nominated Arcade Fire for Album of the Year? I think "Brothers" was a better album and still would've won Album of the Year.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #17
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Yeah, they should have put up Relapse for consideration instead of that soft bubble gum bulls**t Recovery.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #18
D.IrIsH 31 heat pts31 space
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Stout has a point..

but I couldn't be happier that Bieber left empty-handed. He represents everything WRONG with the pop industry... his music lacks any authenticity whatsoever. For instance, what business does a white boy from a rural town (stratford, ON) have singing lyrics that include "shorty" or any other form of african american slang?

He's a talented kid, don't get me wrong.. but whenever I hear any of his songs I'm not thinking that him, or any of the culture he may have had before his rise to fame is represented through his music... and that is, in my humble opinion, what music is all about.. representing your culture!

As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't deserve any awards for the duration of his career barring he continues to make the music he does. He's got his money.. he should be grateful enough for that alone.

Edit: and Arcade Fire absolutely deserved the album of the year award. They represent authenticity in music to the highest degree and I'm very impressed the Grammy committee recognized their music and rewarded them for the music they make and have been making.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '09 - on now - #19
ShadyVsEminem 196 heat pts196 space
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Bronx Goes Hard said:
Stop being an eejit.
Diggin the lingo just direct it at someone else
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #20
psylence2k 43 heat pts43 space
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D.IrIsH said:
Stout has a point..

but I couldn't be happier that Bieber left empty-handed. He represents everything WRONG with the pop industry... his music lacks any authenticity whatsoever. For instance, what business does a white boy from a rural town (stratford, ON) have singing lyrics that include "shorty" or any other form of african american slang?

He's a talented kid, don't get me wrong.. but whenever I hear any of his songs I'm not thinking that him, or any of the culture he may have had before his rise to fame is represented through his music... and that is, in my humble opinion, what music is all about.. representing your culture!

As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't deserve any awards for the duration of his career barring he continues to make the music he does. He's got his money.. he should be grateful enough for that alone.

Edit: and Arcade Fire absolutely deserved the album of the year award. They represent authenticity in music to the highest degree and I'm very impressed the Grammy committee recognized their music and rewarded them for the music they make and have been making.

Not saying whether he should or shouldn't have won anything but as far as your argument goes i dunno, maybe he had black friends in canada and bumped rnb and rap on the regular ? , I know a bunch of white kids like him who grew up around black friends and listened to black music all the time. I mean the Beibz did call Raekwon "The Chef" so who knows. Do you think it's wrong when rappers use predominately white aspects of music in their dress style and production that are more commonly found in rock or pop and incorporate it into rap? Do you think Justin Timberlake is also a "culture stealer" since he does "black music" ?
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