It’s 2017, and we’ll take our heroes where we can find them. We love all our feet-on-the-ground workers and thinkers and doers, but even the Grammy Awards had their slate of performers and guests who saved the show from being a hum-drum night of pop hits and elevated it to the next level. Picks are in no particular order and there’s gonna be a lot of Beyonce. Just so you know.
My explanation for Beyonce’s performance: when you’re in an art museum, and you’re expecting to walk into another gallery room, but it’s actually a video installation and there’s movement, light, color and sound all around you. Just a few of the amazing features of this performance, because we all know that YouTube video isn’t staying up:
- Beyonce looking like some kind of pregnant Renaissance painting subject
- Beyonce also looking like some religious fresco subject
- Hologram Tina, Bey and Blue
- That crown. Statue of liberty? Space queen? Egyptian deity? Halo? All of the above?
- Every single one of those dancers
- That kind of last supper thing.
- Bey reenacting the move that always made our teachers tell us that we’d crack our head open if we leaned back in our chair like that.
- My realization that almost 4 minutes passed before Bey even sang.
- That time she sang right into all of our souls, personally and individually, all at the same time.
- Jay-Z’s look of pride and adoration.
Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest is exactly the group we need, back exactly when we need them. This video’s going away soon too (we are waiting and hoping for an official, sanctioned vid), so here’s what we love:
- The fact that they performed We The People, the same fantastic song they did on SNL just days after the election, which came true in the intervening months.
- The moniker “President Agent Orange”
- That classic throwback with Award Tour
- When the wall broke down
- The fierce looking hijabi standing center stage
- Everyone processing down the aisles
- The raised fist
- The presence of Phife Dawg so strong it was almost like he was there
Chance The Rapper
Both his win and his performance. I included one of Lil Chano’s Acid Rap songs on our summer 2013 playlist. For a few years after, I was worried that one of the most promising and talented new rappers was out of the scene. Lucky for all of us, Coloring Book is making huge waves. These wins – Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album – aren’t JUST huge for Chance’s career, they’re a huge moment for indie rap in general.
“I’m gonna talk. Y’all can play the music if you want. I want to thank God for my team. I know a lot of people think independence means you do it by yourself, but independence means freedom. I do it with these folks right here. Glory be to God, I claim the victory in the name of the Lord, let’s go!”
I think Adele is incredibly talented. I mean, we’re past objectivity with her: there’s no ‘I think’ about it; Adele IS incredibly talented. That said, I was pulling for Lemonade for the Album Of The Year win. Of all the nominees, I thought it was the best-crafted and most innovative: it was the album that would define 2016, above the others. Still, Adele seems like such a genuine and kind person that I can’t help but be happy for her good fortune. Besides, she was pulling for Lemonade too. She pulled a Cady Heron and broke up her award:
“My artist of my life is Beyonce and this Lemonade album is just monumental. It was so monumental and so well thought-out and soul-baring, and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let you see. And all of the artists here, we all fucking adore you. You are our light. And the way you make me feel, the way you make my Black friends feel, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. I love you, and I always will.”
It’s 2017, we’ve come a long way as a people, and Adele just “I’m’a let you finish”-ed herself.
Blue Ivy in a pink Gucci power suit with a black panther on the back, because she’s Beyonce’s girl already and you can be adorable and make a statement at the same time.
Blue Ivy cheering for her mother’s win.
Hologram Blue Ivy.
Blue rushing in to the Carpool Karaoke car to save a failing bit.
Blue showing her purse to her bestie during Bey’s speech.
Blue Ivy Carter is our future. It’s her world, and we just live in it.
This woman of mystery is so enigmatic that I found myself searching “2017 Grammys seating chart,” “Jay Z niece” and “does Beyonce have a cousin.” It took days to learn that Blue’s gal pal is Madison Brown, daughter of Roc-Nation co-founder Jay Brown. Blue Ivy gets a front row guest when half of the entertainment industry can’t even get a ticket (okay, I GUESS Madison was there with her dad), and Madison was living her best life and making the most out of this awesome school night outing. I’d never really want to be famous, but Blue’s mystery friend proves that having a famous bestie might be the best gig of all. Madison mugged for the camera and, wither her impeccable white-silver dress, proved that she won’t just be singing backup.
Drunk Chrissy Teigen and Helpful John Legend
Chrissy Teigen is hilarious, fun, and exactly the kind of person I would like to have in all of my group texts. She’s also one of my favorite famous people because she DOES.IT.RIGHT. Like, she really enjoys the perks and parties that go with her lifestyle instead of appearing blase or too cool for it. John Legend is every guy trying to figure out how girl clothes and jewelry work, and earned himself an internet Relationship Goals badge in the process (“why would I be mad at you? You’re perfect.” Cherish him, Chrissy. I mean, we know you do.)
True, but unfortunately when you’re single and drunk you have to take off all of your own jewelry, and it’s HARD.
In conclusion, the Grammys were great, A Tribe Called Quest just might save us, Blue Ivy is a blessed child of the light, and Chrissy Teigen is invited to all of my texts forever.