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Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Here's a USA Today article on the Grammys that makes some odd claims in terms of their hipness/relevance/etc...

The 2004 Grammy marathon is off to a good start with a wildly diverse pool of nominees. Whether music's most coveted prize adds integrity to its checkered legacy depends on who crosses the finish line.


For album of the year, voters have an opportunity to anoint the dizzying brilliance of The White Stripes' Elephant or Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Or they could play it safe with Justin Timberlake's Justified, a smoothly crafted pop album but hardly worthy of the year's top trophy.

Likewise, the Grammy membership could hand the best-record award to Crazy in Love, the radio-saturated hit by Beyoncé and Jay-Z and again deny Eminem his rightful place in Grammy's upper tier.

Now, granted, I like the Outkast album more than the JT one, and I like "Lose Yourself" more than "Crazy in Love" (though I think I'm in a very wee minority there). But at the same time, I don't think any of these are particular hipper than any other, and I'd even say that objectively the Beyonce and JT albums are regarded as fairly respectable, certainly moreso than 90% of past Grammy nominations. It's not like we're talking Beck v. Steely Dan here (which, regardless of the merits of the individual albums, can rightly be considered a horribly mismatched cred battle)--these are all albums with roughly the same amount of cachet. Arguably the Grammys have already helped themselves immensely with these nominations, while at the same time the choices themselves seem so obvious that it's unclear if that's actually the case.