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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Why Bruno deserved his win (please don’t crucify me)
Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact: [email protected])

By Hannah Welbourn | The Broadside (Contact: [email protected])

Kendrick Lamar is a great artist worthy of winning Grammys — and he gets them. He received five, actually, at the 2018 Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album (“HUMBLE.”). No one is denying Lamar’s talent as a lyricist and performer.

However, before exclaiming that “KENDRICK WAS ROBBED AGAIN!!” on every form of social media, one should take a closer look at the winner of Album of the Year, Bruno Mars.

Let me start by explaining my bias; I have been a diehard Mars fan since I first heard him featured “Nothin’ On You” by B.O.B. in middle school. I’ve purchased every album on vinyl. I’ve seen him in concert three times since I was 13 years old.

That being said, I won’t argue that Mars is a mainstream artist that award shows such as the Grammys love to pander to. I get it. Award shows can be bogus. But since when is mainstream pop such an inherently bad thing? Now I’m not necessarily a fan of the genre, but this is where I get confused.

Was Michael Jackson, literally dubbed the King of Pop, ever criticized for being too mainstream? Were people outraged when he won Grammys?

I’m sorry, I just have to defend the guy.

I could go to a Bruno Mars concert with my grandmother. The occasional no-hands hip thrust (probably) wouldn’t send her into cardiac arrest. Could I play “LUST.” by Kendrick Lamar for her? Absolutely not.

When my mom first heard “Perm” on “24k Magic” as I played it in the car, her initial reaction was “Is this James Brown?”

People from age 8 to 80 (believe me, I’ve seen plenty of wheelchairs and walkers at the concerts) love Bruno. For younger generations, it’s a new sound from the average four-chord songs they hear on their local radio station. For older ones, it’s the sound they grew up with.

Now I’m not saying that Kendrick Lamar doesn’t have a widely ranged audience. But, his lyrics probably aren’t suitable for children or the elderly. Bruno’s aren’t either. However, his way of singing about sex is a bit more subtle than Lamar’s.

I don’t think any of this makes Bruno a better artist than Kendrick. I’m just trying to defend an artist who I think is great, and deserving of “Album of the Year.” ■

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