In case you haven’t heard, the Grammy’s are now allowing streaming-only releases to be eligible for consideration for their nominations. Before, only retail releases were considered, meaning only albums that were sold versus free to the public would get a chance. Why is this so monumental and important? The debate could probably go on for hours, but here are 3 major reasons:
As the years have progressed more and more artists are becoming “independent”. That is, not relying on a major label to help produce and release their art. With more independence, comes more music being streamed and less being sold. Whether the artist is streaming their music because of just wanting to (Chance the Rapper) or because of not having the proper backing to do a formal release, the fact still remains that streaming is becoming more and more popular among artists both new and old. Artists who have been in the game such as Kanye can wake up and release his music anyway he feels. An independent or new artist however, sometimes does not always have that luxury. Why should someone be skimmed over just because they chose to get their music out through streaming versus the black and white way of retail and hard copies? Answer: They shouldn’t, and now they won’t.
Everyone knows mixtapes are better than albums most of the time. Not sure why, they just are. Maybe it’s because without the reigns of a label holding on, an artist can have grimier and rawer lyrics compared to the cookie cutter songs they have to get approval for on an album. Regardless, these mixtapes could not be nominated for a Grammy, even though they were better than the EP from the same artist. Future was THE MAN last year, but a majority of his hottest records were streamed and therefore ignored. Well, not any more. Now I’m not saying that with this streaming rule being added mixtapes will begin to win Grammy’s, or even be nominated for that matter. But, at least they can now be an option for consideration.
Let’s be real, most of us who even care about this new rule are probably below the age of 30, and that’s okay. I’ll take the win. The Recording Academy opening up their eyes enough to realize streaming is so important to music shows progression. They understand (finally) that times are changing and with that, eligibility rules should follow. I am sure there is some old guy on the Recording Academy board complaining about how things should stay the same, but it’s 2016. Everyday something negative is said about this generation and I don’t understand why. We’ve brought so many innovative ideas to the table such as social media to spread news quicker, cool inventions, and more convenient ways of doing things such as paying for one streaming site versus hundreds of separate albums. Why should an artist or their fans not be included in such prestigious award shows because of keeping up with the times?
With streamed music now being allowed at the Grammy’s along with a few other interesting changes being made, I will definitely be tuning into the show come February to see how it all turns out.
Contributed by Brooke Bishop