Remember when Steve Stoute took out that full-page ad in the New York Times after the Grammys a couple of weeks ago? Well the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was listening, as it's issued a public statement, co-signed by Stoute, promising to change its boring ways. Here's the full statement:
The voices of artists and our creative community are at the heart of the missions of the Recording Academy and indeed the music industry itself. Expanding constructive and positive ways to continue to actively incorporate generational and artistic diversity in The Academy's development and good work serves those important missions. The participation of new and culturally diverse voices has and continues to be a goal which benefits our members, the creative community, and music fans everywhere. To that end, we have come together in a collaborative manner to discuss how the Recording Academy can continue to evolve in an ever-changing cultural environment. We invite others who share this agenda to join us in these discussions.
What does this mean for the future of the Grammys? Well, this could be a step toward improvement. Or it could just be a giant load of nebulous bullshit fed to disgruntled critics to shut them up. But if we're being optimistic about it, it sounds like the Academy is ready to listen to suggestions about whom to select as a voting member of NARAS (which is currently 12,000 strong). Or maybe it'll consider a new system entirely (wishful thinking). That said, I think a more detailed statement than this is in order.
Is it so hard to add a few people to this voting committee who know what a Ghostface Killah or an E-40 is? Or maybe someone who once spotted the elusive Ariel Pink or the very rare Flying Lotus in the wild? And while we're splitting hairs here, maybe we could get a few people in there who don't look to Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40 countdown for all of their musical cues (I'm okay with it in moderation).
And if NARAS tries to backpedal from this mea culpa, there are more full-page ads where that first one came from. (Hopefully...right, Steve?)