Beck’s Album of the Year Win Sparks Controversy

Courtesy of Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
Courtesy of Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Beck was the talk of the Grammy Awards after his Morning Phase project won Album of the Year. The singer won over Beyoncé‘s self-titled album, Sam Smith‘s In The Lonely Hour, Ed Sheeran‘s X, and Pharrell WilliamsG I R L album. Beck‘s win shocked a lot of people, and it even surprised Beck, who told Billboard magazine he didn’t expect to win the award. “It would be a surprise with this record, honestly,” Beck told Billboard on the red carpet at Clive Davis‘ pre-Grammy event. While this was a shocking win for Beck, most people probably weren’t shocked when Kanye West jokingly walked up the stairs during Beck’s acceptance speech. West turned around and went back to his seat, and received a huge laugh by most people in the audience. 

Unbeknownst to most fans, West’s dissatisfaction with Beck’s win was not over. It wasn’t until the E! After Party that people realized Kanye West was not joking when he pretended to walk on stage and interrupt Beck’s acceptance speech. “I don’t know what he said, all I know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more,” West told E! at their after party. The rapper added, “Flawless, Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we’re tired of it.” West said the Grammys are continuing to diminish art, and it feels like a slap in the face. “What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration,” West said to E!. He continued, “We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day and they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place.” 

Kanye West said he’s here to fight for creativity, and that’s why he goes so hard in situations like this. “The Grammys do this whole promotional event, they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. Like, no, we not playing with them no more,” the rapper exclaimed. He continued, “By the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight,” West explained to E!. The rapper concluded, “You all know what I meant when Ye walks on the stage.” The last time West walked on stage and interrupted an award’s acceptance speech was in 2009, when Taylor Swift won Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. Swift won over Beyoncé, and the rapper felt Beyoncé was more deserving of that award, too.