By Kamren Curiel
Despite all the controversy fueled by the Grammys' elimination of categories largely received by people of color--peep Presente.org for full details--there are a couple reasons why we can't be fully mad at the biggest award show in the music industry. Two artists nominated for a Grammy are also part of Voto Latino's 2012 celebrity coalition: the multiculti all-female ensemble Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea (peep their latest album Orale) and Cali-based norteño legends Los Tigres Del Norte.
Check out more of our hits below. Then, scroll down for our disses.
Calle 13 for Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album: The Puerto Rican hip-hop duo that basically staged a coup at the Latin Grammys last year are up again for Entren Los Que Quieran, an album that calls the Vatican the largest mafia in the world on the track "Calma Pueblo." Gotta love these guys for always speaking out and keeping things real.
La Vida Bohème for Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album: This young Venezuelan quartet formed in 2007, and didn't release their first album, Nuestra, until May 2011. The record's solid, upbeat, and extremely dancey.
Gustavo Galindo for Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album: This Mexican American singer/songwriter reminds me of a cross between Enrique Iglesias and Chris Isaak in a good way with way more variation and experimentation. I had the honor of stalking him at his Entre La Ciudad video release party.
Los Amigos Invisibles for Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album: This six-piece multiple-Grammy nominated and Latin Grammy winning Venezuelan band blends disco, acid jazz and funk with Latin rhythms, and are amazing live. Their seventh album, Not So Commercial, is not to be missed.
Adele for six awards, including Album of the Year: Who can resist this English crooner's sultriness (wow, that's really a word)? I can't. I listen to 21 every morning on my way to work. She recuperated from throat surgery in October and is expected to perform her heart out at the Grammys.
Ziggy Marley + Stephen Marley for Best Reggae Album: I love the fact that Bob Marley's descendants have carried on his music and civil rights legacy. Sucks that these brothers have to compete against each other, but both albums, Ziggy's Wild And Free and Stephen's Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life are pretty dope. When he's not making music, Ziggy's founding organizations like U.R.G.E., which helps children in Jamaica and Africa, and is an honorary Board Member of Little Kids Rock, an organization that provides free musical instruments and lessons to children in public schools throughout the U.S. Stephen, meanwhile, produced much of his brother Damian's three solo albums, including 2005's Welcome to Jamrock, which he was also performed on tracks "All Night," "Pimpa's Paradise," "For the Babies," and "Hey Girl."
A Tribe Called Quest for Best Long Form Music Video: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest is still on my Netflix queue, but from what I've seen, filmmaker Michael Rapaport succeeded at going behind the scenes and documenting the tumultuous group dynamics of hip-hop sensations A Tribe Called Quest.
The Recording Academy eliminated 31 categories of Grammy Awards, including Latin Jazz, Regional Mexican, Banda, Tejano, Norteño, Native American, Hawaiian, and Cajun. Jesse Jackson threatened to occupy, some musicians in the Latin jazz community filed a lawsuit, Cornel West said it was unjust and unfair, and artists like Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Ruben Blades, and Bobby Sanabria have all come out against these changes.
Catch the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 12 @ 8/7c, or boycott them. Your call.