At last week’s Grammy Awards, Kanye West (once again) stepped onstage in mock-protest over the fact that Beyoncé didn’t win Album of the Year. Beck did — for his somber, atmospheric folk album Morning Phase.
In an interview after the ceremony, Kanye said: “Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.”
My Facebook feed blew up, with many of my friends expressing a viewpoint along these lines: “Beck is the TRUE artist. He plays a dozen instruments and writes all his own songs! Beyoncé just sings, and all her songs are written by a team.”
I don’t know if this is an accurate summary of either artists’ creative process, but I kept wondering: why is one method “truer” than another? Both artists are incredibly talented, and (if we can momentarily get over the fact that all this fuss is over a little trophy given for an album subjectively assessed as “the best”) both artists might be equally deserving of that award.
Why do we hold up the idea of the lone genius and disparage “art by committee?” (And I’m guilty of this prejudice myself). Read more »