Reggae Grammy is a joke

Joke of the year was presented last week when the nominees for best reggae album were made official.

The reggae category was introduced in 1984 and the first winner was Anthem from Black Uhuru. Since then, several siblings in the Marley family have been awarded. Stephen Marley two times for his mediocre Mind Control (2009, 2007) and Damian Marley for his Welcome to Jamrock (2005) and Halfway Tree (2001). Ziggy Marley has also been awarded several times, most recently with Love is My Religion released in 2006.

That’s why I thought Distant Relatives from Nas & Damian Marley was a given nominee. But no.

Instead, this year’s list consists of six albums by a strange bunch, namely Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie (with two albums), Andrew Tosh, the late Gregory Isaacs and the imprisoned Buju Banton.

Weirdest on the list is Lee Perry and his Revelation set. This is a very poor album and I guess the jury just wants to give him some kind of lifetime achievement award.

I understand if the jury doesn’t find and appreciate gems such as Judgement Time by Chezidek or United States of Africa by Luciano. But, it missed out on decent albums from very well-known artists such as Busy Signal and Gyptian.

With Hold You, Gyptian scored one of the biggest reggae hits in recent years, and it’s a mystery why his album wasn’t nominated.

And if the jury wants to premier nostalgia and veterans, they should’ve nominated Clinton Fearon or Earl Zero.

The only great album that has won the Reggae Grammy is Jah is Real (2008) from Burning Spear. The jury needs to scrutinize themselves and come up with some real nominees for next year. Now the reggae world is just laughing at them.


Filed under Columns

3 responses to “Reggae Grammy is a joke

  1. That the reggae Grammy is a joke is something that has been known for a long time. Even though I do feel that the Anthem album was perhaps not such a bad choice. Sure, in the year of -84 there was a slew of releases that probably could have deserved it more in my opinion but then again S&R produced some hard core reggae for the cross over audience. They really continued to push the boundaries of the genre with that release (also Brutal was a stone cold mertheler).

    Other quite worthy winners were Shabba Ranks, Sean Paul and Shaggy. But that’s four awards of 25…

    I think there’s a reason why people don’t check for no grammy any longer.

  2. Faya Dread

    I totally agree on this article.. reggae Grammy is a big joke.. The people behind the nominations are not reggae minded people, and as all major award shows, it´s a political thing, it has nothing to do with the quality of the music or the popularity by people´s demand..

  3. Pingback: I’m still laughing | Reggaemani

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