Daft Punk, Kendrick x Imagine Dragons, Lorde + More Perform at The 2014 Grammys
UPDATE: Whatever you think of his music, Macklemore obviously feels the same way about Kendrick Lamar's Grammy shut out as we here at Okayplayer did (and Kendrick himself did, judging by the F-the-world-intensity he brought to his performance with Imagine Dragons (watch below). Which is to say, we all feel that Kendrick got robbed. I only say this with confidence because Macklemore texted K.dot to say:
"You got robbed."
"I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you...I was gonna say that during the speech. Then the music started playing during my speech and I froze. Anyway, you know what it is. Congrats on this year and your music. Appreciate you as an artist and as a friend. Much love.”
Macklemore then shared the text via instagram, adding this note for context:
“My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album… I’m honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won IMO. And that’s taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it’s proper respect.. With that being said, thank you to the fans. You’re the reason we were on that stage tonight. And to play "Same Love" on that platform was a career highlight. The greatest honor of all. That’s what this is about. Progress and art. Thank you. #grammys.”
Not only did Macklemore say out loud what so many rap fans were thinking, he handled a situation that could have gone in a very melodramatic "look at me" direction or a weird, self-hating "Stan"-ish direction with a simple and straightforward and acknowledgment of his peer. A very classy move IMO, and shows him to be the grounded, self-aware type of individual that's rare in the entertainment biz--confirms the feeling I got from his appearance at Roots Picnic this past summer: was not particularly a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fan before they were booked but they won heads over with hard work, an incredible live show and by generally being good dudes who truly appreciate their fans and the shot they've been given.
Macklemore also shared a text Kendrick sent him earlier in the day:
The 2014 Grammys was a night to remember, with young guns (Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore) thrown into the mix with old battle-axes (Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson & others) with results that were sometimes awkward and occasionally inspiring. On a Grammys evening that opened with Jayoncé and hit its crescendo with Queen Latifah marrying 34 couples onstage while Macklemore and Madonna muddled through a medley (say that 5 times fast) some of the best but less flashy musical moments were in danger of being overshadowed. Those included a star turn (only their 2nd televised performance ever, as Neil Patrick Harris reminded us) from Album of the Year winners Daft Punk with Pharrell (in full Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform), Stevie Wonder & Nile Rodgers--as well as a less intuitive but still striking collabo from Robin Thicke and Chicago. John Legend held it down for traditional piano stool musicality (and soul-bearing r&b) with "All Of Me" while Gary Clark, Jr., Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson held it down for American roots music--all in their own ways.
Lorde stayed true to her very young brand by turning in an extremely spare (barely-lit) performance of her sleeper hit "Royals"--and then won Song Of The Year in an upset that was still totally expected in some quarters (round here). By far the highlight of the show, however, was Kendrick Lamar's appearance with Imagine Dragons for the remix of their song "Radioactive," demonstrating why he should have handily won the gold sippy-cup in any number of categories if the criteria were different--and even provoking Taylor Swift to go into headbang mode. Upstaging the entire proceedings, the intensity that 'the good kid' brought to the mic seemed to be his way of saying to the Grammy committee: "This whole court is out of order!"