First things first: awards shows mean absolutely nothing. Whether everybody's way too drunk (see: Golden Globes), everybody's way too white (see: Oscars February 28th), or everything's way too glitchy (see: last night), awards shows mean so little.
What did last night prove? Adele is human (read: microphones falling onto piano strings are dangerous), Taylor Swift's "Out of the Woods" is absolutely unreal, and Kendrick Lamar is the grounded-in-reality hip-hop voice of a generation we all deserve.
Now, we love Taylor Swift to death and her performance was breathtaking, but a key factor of taking the high road is not even mentioning the low road.
When Swift won album of the year, she said, "As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammy's twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."
The word "fame," was said pointedly, and Swift shared a knowing look with the audience.
She continued, "But if you just focus on the work and don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you're going, you'll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who loved you who put you there."
Now, on the surface that seems like an empowering message for women in their quest to succeed, but the subtext reads: No, Kanye West did not make me famous. At least we know Kanye was lying when he claimed Taylor agreed to that lyric, and that he was responsible for her fame.
But let's talk about Kendrick for a second, please.
First, he won best rap album for To Pimp a Butterfly, then, his live performance sent a ripple of chills through the cloud, including his performance of "The Blacker the Berry," that incorporated an actual, blazing fire.
In that performance was an impactful statement about incarceration in the United States.
Lamar started with his hands in chains and yelled, "I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2016!" while other men of color looked on from inside cells.
The performance broke into a dance number, and ended with a picture of Africa with the word "Compton" written across it. Lamar also explicitly referenced the Black Lives Matter movement during a new song in his "Untitled" trilogy.
"February 26th I lost my life too, 2012 set us back 400 years," Lamar rapped.
February 26th, of course, was the day police officer George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old high school student.
Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly is completely and absolutely one of the comprehensive and biting articulations of race relations in the United States.
Should Lamar have won Album of the Year? Well, that's hard to say, because we'd be lying if we said we didn't listen to 1989 on repeat for weeks.
Still, it's nice to see both Swift and Lamar giving voices to marginalized demographics at the Grammy's, even if Swift did have an ulterior motive for hers. We're choosing to take Swift's words at surface level, and, as such, they're empowering.
Now, check out pictures from the biggest night in music below.
1. Kendrick Lamar killed it
spoiled_nyc that is all.🔥🔥🔥 #grammys2016 #truth #grammys #facts #kendricklamar #killedit #performanceofthenight #roasted #leavethisrighthere #goodnight
2. No really, he really killed it
mediablackoutusa 😩 #KendrickLamar #grammys via @the_original_people
3. Lady Gaga paid tribute to David Bowie
mic_news Lady Gaga went full Bowie on the #Grammys red carpet, from her electric redhead to her highly-platformed toes. She's paying tribute to Bowie's legacy tonight during the show, so it makes sense.
4. Justin Beiber's hairdo is ... questionable (but we love him still)
friend_of_bae @justinbieber I need some more breadsticks fam. (@_theblessedone)
5. Sam Smith looked good
mic_news Sam Smith looked incredible at the #Grammys last night. The singer won 4 Grammy awards in 2015.
6. No one cared about Pitbull (they're so 2008)
7. Like, there was a roaring fire onstage
wilmervalderrama #kendricklamar was literally on fire! #Grammys2016
8. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are baes
selanagmoez How are they allowed to be so good looking? Surely there must be a limit😍😍 @selenagomez #selenagomez
9. Adorable ones, too
10. And, even though her performance was... off, we still love Adele and always will
youm7 بعد الـdiet.. آديل "رشيقة" فى حفل "الجرامى" 2016 #adele #grammys #grammys2016 #black #dress @adele
[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]