I've been to the GRAMMYs. While they're not fake, they're also not real, certainly as much about spectacle and television ratings and Egg McMuffins as they are about celebrating greatness in music. And that's why I found Lupe Fiasco's epicly delayed GRAMMY speech so moving.
Here's the short story. In 2008, Lupe won a Best Urban/Alternative Performance GRAMMY for "Daydreamin," but unfortunately he was too sick to attend the ceremony. His lawyer ended up with the actual award and there it stayed, buried in a garage, for the better part of the last seven years. Finally, Lupe was reunited with the golden gramophone and he decided to celebrate the moment with fans at a recent show in Cincinnati.
Without exaggeration, that might just be the realest moment in GRAMMY history, precisely because it happened so far outside of the pomp and circumstance of the award night. Being there, onstage, after a more than decade long career, thanking the fans, thanking his mother and father without being cut off so they could cut to a commercial, that's actually everything the GRAMMYs should represent.
The other big failing of the GRAMMYs is that the prestige and controversy of the awards often overshadows the music itself, and I won't make that mistake here. "Daydreamin" is an excellent song, and you don't have to wait another eight years to listen to it and love it.