Now that the hype of the Grammy awards is over, there is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. The Grammy award is the only measuring tool that has been established to evaluate the creativity and art of Reggae music creatives. It’s simply not enough. The Grammy award is a fantastic validation tool as far as it relates to the existence and recognition of Reggae music a bonafide and respected genre. However, there needs to be a more expert critique of Reggae music by its true practitioners and ardent fans. A quick scan of the music awards landscape shows a broad and eclectic mix of awards that recognizes the efforts of artists, writers, engineers, and others as judged by their peers and fans.
Sure, some of these awards are purely commercial endeavors, but that is ok, as their impact on the music and entertainment industry and the various genre’s is very real. Awards like the American Music Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, The MTV Music Awards, The Country Music Awards, The BET Awards, VH1 Hip Hop Honors, The Brit Awards, and the Latin Grammy awards are just a few. These awards identify and recognize artists in some instances who quite possibly in their careers would never reach Grammy award levels. More importantly however is the simple fact that these awards are judged by people who are closer to the music and artists.
That is not a dig to academy voters, however it is certain that that a Reggae music award as judged by Reggae music insiders, radio personalities, fans, Reggae historians, and people who have spent their lives creating and driving the Reggae sound would lead to the exposure and recognition of some really talented artists and the music that they create. There have certainly been many Reggae awards shows over the years, but invariable they fizzle as award shows are an expensive and time consuming endeavor. It can however be been done.
It must be done. Reggae music needs its own well regarded, well respected, well executed, and meaningful award. It does need to be glitzy and glamorous like the Grammy awards. It simply only needs to be original like the music it would seek to honor.