Hey, who doesn't love Minnie Ripperton?  But a Grammy nomination off of doing what amounts to a smooth jazz version of a song?  How far we've fallen!  Again, I can tell that Wayna has vocal ability, so I'm not dogging her in that department.  In fact, she sings as if she's been classically trained.  That's commendable.  But is that what it takes to be "alternative" these days?  The ability to enunciate?

If Janelle doesn't win this. . .

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  • JJ

    hey you have to take in the entire repertoire of Wayna’s music. this sound clip and this one song doesn’t represent her range and ability. the album is full of songs, some alternative and others not so. It’s not her fault the Grammy doesn’t know where to put unsigned artists and other music that doesn’t “fit” into the neat packages it has created and muffed up over the years.

    please take a listen to Wayna’s entire offering at her site http://www.wayna.net

    or http://www.myspace.com/waynamusic

    and you can sample her two albums on cdbaby http://www.cdbaby.com/wayna2

    I think the entire category has stuff to offer, but don’t write off Wayna just yet.

    keep doing your thing tho. your blog is a great resource for lovers of real music.

  • Deborah

    I’m surprised by this review. I would have easily chosen Wayna, Maiysha, (or even Chrisette Michelle) over Janelle. Janelle’s music is well…um…awful. I won’t sugarcoat it. She has a great voice, but the songs she makes are so blah.

    I can see from the previous posts on this blog that there is a clear bias for Janelle above all the other nominees at this site, but seriously. I was surprised that Janelle and Kenna even got nominations; thought they really lowered the bar with those choices.

    A funky outfit and hair style doesn’t make an artist ‘alternative’ either; nor does making horrible music (Sorry Kenna and Janelle. This is just my opinion. I sure other peoples’ tastes may differ.).

    I would like to wish good luck to ALL the nominees both in the Grammys and in their respective careers.

  • Abdul

    The person that I feel does not belong is Chrisette Michelle. Her song is so blatantly mainstream it hurts. How in the world did it end up as an “alternative” selection. But if Lil’ Wayna can get a bunch of nominations for his crap music then I’m not too surprised by this out of place selection. She’ll probably win too…wouldn’t that be a slap in the face to the alternative crowd.

    I’d like Janelle or Wayna to win this one… with much love going out to Kenna and Maiysha for the effort. I just felt the Janelle and Wayna had to most alternative selections.

    Yeah, yeah, I know Wayna is sampling a lot from Mini Riperton, but the lyrics are different and so is the vibe, as the song is about the struggle that independant artists endure and how regardless the love of music remains. Ignore the video for “Loving You (music)”, it is not the same as the track on the album as it’s missing Kokayi. Listen to the audio that’s off her album and I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Janelle was another heavy hitter in this category. I’ll admit, I wasn’t feeling this song at first either just like the poster above. But I promise it’s one of those tracks that grows on you big time. Ignore the video for “Many Moons” too. It’s crap and does nothing for the song. Listen to the audio alone and I think you’ll love Janelle’s track.

    I’m all for Janelle or Wayna to win this one. 😀

  • Deborah

    Sorry Abdul… just listened to Janelle’s song again and…well…still hate it.

    My only guess is that maybe people here are judging for this category based on the videos they find online. And since Janelle and Kenna’s are the most ‘out there’, they associate having unique videos with being alternative.

    I’m sure that anyone watching Janelle’s video will agree that it is the most creative and different…but can the song stand out on it’s own? Well…yeah it stands out by how awful it is.

    I disagree with you about the Janelle video though; I think there she did a good job, maybe that’s why people like the song. They’re ignoring the song and going off of how artistic the video is…maybe.

    I will agree about Chrisette though…it is a bit mainstream. Still say the Grammy should go to Wayna or Maiysha.

  • Alex

    Janelle Monae is the star of this Grammy category hands down. I give Wayna a second place position, but not a close second.

  • I agree that alternative is a different category than Jazz or R&B. Wayna is Jazz and some R&B, and Chrisette is R&B.
    I don’t think Janelle’s music is phenomenal (agreed her voice is great) but she is alternative. She represents a breaking away from mainstream concepts.

    I’ve given Janelle coverage because she’s bringing something different to the table. In an alternative category for award, there need to be alternative artists.
    Janelle is the only alternative artist in the category. There’s no Kelis, no J*Davey…
    Janelle should win.

  • Nathan

    This is an “Urban/Alternative” category which is different from a pure “Alternative”. To truly understand the nominees you have to be aware of the history of this category’s creation (and the ongoing debate about it). How it was really created to highlight independent artists.

    So while one could argue that Janelle has the only pure “alternative” track she’s not all the “urban”. Her album though is way more “alternative” than Wayna’s.

    However, the ONLY independent artist in the category is Wayna; as the rest are backed up by the major record label dollars. Plus her album (and her nominated track) is way more “urban” than Janelle’s is.

    The debate will always come back to how this Grammy category should be defined. I think all the poster (including the host of this blog) should read the following post for info about the debate on this Grammy category:


  • Hey Rob,
    Yeah I have to say I’m surprised that you didn’t go for Wayna first in your enthusiasm for this category. Especially with Kokayi on the joint. I mean if anyone represents the Black Rock aesthetic it’s Kokayi who is the embodiment of his own philosophy of More Walk, Less Talk. Bad brother with pretty talented singer. This clip is not particularly representative.
    Anyway, glad they even have another category and recognizing the genre in some way.