*Ad man, brand manager and occasional consigliere to many of hip-hop’s most powerful stars, marketing mogul Steve Stoute took out a full page ad in Sunday’s New York Times Style Section blasting the Grammy Awards, its parent organizational, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and its president, Neil Portnow, for what he feels is both increasing irrelevance and possible malfeasance.
“Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture,” he wrote in the ad, which took the form of an open letter. “The awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate.”
In particular, Stoute (pictured) focused on the relatively recent snubs of Eminem, Kayne West, and Justin Bieber, all musicians he believes have been unfairly beaten for awards by inferior artistic and commercial acts.
“We must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation,” Stoute wrote of the two hip-hop superstars, adding of Bieber, “How is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist?”
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