BTS Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg When It Comes to the "Scammys" and Its Genre Problem

It’s no secret that the Grammys has a long history when it comes to racial biases and a voting process that needs to be overhauled. When it comes to non-white artists, it’s almost a given they’ll be relegated to racialized categories like rap or R&B. If they’re an international artist that doesn’t sing in English or Spanish, like BTS, you’d be hard-pressed to find them nominated outside of the global music category. Despite working to diversify its organization and membership over the past year, the 2021 Grammy Awards — titled the “Scammys” by Twitter — felt particularly disappointing due to the lack of nominations for BTS, The Weeknd’s snubs, and whatever was happening with Chloe x Halle’s nominations.

BTS is arguably the largest musical group in the world at the moment, and they have an avid fanbase. In 2020, they produced both Map of the Soul: 7 and BE, their song “Dynamite” went platinum and gold in most countries, and they became the first South Korean artists to sell more than 20 million albums cumulatively. Yet, they missed out on nominations for the biggest awards of the evening and received their first major Grammy nomination for their first-ever English language single. I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty f*cked up to me. A song doesn’t need to be in English to be worthy of a Grammy. Music is universal and should be about how it makes you feel, not what language it is sung in.

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