I really can’t stress enough how big a deal it is that Cee-Lo Green’s “F— You” got nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards (which will go down on Sunday, February 13, 2011). Not just because it is a thoroughly awesome song and so insanely catchy it there oughta be a law. We’re talking about the same organization that has lavished armloads of awards on guys like Herbie Hancock and Steely Dan in recent years and who in 1989 once gave Jethro Tull a heavy metal Grammy over Metallica.
The RIAA’s idea of edgy is a Green Day ballad. And now they’re giving major nods to a song with one of the seven dirty words in its title. Hell, “f—” represents 50 percent of the song’s chorus! So score one for the indisputable power of a hook. How off the charts is this coup? Let’s take a look at the songs that have been nominated in the Record of the Year category and won over the past three years.
2010: King of Leon, “Use Somebody,” which beat out Beyoncé’s “Halo,” the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” Taylor Swift’s cotton candy “You Belong with Me” and Lady Gaga’s somewhat randy “Poker Face.”
2009: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s snooze-tastic “Please Read the Letter,” which bested Adele’s cute “Chasing Pavements,” Coldplay’s rousing but innocuous “Viva La Vida,” Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” which, come to think of it, might have started pushing the envelope thanks to lyrics about weed and a chorus punctuated by gun shots. Still no f-bombs, though.
2008: Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,”admittedly a song about drugs that didn’t really mention drugs, won over Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” Foo Fighters’ “Pretender,” Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around … Comes Around.” All safe songs, mostly without any edges.
I’m going out on a limb here and telling you that no song this profane has ever gotten this much love in the history of the Grammy Awards. To which I can only say, “f— yeah!”