Open letters are, generally speaking, for blowhards. Rarely does someone have anything to say in an open letter that is going to enhance a situation or change a particular stance. However, Shirley Manson, the beloved goddess of 90s grunge and former lead singer of Garbage, has recently proven that maybe the art of the open letter isn’t dead when one puts a moody, grunge spin on it.
In the wake of Kanye West’s usual awards ceremony rant after a white person winning–this time Beck for Album of the Year at the Grammys–Manson took to Facebook (a platform that any true artist carefully curates with non-personal life-related fare) to give ‘ye a piece of her very vitriolic mind.
Once again, the source of West acting out was Beyonce, who he feels some strange need to protect in spite of the fact that she’s doing pretty damn well on her own. As some may recall, Kanye also bum-rushed the stage at the 2009 VMA Awards after Taylor Swift won the category for Best Female Video instead of Beyonce. Mercifully, Kanye contained himself from actually staying on the stage and speaking while Beck made his acceptance speech.
Musicians and critics alike alike have all reacted unfavorably to Kanye’s outburst, but none have been so succinct as to break it down the way Shirley Manson’s letter does below:
Dear Kanye West,
It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry.
You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like BECK.
You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt.
In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own.
Grow up and stop throwing your toys around.
You are making yourself look like a complete twat.
P.S. I am pretty certain Beyonce doesn’t need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she’s got everything covered perfectly well on her own.”
Maybe this unexpected outburst from one of the most notorious badasses in music will shut Kanye up the next time. Though it’s likely he’ll have something to say that pertains to her whiteness if he so chooses to respond. And while Kanye may have had a point about Beyonce deserving the award, there is a time and a place to showcase one’s tantrums. The stage at the Grammys isn’t one of them.