On November 15, the Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 2023 GRAMMY Awards. With the wide variety of music Gen Z listens to, the potential awardees list caused quite a bit of comment section drama. Three specific artists were Rosalía, Nicki Minaj, and BLACKPINK — the former receiving two nominations and the latter two receiving zero. Many fans believed Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI album, which currently has over one billion streams on Spotify, deserved one of the ten Album of the Year spots. Rosalía even won the Latin GRAMMY’s “Album of the Year” spot, further undermining this decision. For Nicki Minaj, this “curbing” behavior represents years of snubbing the Queen of Rap. Minaj has received 10 nominations but 0 wins over her nearly-20-year star-studded musical career. She has a whopping 45.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and this lack of recognition shows a systemic trend of not appreciating Black women in music, according to many fans. K-Pop group BLACKPINK also did not take home any nominations, the fourth year in a row for this to be the case. Despite the popularity of K-Pop music, BTS is the only group to have GRAMMY nominations. Though the organization has posted about K-Pop groups to know, only BTS has seen official recognition. The fact that all three snubbed artists or groups are women of color is not something to quickly glance at, either. Hopefully, the GRAMMYs will soon reflect popular and well-made music; until then, we’ll all be cheering for our ruler, Lizzo.
“Wakanda Forever” was finally released on November 11, and the world will never be the same. Four years after “Black Panther” and two years after the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman, audiences flocked to theaters to celebrate his memory and learn more about the world of Wakanda. Emotional for both the cast and viewers, social media was abuzz with positive comments about the movie. An online user noticed the use of Boseman’s initials and birthday on a car (CB112976), while others celebrated the incredible sets and the cast’s diversity. As @TELEAZE Tweeted, “the whole black panther series … has some of the most mature and nuanced discussions of grief and loss in the entire mcu.” Also stunning is its demographic turnout: PostTrak reported Black and Latino/Hispanic viewers to be 43% and 22% of the total crowd, a collective 7% uptick from the original movie. With a whopping $546 million of global earnings (at the time of writing), “Wakanda Forever” and its predecessor are sure to be evergreen cultural staples.
An integral part of the concert experience is struggling to buy a cheap and decent ticket. Whether Harry Styles or Tyler, the Creator, it seems to be getting harder and harder to bear the presale anticipation, the thousands-long queues, and, of course, the obnoxious (and, somehow, always unexpected) “processing” fees. One event that will go down in history is Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour crisis with Ticketmaster. The ticket company’s verified-fans-only presale went up in flames, after over 2.4 million people aimed to buy a pass to the tour. The site did not require listeners to enter their presale code before joining the queue, causing a high degree of traffic to the site beyond buyers. After their servers were overwhelmed, Ticketmaster shut off regular ticket sales entirely, leaving only presale buyers with access to the Eras Tour. Ticketmaster quickly apologized to fans, but Swift and her fans began to critique the company and its monopolistic practices. Since the debacle, lawmakers and organizations have called on antitrust legislation to disband Ticketmaster and its hold on the live concert industry. As Sally Darr Tweeted, “karma is my boyfriend, karma is the justice department investigating ticketmaster, etc.” BTS’ “Army” fanbase also pointed out the discrepancy in Ticketmaster’s response between Swifties and Armys, as the latter experienced the same issue in March with no apology from the company. Responding to the diverging situations, @Bibillyhillzz pointed out that “we’re seeing the power yt [white] women in distress hold.” Ticketmaster needs to be felled before Rihanna tickets are released, because y’all know what I’m doing that day …
Gen Z’s favorite part of the holiday season is here: Friendsgiving. Originating in 2007, the tradition calls on people to invite friends for a Thanksgiving dinner, albeit quite a bit less formal. Though it began within Millennial circles, Gen Z has adopted the event with a youthful spin. YPulse found that 36% of Gen Z is planning to celebrate Friendsgiving this year. With many at college or single, family events are not as accessible to young people. Others choose not to commemorate Thanksgiving due to its colonial roots. By recognizing Friendsgiving, one can center the spirit of connectedness and thankfulness without the problematic history of traditional events (and, frankly, bland food). Bryce Wollmann on Twitter called for a Friendsgiving where “everyone gets a rotisserie chicken and a 4loko,” which tells you basically everything you need about the tradition. All I know is that I NEED this board night for my Friendsgiving!
The ~Tiktok and its dangers~ discussion feels like it’s been going on for years. Which, at this point, maybe it has. Though the CIA found no evidence of TikTok giving information to the Chinese government, the US Department of Defense and financial company Wells Fargo have forbidden employees from using the social app on their devices. India has also banned the app entirely, creating platforms like Moj, Josh, Chingari, and Roposo in its absence. In a Homeland Security Committee meeting, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated “national security concerns” about TikTok. The app’s user pulsing is incredibly strong, collecting information from messages, contacts, videos consumed, locations, and more. With over one billion users, security concerns regarding its use have steadily increased. Buzzfeed also leaked meeting audio, discovering that employees based in China have repeatedly accessed private information like phone numbers and birthdays. Though Wray is “extremely concerned,” users on TikTok do not seem to show much interest. Many even think the government is mad because “the truth is on TikTok” and “people are getting their news off it instead of from the major news networks that spin everything.” I’m prepared for this game of chicken to last forever at this point …
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ As we near the end of the year (what a scary thing to say), young people on social media are reflecting on the year they’ve had. Pair a sped-up “Slipping Through My Fingers” with a caption reading “January me would ….” January me would be amazed to see me writing for the Screenshot!
✨ The digital world’s target this month? The state of Ohio. In response to any outlandish or strange actions, people caption the moment “a normal day in Ohio” or something “only in Ohio.” Many Ohio jokes on TikTok use Lil B’s “Swag Like Ohio” song. I’ll support midwest slander while this trend is around!
✨ If there’s one person all of Gen Z loves, it’s Devin Halbal, or Hal Baddie. She represents #maincharacterenergy by bringing constant positivity (and constant selfie stick use) to her “dolls” on social media. Halbal’s confidence and smile make her affirmative audios instant trends. Mentioning Halbal or using one of her audios is sure to make young people smile!
Screenshot of the Week
Any student applying to college can relate to the tedious process of applying for financial aid. @yulesmcgules asked the question we all have: why not get married to receive more scholarship money? At this point, I’d take that option (plus, it might help my commitment issues).