May 5, 2016


Can You Spot What's Weird About Grimes' 'Tonight Show' Performance?

Grimes and her curious crew hit the Tonight Show stage on Wednesday to perform her Art Angels single "Flesh Without Blood." It was a technicolor spectacle with glitchy stripes of light and a shimmery blue hanging over the whole scene, her dancers busting out their signature robotic moves as Grimes and her partner in crime played a bouncy version of the song.

Grimes wore a Zac Posen ballgown, looking more ~Met Gala~ than she did at the Met Gala. Her arms were drenched in glitter as she thumbed the ever-present bass line on a red guitar, commanding her 808s simultaneously.

You gotta admit, seeing Grimes perform is impressive—she's got the presence, the pipes, the whole cornucopia of electronic sounds to orchestrate—but there was one thing that irked me about her Tonight Show appearance: Jimmy Fallon's introduction.

"Our next guest writes and produces her own music," Fallon says in his usual banter. Perhaps he's just impressed by Grimes and her multitasking. After all, he points out that her album went to No. 1 on the indie chart on iTunes. (He mustn't forget it hit No. 1 on the Billboard alternative chart, too).

But when he specifically points out that Grimes writes and produces her own music, it's like...DUH! She's been doing this for years! Would he use the same intro for anyone else? Say, Kanye WestThe 1975James Blake or the plethora of others who write and produce their own music?

It's like introducing J.K. Rowling and saying she writes and types her own books.

You don't need me to call it what it is, although, fine, I'll say it. The introduction is sexist. And for those who say that Fallon's just giving her credit where credit's due, sure, but he should do it the same way for men AND women. Perhaps Fallon was trying to set her apart from other pop stars who sing manufactured hits. Sure, but is it surprising that a woman is a creative genius?

Grimes is not an exception because she's a woman who writes and produces. She's not a novelty. She's just an artist, and she's extremely good at what she does. And if that's a shock to you, there's still no need to condescend.

Now that I got that off my chest, you can watch our interview with Grimes from 2015: