Hip Hop: A No-Show at the Grammys

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The 2015 Grammys aired this past Sunday and it went down in the Rap category. Last year everyone was outraged that Kendrick Lamar didn’t beat out Macklemore. Nobody was really surprised at how it went down given the history of Rap with the Grammy Awards. This year Iggy Azalea was poised to be the winner in multiple categories including Best Rap Album. Everybody watched on edge ready to protest against the Grammy system. After all that Black-Americans endured in 2014 with the deaths of several young black men we felt the cold hand of injustice about to come down on us again. Pharrell took a huge moment in his career and Grammy history during his performance of his Grammy winning song “Happy”. The Virginia native had his dancers dawn hoodies and paused for a ‘hands up don’t shoot’ moment of acknowledgement. Even “The Artist formally known as” Prince even stood up for us reminding everyone that Black lives matter.

Back to the lecture at hand, now I watched very closely and they did Hip Hop/Rap music just as dirty as they have done in the past by not airing the Rap category winners. What?! No. None of the Rap categories were presented during the live telecast. Every award was announced prior to the show. Not album of the year, not best Rap performance, not even best Rap song! If Iggy were to win we wouldn’t have known unless we checked the internet or the blogs! They dissed us son! They blatantly disrespected us and our culture. They basically said we’ll get the award winners right this time but we won’t allow your artists, culture, or genre to get any of this free publicity. I see Kendrick Lamar won two Grammys since losing and performing last year. If we know who your meaningful and impactful artists are we may begin to change our way of thinking about you. We only entertain ignorance which is why “Tuesday” was nominated. If you don’t get the radio play from mainstream and carve yourself as a commercial artist then you’ll get a Grammy win or a nomination. Just look at Wiz Khalifa’s “We Dem Boyz”. Jerry Jones probably had something to do with that, I’m just joking but he did the same thing with “Black and Yellow”. Wiz is better off doing music for sports teams.

Last Grammy year I wrote a blog post about why our kids (Black-American children) need to see Black-Americans on the Grammys, “Hip Hop & The Grammys: What That Relationship Says to Our Youth” and this year they decide not to show our category. We may have seen Jay Z on stage, Pharrell, and LL Cool J but they weren’t being shown as winners in the Rap category. They saw Jay win for a feature. LL was the host while Pharrell’s entire album was considered as Urban Contemporary which is basically the commercialization of Black music, Black Pop.

Why are they keeping us out?! Do we want to belong where we aren’t wanted? Black people have been striving for equality since the first Anglo-Saxon stepped foot onto African land. Why can’t we support ourselves? We have the power to do so. Did anybody watch the NAACP Image Awards? Oh it aired on a Saturday and you went out because you wanted to ‘turn up’. Excuses. They don’t have a Rap category but they still have influential Black-Americans that can have a positive influence on you and your child(ren). Should we even care about the Grammys? Artists don’t make it a point to attend so why would they create a category for people who wouldn’t show up? They don’t call it the Image Awards for nothing.

How about next year everybody boycott the Grammys and attend the NAACP Image Awards. Every system has politics but rest assured that the right person has a greater chance of winning their respective categories. You don’t have to worry about being nominated in the wrong category or being nominated amongst artist that aren’t consistently active or worthy of the nomination. Instead of worrying about what Kanye is going to say or do worry about how the Grammy committee is going to play our culture next award year.