Reggae Music News

India Arie knocks Grammys


KINGSTON, Jamaica — Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter India Arie has lashed out against the award show saying that the best black artistes are not being recognised for their talent.

In a letter posted on her Tumblr page (, Arie said the Grammys and other award shows have become more concerned with popularity and sales, with the musical quality only coming as an afterthought.

Her rant came after upcoming rapper Kendrick Lamar left the award show empty handed although being hailed a favourite across the board.

Arie wrote:

“@Kendricklamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed. Personally, I was pleased he was able to perform and they KILLED! IT! One of the FEW moving moments of the night for ME.

Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone — the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation. Too much to go into here.

The American Music Awards is a show that awards sales and popularity – the #Grammys are SAID to be about the music.

If the hip hop community voted on hip hop — R&B COMMUNITY the same —  same for each category — we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes.

NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music. Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not) … Where were the black artists?

And this isn’t the first time the #Grammy’s has had a show all but excluding young black America and black artists in general, although we set the worlds musical trends. Why NOT televise the lifetime achievement awards of the Isley Brothers? SURELY they deserved to be on televised stage LAST NIGHT! While other artists were on stage TWICE?

The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme.  So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album. i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support.  It’s unfortunate.

I don’t even get surprised any more, but, it still hits my sense of fairness, because I KNOW many of the artists who are overlooked. I LIVE in that world. We keep showing up and subjecting ourselves to the game, hoping MAYBE we’ll win. I was so HAPPY to see @Kendricklamar take that stage — because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.

Speaking of diversity, congratulations to my PERSONAL favourite albums of the year –  @I_GregoryPorter #LiquidSpirit @Realsnarkypuppy and @lalahhathaway on your win and THANK YOU! @pharrell for acting RIGHT in the presence of the greatness that is @Nilerodgers and #StevieWonder”.

Kendrick Lamar, a talented black rapper who hails from Compton, California was expected to win for rap album of the year. His loss to duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry, prompting several artistes and popular bloggers to express outrage.

Rap album winner Macklemore was reported to have reached out to Lamar in a text message after the award show.

“You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech. Then the music started playing during my speech, and I froze,” he continued. “Anyway, you know what it is. Congrats on this year and your music. Appreciate you as an artist and as a friend. Much love.”

Macklemore screen-capped the message and posted to it his Instagram account with the caption “My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album. I’m honoured and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won IMO, and that’s taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it’s proper respect.”

Macklemore and Lamar were tied for seven nominations each, and by the end of the show Macklemore had earned four awards.



[VIA – Jamaica Observer]

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