Many hip-hop fans across the nation let out a collective sigh of grief and rage on Sunday night when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the rap categories, beating out Kendrick Lamar’s universally acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city for the Best Rap Album award. Since then, Macklemore has admitted that he robbed Kendrick of his rightful win, but the criticism has yet to cease and now former Grammy snub victim India Arie has spoken out about the matter and has slammed the Grammys for robbing Kendrick.
In a post on her personal tumblr page, Arie echoes the thoughts of most in saying that Kendrick should have won the award, stating that awards are based off popularity instead of actual talent.
“@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,” wrote Arie.
“Though it’s called “Music industry’s 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,” she added.
Arie argues that the voting system for the Grammys is unfair because individuals who have nothing to do with genres of music like R&B and hip-hop are able to vote in categories related to them.
“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,” says Arie.
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?” she asks.
Arie makes mention of her own infamous Grammy snubs and says that black artists continue to be ignored, robbed and disappointed every time they attend awards shows that aren’t made by black people.
“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,” she wrote.
Arie then makes mention of another major snub on the Grammy’s part and then applauds the existence of black awards shows.
“P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL? … and THIS is why we NEED the Image Awards AND the BET awards,” said Arie.
True indeed, in a perfect world Kendrick would have swept all of the rap categories and pissbly won the award for Best Album. However, although black artists of both past and present has broken ground for themselves and their black peers to even have a (televised) space at the Grammys, clearly the playing field is still unfair when it comes to who can go home a winner at the end of the night. – nicholas robinson