Truth Hurts? India Arie Calls The Grammys A Popularity Contest That Purposely “Excludes Young Black Amercia”

- By Bossip Staff
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Do you agree with India?

India Arie Says Grammy Awards Purposely Exclude Young Black People

Talented soul-singing songstress India Arie is speaking out to address the seemingly blatant disregard that the Grammy Awards have for African-American entertainers.

Likemost, India was blown away by the fact that uber-talented hip hop lyricist Kendrick Lamar failed to take home any Grammys and she took to her website with an open letter on it all.

Check out her thoughts below.

@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.

India then goes on to put the Grammy Awards ceremony on full blast and points out that the biggest losers of the night were all of the black artists and all of black music before slamming them for putting other artists on stage twice while failing to give certain black artists any shine. Read the rest of what she had to say on the flip.

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 favorite 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

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide


P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL? … and THIS is why we NEED the Image Awards AND the BET awards.

As addressed in India Arie’s letter here, the underlying issue at the root of this problem seems to be the non-evolving process by which artists are selected for Grammy performances, nominations and in turn, wins.

The Grammys have been around for nearly 60 years and although music is an ever-evolving art form, it seems that those in charge of orchestrating this ceremony have done a poor choice of selecting which part of the process will adapt to the changing nature of the industry and which remain racist stagnant & be written off as “tradition.” Unfortunately, African-American artists are a part of the latter.

What are your thoughts on this, Bossip fam?

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