Tagged: Grammys

Beyoncé channels Yoruba Goddess Oshun.

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I loved Bey’s performance at the GRAMMYs on Sunday. I loved it even more because one of the two songs performed, was co-written by my good friend Ingrid Burley!

Some people are saying that Bey’s look was inspired by the Yoruba goddess Oshun. The Yoruba people are “descendants from variety of West African communities” who are “united by geography, history, religion and most importantly language.” The main countries where the Yoruba people live are Nigeria, Togo and Benin. In their religion, Oshun is the “goddess of water, fertility, motherhood, and the passing of the generations.” This deity is also responsible for blessing women with twins. As you [may] know, Bey is pregnant with twins. For more information on the Yoruba, click here.

I’ve always loved Bey, but I love her even more for continuing to use her platform to help [re]awaken the psyche of Africans, especially those living in the United States of America.

More pics from her performance are below:

Beyonce, Pharrell, John Legend & Common use their Grammy performances as platforms to SPEAK OUT AGAINST RACISM.

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At the age of 30, I can’t recall seeing something like this happen at an award show during my lifetime…especially at the Grammys! [Keep in mind, in that same span of time, we have created our own award shows, like the BET Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.] So I ask: Why would this be happening in 2015 if we truly live in a “post-racial society” and/or racism no longer exists? Some might respond that these extremely talented and accomplished BLACK artists are all trying to pull the race card/”race baiting”??!! And my reply would simply be, “HELL FUCKING NO!” Racism is not a figment of our imaginations and whites need to stop responding to this highly complex social issue like it is. Better yet, when are WE [black people] going to get on the same page and eradicate this evil system of racism (global white supremacy) once and for all??!!?? It’s easier than one might think, especially when you realize that their alleged racial “superiority” is based on nothing more than a bunch of lies that can easily be disproven and at some point in history, they will have to be held fully accountable for their historical & on-going “crimes against humanity.” The time for TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE is NOW!! #blacklivesmatter #timetoreclaimthethrone

Update: Check out this video that Beyonce released of her rehearsing for her performance of Mahalia Jackson’s “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”:

Very deep.

“Macklemore has more Grammys than Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., DMX, Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Run DMC, Public Enemy, Big Pun, Young Jeezy, Ja Rule and Kendrick Lamar COMBINED.”

I just saw the above quote on Complex’s Facebook page and my jaw dropped!! Complex also  created a great video with commentary on the Grammy’s history of selecting white rappers to win the award for “Best Rap Album,” but I don’t know how to embed it on this site. Based on the voting history and habits of the Academy’s predominately white members, it looks like Australia’s very own, Iggy Azalea, will be the next white “rapper” to say they have more Grammys than some of hip-hop and MUSIC’s influential artists COMBINED?? In the video, they state:

Macklemore isn’t the only rapper who seemingly has benefited from his white privilege. With her four nominations, Iggy Azalea has more Grammy  nominations in rap categories than MC Lyte, Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown COMBINED. She even has more rap nominations than eight time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill — who has mostly been nominated in r&b and general categories.

SMDH. Neil Portnow and the powers that be over at The Recording Academy need to get it together!!! [The public would be shocked to know how the voting really takes place.] Find out what will happen at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, which airs tonight.

UPDATE: Overall, I thought the show was VERY BORING, especially the performances [Annie Lennox killed! Lol]. Iggy went home empty handed, but the award for “Best Rap Album” was given to…..EMINEM! [This is his SIXTH TIME winning this award and if you ask me, he didn’t deserve to win the last two or three.] Kendrick took home two awards for “I,” the first single off his sophomore studio album that will release later this year. Beyonce and Jay-Z added a few trophies to their massive collection as well. And congrats to SAM SMITH for taking home 4 awards in the top general categories, including Best New Artist, Best Pop Album, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

“So when Macklemore beats out Mr. Lamar — and also Jay Z, Drake and Kanye West — for a rap award, he makes sure to kiss the ring. “I robbed you” is an incredibly powerful phrase in this context — for a white artist muscling into a historically black genre, essentially uninvited, and taking its laurel. This is the whole cycle of racial borrowing in an environment of white privilege in a nutshell: black art, white appropriation, white guilt, repeat until there’s nothing left to appropriate.” — Jon Caramanica of the New York Times

The GRAMMYs did “rob” Kendrick Lamar! The racial makeup of the voting members is a large reason why things like this continue to happen, especially to black artists! I know first hand, because I used to work for The Recording Academy and they did the same thing to Jazmine Sullivan for the last five years.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/arts/music/finding-a-place-in-the-hip-hop-ecosystem.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1.

the DEATH of black music. NO African American artist reaches No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 2013, while Whites dominate the R&B/Hip-Hop charts!!

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While listening to NPR last night (yes, black folks listen to NPR) I heard this little gem;  “There were no black artists with number one singles in 2013.”

While fools were arguing over who was the king of NYC last year, black artists were no where to be seen at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the first time since the company began charting top 40 singles in 1958. “How is this possible?” You may ask. Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Pusha T and Drake all dropped albums in 2013 but none of them were able to get a top single. Furthermore, of the 52 weeks in a year, white artists were on top of the R&B and hip hop charts for 44 of them and blue eyed soul reigned supreme.

Is this what post-racial America looks like? Muthafuckas never loved us? Remember? But they always loved our music, and now we don’t even have that anymore. What’s next? An all white NBA draft?

But seriously, is this the future of hip hop and R&B? Will it soon be as white-washed as rock ‘n’ roll or punk? As, Keli Goff, author and commentator for The Daily Beast and The Root, explains “It almost reminds me of the ’50s and ’60s when you had a lot of music that was being made by white artists and being popularized by them but it was coming from black artists. It’s much easier to sell a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, an Eminem, a Justin Timberlake, to mainstream audiences than it is to sell a Jay Z. It is still a preferred feeling in mainstream pop culture that if we can find an attractive white act to do it, why not?”

Is Justin Timberlake the new Elvis? Do kids these days even know about Chuck Berry and Bad Brains? Will our kids know Afrika Bambaataa and Run DMC? Is hip hop as we know it DEAD??

One of my graduate papers in 2006-2007 focused on the misappropriation of black music, particularly using Justin Timberlake as a reference.  As a fan, I’ve followed Timberlake throughout most of his career, so to see his music evolve the way it has only seems natural in my eyes, given that he’s incredibly gifted, he’s always had soul and he’s always publicly acknowledged that he was influenced heavily by black artists growing up in Memphis, TN. I don’t “blame” white artists individually who love and are influenced by black culture and incorporate that into their music by working with predominately African American producers. I actually had a conversation with Timberlake during his sessions for FutureSex/LoveSounds at Hit Factory Studios in Miami where he discussed the hate he received from people for being a white man singing “black music.” I could really see that bothered him, because he was only creating the music that he loved, that was natural to him. So, I’m very torn on this issue. I guess my problem is more with the “industry” and society as a whole, when things like those discussed in my paper and the article above (e.g. the effects of misappropriating black music/culture in a predominately white society) become actualized. When in 2013, zero black artists are able to make songs that reach no. 1 on the mainstream Billboard charts, while white acts dominate the Hot 100 and white acts heavily influenced by black music dominate the r&b/hip-hop charts for 44 out of 52 weeks in that year. How many African American artists (major and/or unsigned) released debut albums in 2013 that sold more than 100,000 copies (when there are approx. 317,358,000 people living in the U.S.)? What’s the racial make-up of the executives and gatekeepers at these record and publishing companies, radio stations, talent agencies, studios, networks, etc. and what role is that playing in these shifts in music? Such a complex issue, but the effects (e.g. the “inexorable zero”) cannot be denied. At the end of the day, who is really benefiting from integration?

Source: http://massappeal.com/no-black-artist-topped-the-billboard-top-100-chart-in-2013/. [you can listen to the NPR interview there as well.]; http://www.census.gov/popclock/.