P Diddy Says Black Music Has Never Been Respected By The Grammys
While appearing at a pre-Grammy gala on Saturday, January 25, P Diddy took to the stage to slam the Grammys, saying black music has ‘never been respected’ by the awards.
Diddy, real name Sean Combs, was attending the annual Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Los Angeles, where he was receiving the award for the 2020 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons.
Among the audience, which included some of Diddy’s past collaborators like Faith Evans, Ma$e and Lil’ Kim, were artists like Jay-Z, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Cardi B, Lana Del Rey, Ozzy Osbourne, and John Legend, as well as Diddy’s son King Combs.
The 50-year-old rapper took to the stage for a 50-minute acceptance speech for the award which, according to Variety, saw him reminisce about his life, career and the people he has worked with. However, around 40 minutes into the speech, his feelings about the Grammys came to light.
There’s something that I need to say to the Grammys — and I say this with love. Every year y’all be killing us. I’m speaking for all the artists and executives: in the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘We are artists and we are sensitive about our shit.’ For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope.
Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys.
Diddy also referenced the current turmoil within the Grammys. Recently, the Academy placed their new president/CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave – though Dugan alleges she was forced out due to lodging a complaint about sexual harassment, as well as ‘conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by board members and voting irregularities’.
As Diddy said:
So right now, with this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on — not just in music, but in film, sports, around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us — and that stops right now.
I’m officially starting the clock: you’ve got 365 days to get this shit together. We need the artists to take back control, we need transparency, we need diversity. This is the room that has the power to [force] the change that needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us: They’re a non-profit organization that is supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what is says on the mission statement: they work for us.
It’s going to take all of us to get this done. I’m here for the artists, so sign me up.
Former CEO Neil Portnow came under fire in 2018 when, after the Grammys were slated for their lack of gender equality, he said female artists and executives needed to ‘step up’. This year, five out of eight album of the year nominees are female.
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CreditsVariety and 1 other
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission