India.Arie Calls the Grammys a Racist Ratings Game…

The following was posted by India.Aria shortly after the Grammys…

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The 2014 Grammy’s: Open Letter from @IndiaArie

@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 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.

26 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL?”

    For what? Corpse of the Year?

  2. WhatThe

    BEYONCÉ, JayZ, any many more rocked the show.
    Oh well I guess she needs press since no one is buying her records. Probably less now after these comments.

  3. GGG

    The fact that “Roar” was in the running for best song written in 2013 is all you need to know about the Grammy’s level of pointlessness and shittiness.

    • Me

      What about the rock genre? Paul McCartney & surviving Nirvana members beat out Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath for best rock song? Led Zeppelin beat out Sabbath, Bowie, and Neil Young for best rock album? What year are we in? I find the winners in this category to be more offensive than what happened in the rap category. At least Macklemore is a current, relevant artist.

      • GGG

        Yea, that too.

        The problem with the Grammy’s is they try to be everything at once because they have to be an entertaining show. It’s hard to balance awarding great musicians AND great performers AND young artists AND legends AND the popular people to get ratings, etc. It just makes it a silly mess too often.

  4. x

    An you forget, that the hip hop and R&B only have a hype in USA, but the world is bigger than USA

    • dazed & confused

      is this a joke? can’t tell whether this comment is serious or not. Seems circa 1982. Hip-hop & R&B burst worldwide LONG, LONG ago. They’ve been some of the US’ most exportable products for the past few decades. Being used to sell everything from coca cola in Africa to nutella in the Ukraine. Where have you been?

      • hippydog

        go travel the world a bit.. then come back and tell us how much of a joke it is..

  5. PiratesWinLOL

    Great stuff. The world needs more whining from american black people.

  6. Yves Villeneuve

    Just a couple of questions. When was the last time she voted for a Rock or Country album? Does she only vote for R&B and Hip Hop?

    Safe to say, not everyone is enamoured will all genres and be impartial the way she expects them to be.

  7. Jaded Industry Dude

    Did she actually watch the awards show or was she just bummed to not be in attendance?

  8. @mattadownes

    I saw and heard performances from Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder and Niles Rodgers.

  9. AnAmusedGeek

    Do musicians actually pay any attention to these shows ? I always figured they were just a dog and pony show for viewers ? Aren’t there ‘industry’ awards where musicians get to recognize their peers?

    I thought stuff like the Oscars was the same – parade a few big names around for the masses, but I always assumed there were ‘lil known’ industry awards where performers could acknowledge their peers talent and not the size of their marketing budget ?

  10. Commentator

    Every year, the same misunderstandings and grief. Why is it so hard for people to recognize that the Grammies are there for one purpose: to promote the sale of major label product. That’s ALL they’re for. Leave your artistic-recognition aspirations at the gate.

  11. hippydog

    QUOTE “Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show?”

    Besides the Host, Opening act, & closing act?

    I thought there was a pretty fair representation based on what the charts reflect.

  12. CBQ

    Seems to have a problem with her SHIFT key. And what does NUTHER mean?

    In short, who gives a f***

  13. Mr. Obvious

    Please, don’t get me started. I about sharted my caucasian knickers the last time DMG race baited.

  14. Chris Standring

    She’s right about the Grammy voting process though. No one is voting for an artist they have never heard of. Why? Because no one has time to listen. So they vote for the household names. But that’s the way the Grammys want it too. They have a show to air and ratings to consider to sell advertising. Imagine if the whole night was choc full of unknown artists. Who would watch?

    • GGG

      A lot of the time they vote for who they can benefit the most from and/or know people who can benefit the most from.

      It’s definitely not every single time, but there’s instances that sort of make you notice. Like Esperanza Spalding, a young(ish), attractive jazz musician with easy cross over appeal that had already been positioned as such in ways, and who is on a label distributed by Universal. She beat out Justin Beiber, another Universal artist. Kinda ridiculous he didn’t win, based off of the Grammys love of what’s popular, but Beiber probably wasn’t going to get many more sales out of a Grammy win. His fans had already bought everything and it’s not like a bunch of adults were gonna rush to the store like they did for Adele after the awards. So if Esperanza was already pretty obviously being pushed to be a sort of Nora Jones crossover artist, it would make sense to push her for notoriety and sales. Obviously didn’t work out, but there’s no way a jazz artist wins without a HUGE inside push behind her.

      Either that or every voting member not working for a major just voted for the non-major artist haha.


    A lot of great comments here. I’ll make the asinine one. CAN someone teach INDIA how TO properly USE caps IN order TO punctuate HER point?