Chuck D Responds to Recording Academy Imbroglio — ‘Same Old Bullsh*t’

Chuck D Responds to Recording Academy Imbroglio -- ‘Same Old Bullsh*t’
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Chuck D Responds to Recording Academy Imbroglio -- ‘Same Old Bullsh*t’
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Photo of Chuck D by Mika Väisänen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Legendary rapper Chuck D, known for being the frontman of the iconic band Public Enemy, has come out in support of Deborah Dugan, the Recording Academy president and CEO who was suspended just prior to the 2020 Grammy Awards. The Academy’s board of trustees decided to put Dugan on administrative leave because of a “formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.”

This move has infuriated Chuck D, who issued a statement condemning the decision. In his statement, he criticized the “ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men” who he says stop progress and screw things up. He also accused the Academy of wanting to keep the status quo and making sure that genres such as hip hop are not given the recognition they deserve.

Chuck D went on to say that he is not surprised that Deborah Dugan was suspended, but he is appalled by it. He believes that it reeks of the same old jive, a “New Whirl Odor” that considers the masses simply as “them asses.” Interestingly, Chuck D is attacking the organization only months prior to receiving a lifetime achievement award from it.

However, this is not the first time that Chuck D has criticized the Recording Academy. In 1989, he and the rest of Public Enemy boycotted the Grammy Awards because, at that time, the Academy had not yet recognized hip hop as a specific genre of popular music. The band was even feuding a bit with the organization over the lifetime achievement award. The Academy at first did not want to honor DJ Lord, who joined the group in the late 1990s.

In regards to this feud, Chuck D says, “We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award. We had to question why our biggest UK hit and the theme to the global Paralympics Games, ‘Harder Than You Think,’ was left out. Maybe because it was released on my own independent label, SlamJamz, and not a major?”

Chuck D’s statement has sparked a conversation within the music industry about the Recording Academy’s lack of diversity and inclusivity. In recent years, the Academy has been criticized for its lack of recognition of women and people of color in the music industry. In response, the Academy has made efforts to increase diversity, including inviting over 1,000 new members to join the organization in 2019.

However, many people feel that these efforts are not enough. The suspension of Deborah Dugan has only added fuel to the fire of the ongoing conversation about the Academy’s lack of diversity. In response to Chuck D’s statement, many other artists have also spoken out in support of Dugan, including Halsey, who called for transparency and accountability within the organization.

Despite the controversy surrounding the Recording Academy, the Grammy Awards continue to be one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry. The 2020 Grammy Awards ceremony took place on January 26, 2020, and featured performances from some of the biggest names in music, including Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Ariana Grande.

In conclusion, Chuck D’s statement in support of Deborah Dugan has sparked a conversation within the music industry about the Recording Academy’s lack of diversity and inclusivity. Many people feel that the Academy needs to do more to recognize and support women and people of color in the music industry. Despite the controversy, the Grammy Awards continue to be a highly anticipated event in the music world, and many fans and artists alike look forward to seeing who will take home the coveted awards each year.

One Response

  1. Ted

    Chuck speak the truth. Dugan will have them pay her out big time.