With all of the notable names that released projects in 2016 the Grammys should be something award enthusiasts look forward to, but like most award shows it seems like people of color always get played.
Over the last ten years, Herbie Hancock has been the lone person of color that has won album of the year. This shows a devastating lack of diversity. There have been numerous projects released by artist of color that have been beyond exceptional and deserves recognition.
For example, Channel Orange, by Frank Ocean was beat out by Random Access Memories, by Daft Punk in 2013. In 2016, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was beat out by Taylor Swift’s 1989. As well as the 2017 Grammys, Beyoncé’s critically acclaimed visual album, Lemonade, was beat out by Adele’s album, 25. Everyone expected Beyoncé to win, even Adele herself.
This year however, Ocean withheld his latest works, Blonde and Endless, from award consideration this year. “Winning a TV award doesn’t make christen me successful. It took me some time to learn that,” he says, “Blonde sold a million plus without a label, that’s successful.”
We are not just whining. We are not sore losers. We are not complaining because we lost. We are not being dramatic because our favorite artists are not being chosen. We are plainly speaking up and calling out the injustice that we are seeing.
Evidence shows that over the years white artists are being chosen over artists of color. After a while we can no longer just claim it is coincidental that people of color are not winning. It is not like album sales for artist of colors are any worse than those of white artists.
The only explanation to why people of color are not being excluded is not because their content is lesser or fans are not supporting them, but the “experts” are purposefully excluding them. This has gone on way too long. It is impossible that after all these years people of color are still not being given their props.
This is a degree of whitewashing that even Tom Sawyer can’t beat.