Why Diddy Blasted The Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are currently underway and stars are gathering for what’s considered the biggest night in music. This year’s celebration has already featured a touching tribute to the late-great, Kobe Bryant, who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash – along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others. The ceremony opened with a moment of silence.

Diddy
Diddy at 2020 Pre-Grammy Gala | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The show will also include a star-studded tribute to late rapper, Nipsey Hussle, and is hosted by Alicia Keys. While everyone waits for all winners to be announced and watch to see their favorite performers, social media timelines are filled with the hottest celebrities fashions and behind the scenes moments from last night’s pre-Grammy party.

One of the videos circulating is Diddy’s acceptance speech at the yearly event, in which he blasts the award show for excluding black music.

Diddy blasts the Grammy’s for not being inclusive

The annual pre-Grammy party thrown by music mogul Clive Davis is a highly anticipated event. Artists and music industry insiders gather to celebrate one another and enjoy a ceremony where some of the biggest artists are honored. Among this year’s honorees was Diddy. 

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Diddy took to the stage to receive the Industry Icon Award. The 50-year-old gave a 40-minute speech at the gala. He dedicated the last six minutes of his acceptance to express his disappointment with the Recording Academy for not being inclusive in acknowledging black music. 

“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,” he said.

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He called on everyone in the room that had “the power to make the changes that need to be made.” He also promised to hold the Recording Academy accountable to fulfill its responsibilities to artists and the music industry.

“Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” he said. “And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”

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Diddy received a standing ovation for his speech.

The Grammy’s have been accused of not celebrating black artists before

The allegations of the Grammy Awards not recognizing black artists, specifically those in hip hop, is a historical debate. Will Smith famously boycotted the awards show in 1989 while he was in a group with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Smith and Jeff were nominated, and ultimately won a Grammy for their hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith
DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith | GAB Archive/Redferns

“We don’t have the problem with the Grammy as an award or the Grammys as an institution, we at the time. “We chose to boycott. We feel that it’s a slap in the face.”

According to Jeff, the duo were told there was not enough time to televise all of the selected categories. “They televised 16 categories and, from record sales, from the Billboard charts, from the overall public’s view, there’s no way you can tell me that out of 16 categories, that rap isn’t in the top 16,” Jeff said.

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Other artists and execs, including hip hop trio, Salt-N-Pepa, Russell Simmons and LL Cool J, joined in the boycott. The boycott brought about change as the following year, the Grammys televised the best rap performance award presentation.

That hasn’t stopped the criticism of the award show. Just last year, The Daily Beast featured an article claiming the award show was racist in its treatment to hip hop artists. It’s also been accused of rigging awards and giving certain categories to non-black artists despite album sales and popularity.