If anyone knows how Kendrick Lamar felt Sunday night, it’s India Arie. Just like the breakout rapper, India was also nominated for seven Grammy Awards in 2002 and went home empty handed. Her experience at “music’s biggest night” was dubbed the worst snub in Grammy history.
Fast forward to 2014, the soul songstress said not much has changed. She voiced her opinion about Kendrick’s lost and the Grammy’s failure to recognize Black artists in a heartfelt letter on her website.
“@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,” she wrote. “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.”
She went on to ask: “Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show?”
“Where were the black artists,” she questioned. “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?”
She continued, “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,” she added, “because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.”