Sunday night, I watched the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, and having watched most of the shows, I have an announcement to make.
I finally get it, Grammys. I’m not going to have an attitude. I’m not going to whine. I’m not going to complain anymore about our favorite artists and music not winning. When you really break it down, popular music today does not deserve a Grammy. In most cases there’s nothing original about it. It’s Karaoke. It’s samples. It’s not new.
Yeah, at first, I was like most of you. I was mad that the best new artist was someone that I never played on the radio, upset that so many people honored were people we never heard of. But after I woke up and thought about it, the Grammy committee was right. How can you award somebody for being new when all you did was take a hook from an old song?
When I told my 20 something daughter-in-law that “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys samples the 1970 “Moments” hit “Love on a Two-Way Street,” she was crushed. And when I told her that her favorite, “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson, was a Bill Withers/Grover Washington Jr. song, “Just the Two of Us,” she put her hands to her ears, and said no way.
Not honoring those popular hits may have made a point for the Grammys, but it also made for a boring show with no R&B category recognized on the awards broadcast. For the record, Usher won for best male R&B performance; Fantasia won for best female R&B performance, and Sade won for best R&B performance by a duo, group or with vocals. John Legend was a huge winner. He and The Roots won for best Traditional R&B performance; “Shine” won for best R&B song, and “Wake Up!” was R&B album of the Year. Best contemporary album of the year was Usher’s “Raymond Vs. Raymond.” Cee-Lo Green won for best urban/alternative performance.
From the opening tribute to our Queen to Mick
Jagger’s performance with Raphael Saadiq, if it was R&B, it was a remake, sampled or worst – just plain stealing. Lady GaGa thanked Whitney? She should have thanked Madonna for that song.
At least most of the songs that got awards were really new. You want Drake, Black Eyed Peas and the rest to get an award, wait for the American Music Awards.
It would have been better for the Grammy people to just say, “Look, this is about art and originality, so don’t waste your time if you’re looking for a popularity contest.” It could have kept a lot of us from getting bored and frustrated.
If the Grammy committee really wanted to do something original and educational, they could give awards to the people who wrote and recorded the original songs that these new people made famous.
I know what some of you are thinking: Tom, what about all of the white artists like Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger who stole original music from black artists and made big hits out of them?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know I know. But I also know that life is like that for us, and the best way to fight it is to have some ammunition. And we’ve got it. Ebony, Jet, Black Enterprise, the TJMS and BlackAmericaWeb.com, to name a few, will always recognize the good things and great things black Americans have contributed. And BET with its award shows and TV One’s “Unsung” play a huge role in making sure we get our props.
Like I always say, let’s not ever depend on someone else to lift us up or tell our stories. In the words of the late, great and very original James Brown, ”Don’t need nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door, I’ll get it myself.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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