Grammys… this you?


Souce: Pixabay

Audience Cheering at Music Concert

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA- Discrimination against people of color, also called POC, is unfortunately something that has been happening for a long time. Even today, this injustice continues in all walks of life, including the music industry. The Grammys have a history of being discriminatory and racially biased, and most POC artists have been treated unfairly by them as a result of this.
One of the biggest criticisms circling the Grammys this year was the lack of nominations given to the artist The Weeknd. Despite having one of the best selling albums of the year, along with his song “Blinding Lights” having broken several chart records, the Weeknd was not nominated for any Grammy awards. The artist publicly displayed his discontent with the award show by tweeting, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”, on November 24, 2020, after the initial release of the 2021 Grammy nominations and pledged to boycott the award show. Several other big artists such as Drake, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West have also underlined the lack of diversity and inclusion present in the Grammys.
Another artist whom the public believed should have gone home with a win was the K-pop group BTS. Their newest albums, MOTS:7 & BE, were beyond popular, with their hit single “Dynamite” earning the title of the best selling song in the US in 2020. It is also important to note that despite their album MOTS:7 being one of only 21 albums to go platinum last year, as well as the only platinum pop album of the year, BTS only received a nomination for their English single, and were not nominated in any of the main categories. Despite having arguably one of the most successful years in 2020, the group was not acknowledged for their accomplishments, reflecting how the Grammys choose to look over some artists while putting others on pedestals.
An important moment to note at the 2020 Grammys was when Tyler the Creator called out the racism of the award show during his speech. He mentioned he was grateful for the Best Rap Album award, but pointed out how black artists are mostly put in the rap or urban category. The rapper described the word urban as the “politically correct way to say the ‘n’ word.” POC artists being put in a box like this, rather than being recognized for their genre-bending music, reveals the Grammys’ tendency to treat artists of color differently and not acknowledge them properly.
Some people may hold the stance that the Grammys have not been discriminatory just because a couple of POC artists have not won. While this may be true, there have been more than just a couple of instances when POC artists have conveniently lost in the couple categories they have been nominated in. These are not single isolated incidents, but rather an intricate history of POC artists being overlooked or treated unfairly by the Recording Academy.
Others may argue that it is not fair to take away the achievements of the artists who have won the awards just to claim racial bias. This is not a fair argument to make, as several previous winners have stated that they believed other nominees deserved to win instead. There have been several cases of this happening throughout the history of the Grammys, including when Billie Eilish gave her Grammy to Megan Thee Stallion at the recent 2021 Grammy Awards.
There are plenty of people who still do not believe the Grammys are racially biased, but the evidence continues stacking against this. From the numerous popular and talented POC artists who didn’t gather as many wins as they deserved to the winners who admitted those other nominees should have won, it is clear to see that the Recording Academy doesn’t acknowledge POC artists nearly as much.