The 66th annual Grammy Awards took place Feb. 4 in the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles, and a lot went down. 

Taylor Swift made history by winning her fourth album of the year award for “Midnights,” making her the highest-awarded performing artist ever in this category. SZA swept the R&B categories and gave a stellar performance of her song, “Kill Bill.” Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy, and artists like Tyla, Victoria Monét, and Wet Leg took to the stage for the first time. 

But not everything was so glamorous. After losing to Killer Mike for ‘Best Rap Album,’ Travis Scott destroyed multiple chairs while performing “FE!N.” After snagging three Grammys, Killer Mike left the arena in handcuffs after an alleged physical altercation

This was just the beginning of the mess at the Grammys, though; during Jay-Z’s speech for the Dr. Dre Global Impact award, he voiced his distaste toward the Grammys’ voting process.. The Dr. Dre Global Impact Award was first given at the 2023 Grammys to Dr. Dre himself, and is awarded to artists who have made significant contributions to the creative community. This award served as a representation of the 50-year marker since the start of main-stream rap music. Jay-Z delivered a powerful speech that encompassed his work in the hip-hop industry, but he made sure to mention his 1998 boycott of the Grammys in protest of the award show’s unfair nomination system. He then went on to talk about Beyoncé and how she has been undervalued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the years.

“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won album of the year. So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work,” he said.” 

He alluded to “Renaissance,” Beyoncé’s third-most streamed album that has garnered nearly three billion streams. The dazzling tribute to underground Black culture consists of iconic songs like “CUFF IT,” “AMERICA’S GOT A PROBLEM,” and “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA,” which all went viral on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

“Some of you gonna go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category,” he said bluntly, hinting at the ongoing conversation about racial bias in the Grammy voting process. 

Despite how you might feel about Jay-Z and Beyoncé, the Grammys have been notorious for a lack of transparency in their nomination system. It is a complicated mess of review boards and members of the Academy, filled with bias and favoritism. In the past few years, other artists have also called out the Grammys for confining artists of color to certain categories. Among them are Drake, Nicki Minaj, and The Weeknd, who have since boycotted the awards in protest.

Jay-Z’s speech underlined the long history that Black performers have had dissenting from the Academy and calling for more recognition of the work of Black creatives. Since then, artists like Kelly Rowland and Usher have taken the stage in support of Jay-Z and said that he made many Black artists felt seen that night. 

Tagged: Grammys jay-z

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