Arts & Culture

Grammy Nominations put a spotlight on minority artists

By Winston Heckt, Staff Writer

Following the trend of last year’s Grammy winners, the 60th annual Grammy nominations brushed aside white artists left and right to deliver some much needed celebration of black excellence in a year that has dealt a myriad of blows to black Americans and all folks of color.

In the running for album of the year is Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!,” Jay-Z’s “4:44,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn,” Lorde’s “Melodrama” and Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic.” This marks the first time a white man has not been nominated for Album of the Year since 1999 and also ties 2005 for the highest number of minorities nominated for album of the year. It’s going to be a very tough choice between those albums, and I’m glad it’s not my call to make.

Nominees for Record of the Year are “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, “The Story of O.J.” by Jay-Z, “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar and “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, meaning that beside Justin Bieber on “Despacito,” all the record of the year nominations are by men of color.

Nominations for Song of the Year include: “Despacito” by Fonsi; “4:44” by Shawn Carter ( Jay-Z) and Dion Wilson; “Issues” by Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels and Justin Drew Tranter; “1-800- 273-8255” by Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II (Logic), Arjun Ivatury and Khalid Robinson; and “That’s What I Like” by Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.

Furthering the support for black artists this Grammy season are a number of first time nominations for great artists such as Cardi B, Logic, Khalid and SZA. Cardi B made history this summer with her hit song “Bodak Yellow” which topped the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest-charting rap song by a female artists since Lauryn Hill’s 1998 hit “Doo Wop (That Thing).”

Some high-profile artists whose fans claim were snubbed include Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, all of whom failed to receive any nominations. Lady Gaga, Kesha and Ed Sheeran are all competing for best pop solo performance. The former members of One Direction failed to receive any nominations. Seeing as how a majority of these supposed snubbed artists are Beckys and perpetrators of cultural appropriation, I say, screw ‘em. Along this train of thought, I’m glad to see the pop genre as a whole take a backseat this year with pop artists and producers alike receiving fewer nominations in categories like song of the year and producer of the year.

This year’s Grammy voters have a special place in their hearts for Jay-Z as he leads this year’s Grammys with eight nominations. Jay-Z currently has 21 Grammy awards, one award behind Beyonce. It’s my guess that Jay-Z will come out of this award season with at least one Grammy win, allowing him to tie his wife. Overall, this year’s Grammys awards are looking to be an exciting event.

This article first appeared in the Friday, December 8, 2017, Edition of The Echo.