What’s a year without some sort of controversy? Whether it be petty beef between two celebrities being broadcast for the world to see, the unconfirmed pregnancies in the Kardashian clan or the President of the United States still being allowed to use Twitter to spew his nonsense. As a society, we crave controversy, even if we don’t want to admit it. You’d think that with 2017 coming to an end, the controversy mill would have dried up. But you’d be wrong. Enter the 2018 Grammy nominations.
A Grammy award is one of the most sought after accolades for musicians and producers; the ‘big dog’ of the music awards and the event highlighted in many artists’ calendars. It’s equally as highly anticipated by fans, so the announcement of the 2018 nominations on the 28th of November was a welcome relief for many.
Singer Andra Day did the honours of announcing the top 4 categories: ‘Record of the Year’, ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Album of the Year’, with the rest of the nominations featuring on the Grammys website immediately after. These nominations will be remembered by all as for the first time in 19 years, no white men were nominated in the ‘Album of the Year’ category; *cue the hoard of angry, middle-aged white men making their feelings known on Twitter*.
From ‘shunning white talent’ to the awards show now being “black mafia s@!*’ (my personal favourite), Twitter heard it all.
I’m certainly convinced that the majority of the accounts sharing their negative thoughts were trolls. I mean, would a 40-year-old, proud, American white male named Keith really take time out of his day to spread hateful, racially insensitive comments on Twitter? Actually, don’t answer that.
As a young, black female living in such a backwards society, conversations about race often interest (and irritate) me. On the one hand, I was personally thrilled with the Grammy nominees. It’s uplifting to see the tremendous amount of talent within POC’s communities finally being recognised and appreciated on the same level as white artists’ (especially when awards shows have been criticised for their lack of diversity in years prior).
But at the same time I wonder, is it even necessary to comment on race? At the end of the day, these artists were handpicked and nominated for their talent and the bodies of work they produced, not because it was fairer to discount the white artists in order to make things seem more inclusive. It just so happened that the artists chosen by the academy this time were artists of colour and it was nothing more than a coincidence.
Still, I continue to sit here (stupidly) thinking that we could one day live in a more cohesive society, where we can all progress and prosper together, without the judgement and disrespect. However, I won’t hold my breath as I’m sure it’ll remain a pipe dream. God help us in 2018.