Check It Out...

A Politicized Grammys Brings Anger, Defiance and Love for the People of the World

January 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

There were some positive and important things that took place at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night—reflecting a depth of anger at Donald Trump and several shout-outs and love sent to the people of the world, especially from “shithole countries.” There were important statements about the #MeToo movement and a seething performance from Kendrick Lamar.

This wasn't all without contradiction, and there is much in the “music industry” (and note well the term) to be struggled against right now, but there are positive stirrings to learn from and appreciate. I won't capture them all here, but here are a few highlights:

The rapper Logic performed a moving song about suicide with singers Alessia Cara and Khalid. Afterwards, he gave the following speech:

Black is beautiful. Hate is ugly. Women are as precious as they are stronger than any man I have ever met. And unto them I say: Stand tall and crush all predators under the weight of your heart that is full of the love they will never take away from you. Be not scared to use your voice, and especially in instances like these when you have the opportunity. Stand and fight for those who are not weak, but have yet to discover the strength that the evil of this world has done its best to conceal. To all the beautiful countries filled with culture, diversity and thousands of years of history, you are not shitholes! And lastly, on behalf of those who fight for equality in a world that is not equal, not just and not ready for the change we are here to bring. I say unto you, bring us your tired, your poor and any immigrant who seeks refuge. For together, we can build not just a better country, but a world that is destined to be united.

U2 performed in front of artwork from JR (French photographer)—showing the humanity of people of all different nationalities. And they made a statement in unity with people from “shithole” countries. They also performed in front of the Statue of Liberty, and while their stand was mainly positive, it reflected a lot of illusions about the real nature of the U.S. (which was a certain theme throughout the night).

Ice-T's metal band, Body Count, performed a fierce song against police brutality and murder, “Black Hoodie.”

The singer Kesha sang with a number of well-known women artists about getting out from under a relationship of brutal sexual assault—learning she can stand on her own. This year, Kesha was forced to pay a large penalty to get out of a recording contract with a producer who she accused of sexual assault and abuse. Many prominent women contributed funds for her to do this. This performance reflected a beautiful solidarity and togetherness that captured some of the best of the #MeToo movement, along with a refusal to be broken.

Finally, Kendrick Lamar's performance was powerful and complex. I won't here attempt a further analysis of the song (verses from a number of different songs and freestyles), but the performance was wrestling with the oppression of Black people, the satirical promise of America, and the revenge mentality. In the middle of the song, Dave Chappelle stepped in to say: “I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.”


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.