Connect with us


India Arie Writes About Racism & Politics of the 2014 Grammy Awards, Says No Mention of Nelson Mandela



India Arie - March 2014 - BellaNaijaAmerican recording artiste India Arie wasn’t pleased with how the 2014 Grammy Awards went down on Sunday night at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.

She took to her Tumblr page to speak out on how black artistes are not being honoured and recognized with the gold statues.

India also made mention of how the show is all about popularity and not the music and ended by asking why Nelson Mandela wasn’t recognized.

Read it below;

@Kendricklamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed. Personally, I was pleased he was able to perform and they KILLED! IT! One of the FEW moving moments of the night for ME.

Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone – the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation.  Too much to go into here.

The American Music Awards is a show that awards sales and popularity – the #Grammys are SAID to be about the music.

If the hip hop community voted on hip hop –  r&b COMMUNITY the same –  same for each category – we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes.

NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music. Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not) … Where were the black artists?

And this isn’t the first time the #Grammy’s has had a show all but excluding young black America and black artists in general, although we set the worlds musical trends. Why NOT televise the lifetime achievement awards of the Isley Brothers? SURELY they deserved to be on televised stage LAST NIGHT! While other artists were on stage TWICE?

The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme.  So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album. i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support.  It’s unfortunate.

I don’t even get surprised any more, but, it still hits my sense of fairness, because I KNOW many of the artists who are overlooked. I LIVE in that world. We keep showing up and subjecting ourselves to the game, hoping MAYBE we’ll win. I was so HAPPY to see @Kendricklamar take that stage – because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.

Speaking of diversity, congratulations to my PERSONAL favorite albums of the year –  @I_GregoryPorter #LiquidSpirit @Realsnarkypuppy and @lalahhathaway on your win and THANK YOU! @pharrell for acting RIGHT in the presence of the greatness that is @Nilerodgers and #StevieWonder

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide


P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL? … and THIS is why we NEED the Image Awards AND the BET awards.


  1. isaid!

    January 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I agree with you India Arie, the awards doesn’t really reflect the diversity in the music industry. Well congrats though to all the winners. They must have all worked very hard.

    • Royalty

      January 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      I TOTALLY Agree!

  2. Ed

    January 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Snarky Puppy won, Gregory Porter won. In the past, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding have won before. I don’t know if I really have an opinion. Popular music and any plaform that celebrates it has never really been about giving it to the person who best deserves it. When Whitney and MJ took Grammy’s in loads, that was probably the time when we saw popularity matching up to quality. Anyways, Its all good. Kendrick Lamar should look to make music as good or even better next time. Not winning a grammy has done nothing to diminish his street-cred. Seems everyone is in solidarity with him and that may translate into album sales. On another note, I look forward to our own headies being able to create a big enough buzz locally. We sure consume what we produce. Hopefully one day, we’ll produce something that leaves a lingering taste in our mouths long after it was/has been consumed.

    • nene

      January 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm


  3. Ed

    January 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm


  4. amy amatheart

    January 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    very well said india arie. poor kendrick lamar- keep keeping it real. we support u all the way. even macklemore acknowledges robbing you. sad sad

  5. Marc Francis of Chelsea

    January 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Black people are always quick to run to the “no black person was recognised” at every show. Darius Rucker, Pharrell, the new black rocker on the scene, Rihanna, and more were all recognised. Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Jay Z, were all on stage and LL Cool J hosted. She needs to sit down.

    • Mama Mia!!!

      January 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you!!! LL cool J hosted, that is black enough. Plus if blacks maybe stop talking about pu**** and their fleet of cars the world will listen. Blacks are just quick to call others racist for their failures. That been said, Kendrick deserved more than a Grammy, he is super talented…

  6. o.c.i

    January 29, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Please what does Nelson Mandela have to do with music??? Did they recognise mother teresa or princess Diana @ the grammys the year they died?

  7. Naomi

    January 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    @ o.c.i I wonder oh…
    We blacks should quite feeling sorry for ourselves, if she feels blacks aren’t been recognized at the Grammys’ then get blacks to create a platform that would be bigger than grammys where they all can be recognized and stop always playing a victim to racism.

  8. El patron medellin cartel

    January 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I feel her pain! Seven nominations, no Grammy!

    • tish

      January 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Oh, but she DOES have 4 grammy awards though…she won the year after Alicia packed them all …that said, I do like her though, she is REAL…

  9. FJD

    January 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I think if you guyz snub their award then , they will see it’s all about music not about fame. And jay did a very dry, daddy got another sipping cup for you…#TOOVERYVERYVERYDRY

    • Ib

      January 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Hahahah…I literally rolled my eyes.Yimu to him

  10. Ayo

    January 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I don’t agree with Indie black singers were well represented on stage. I’m fed up with this victim thing.

  11. Olanna

    January 29, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    What does Nelson Mandela have to do with the Grammy’s? It is also very interesting how there are so many other races that make good music and are ignored but people always choose to draw the lines around the black/white divide. If you are going to fight for diversity and marginality then do so, don’t narrow the discussion down to your own race.

    • RB18

      February 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      WTH does Gay Marriage have to do with the Grammys? I can draw a parrell and attribute it to Nelson Mandela and what he has given to this world. If you cannot, you have some growing to do mentally. Musicans white and black spread the message of the injustice of Arparthtied through their music.

  12. Shannon

    January 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Great post Indie, unfortunatly if u deem their awards as standard u will always come up short..first rock n roll, then blues, tried to take rnb, and NOW hip hop

  13. Hannah

    January 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    The year Micheal Jackson died, he was honored at the Grammys. The year tupac and biggie died , they were honored at the Grammys. The year Whitney Houston died , she was honored at the Grammys. So what is Nelson Mandela own with Grammys and music? , or was Princess Diana honored the year she died? Please don’t blame your pain on your race.

  14. Anon

    January 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I totally agree with India Arie, especially with regards to Hip Hop. It was Eminem always taking the rap awards no one complained cos he was some what good, now they have moved on to Macklemore, they rather give a white dude than the people who actually invented that genre, for God’s sake has a black person ever won a country or rock award? I don’t blame Kanye for pulling that stint on Taylor Swift

    • That

      January 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Darius Rucker has won a Grammy for country and country awards. Lenny Kravitz won four Grammy Awards for rock in four consecutive years . Besides, there were a lot of black people who performed. Heck, Beyonce and Jay-Z opened the show with an RnB and hip hop mix. Pharrell, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers performed a pop/soul song. Kendrick Lamar represented hip hop with rock. That new comer (black man) killed it on the guitar with Keith Urban…country. A black man hosted the whole show. There were a number of black presenters. Plus remember, black people only make up a small percentage of America. I think blacks were well represented at the Grammy Awards.

  15. The Buttery Hotness.

    January 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Many black people lay it on thick with the race card. Makes one wonder who the racists really are.

    The question on my mind is, what is black music, bikokwa? So wait, white people do music and black people do black music? It don’t make no sense, aunty.

    She sha had to bring in Mandela to over-egg the pudding. Take 2 pills of chill.

  16. Angry immigrant

    January 29, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    wow! So Isley brothers received a lifetime achievement award???? They didn’t broadcast that on TV. that’s rather annoying.

    I am a big fan of their music. That said, Kendrick killeddddd it at the Grammys. His performance and that of Pink were the best for me. Taylor swift = rubbish. Daft punk could have sounded better without Stevie wonder and beyonce could have performed without that stripper outfit she had on. She looked like a cheap whore considering the fact that her husband Jay Z looked all dapper in suit and tie.

  17. Join Aam Aadmi Party Odisha

    February 21, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I completely agree with you.. What ever best of luck to you for the next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features