by Asa Lovechild

(–Kanyé West has another bone to pick with the Grammy Awards. He wants to know why the Grammys only awards trophies to Black artists, only in the designated Black categories. Kanyé recently told his concert audience, “How many Grammys do we have? 18 Grammys. All in the Black categories, though, but nonetheless, 18.”

“I love Maroon 5, but when I lost Best New Artist to Maroon 5… you know what I mean? Or when ‘Watch the Throne’ and ‘(My Beautiful) Dark (Twisted) Fantasy,’ neither of them got nominated for Album of the Year? Or when ‘N**gas in Paris’ didn’t get nominated for Record of the Year? So don’t expect to see me at the Grammys this year.”

Although Kanyé has received six nods this year and has already garnered more than one Grammy for his mantelpiece, he is not satisfied. Does he have a point and is he right for pushing the envelope? Music, no doubt, is an art form that is universal, but have African American artists made timeless music that is worthy of being nominated in more diverse categories this year?

Then you have to factor in that all awards shows involve politics. Artists don’t just get nominated by their peers, for awards. With the Grammys there are membership levels for voting and set rules for nomination. The album has to be out for a certain period of time during the year and of course sale a certain amount of units. There is an evaluating committee that votes before the general public gets to see the final list of nods. By the time the public sees the nods it has been dwindled down to the best four or five within a particular category. But that committee, unlike other awards committees, do not receive a copy of the music that they are voting on . So who is to say that the artists are even given a fair chance?

Although Kanyé has gone off in the past, his ranting may be the thing that breaks down another barrier for African American artists and incites others to take a more consistent, pro-active stand.

The Grammys will air on CBS on Feb. 13.

(Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.)

Follow @asalovechild

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