Some of these projects were recognized with 2017 Grammy nominations (excluding Frank Ocean's Blond, check out his recent rant about the Grammys on Tumblr), but after the award show many viewers felt like Beyoncé and Rihanna were unjustly snubbed of their Grammy nods. A broader discussion began that brought to light the Grammys' history of failing to properly acknowledge Black artists' achievements. So, here is a post dedicated entirely to Black Grammys. Below I've listed some of the best (and worst) moments for Black excellence at the 2017 Grammys:
Chance the Rapper easily had the best night out of everyone at the Grammys, snagging three awards for best new artist, rap album, and rap performance. He made history by being the first artist to receive a Grammy for a project available through streaming only, for his mixtape Coloring Book. In all three of his acceptance speeches, he exemplified #BlackBoyJoy and maintained his position as everyone's favorite Christian rapper.
Solange also left the Staples Center with her very first Grammy award for best R&B performance for "Cranes in the Sky." Aside from the fact that she looked ethereal on red carpet and while presenting, the best part about this is that Solange started to write this song eight years ago, which shows what can come from being patient with your passion.
I'm slightly surprised at the fact that Rihanna, as in Robyn Rihanna Fenty, left with nothing after receiving eight Grammy noms (Might I add that this is the first time since 2009 that she's been nominated for at least one Grammy and walked away with nothing). It was even more surprising that "Work," a song that beat The Beatles for most weeks spent at number one on the charts and sold one million records in the United States, didn't receive a nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance or Record of the Year. Losing Best Urban Contemporary Album was somewhat understandable as it went to Beyoncé's Lemonade. But the fact that Anti, which received acclaim for being the album for the independent Black woman, received no recognition other than being nominated is kind of upsetting. Nevertheless, Rihanna did look like she (and her bedazzled flask) was having a great night anyways.
All eyes were definitely on Beyoncé during her first performance since announcing her pregnancy. She sang a medley of "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles," and included her usual dope and a slightly-too-on point hologram visuals and background dancers. The performance was a beautiful testament to Black motherhood, and was definitely the best performance of the evening. But, it's Beyoncé so what else is new?
At this year's Grammys, Beyoncé went toe-to-toe with Adele for three awards: Album, Song, and Record of the Year. Adele ultimately took home all three of these awards, which came to the surprise of pretty much everyone, including Adele herself. The snub came as the third strike to Beyoncé's record of producing amazing albums but not receiving the award for Album of the Year. Especially considering that Lemonade was one of her best and continues to be her most talked about albums to date. The problem here wasn't with Adele, because 25 is actually an amazing record, but the idea that Beyoncé is consistently the best artist currently in the game but has yet to claim victory over this one particular category at the Grammys, rather that the voting committee has yet to recognize her talent and genius, is becomming somewhat ridiculous (Look, if Adele can dedicate two acceptance speeches in a row to Beyoncé that should say enough).
Blue was pretty much the most entertaining part of this year's Grammys. Her Prince-inspired outfit, dubbing Grammy host James Corden, stanning her mother's performance as per usual, and running into the makeshift Carpool Karaoke made Blue the main focus of this year's show.