Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper, and A Tribe Called Quest Bring Peak Blackness To Grammys
As they are every year, the Grammys were full of more than a dozen moments worth focusing on. However, unlike every year, 2017’s Grammys saw a handful of moments that reached peak Blackness and had us all standing and yelling at our televisions and laptops.
Beyoncé Owns the Night
Lemonade got robbed. It was so obvious that even Adele, who won Album of the Year for 25, used her acceptance speech to let Beyoncé and the world know just how much her music means to her as she say in the front row with tears in her eyes.
However, she still graced the stage after winning a Grammy for Best Music Video for “Formation.” Her speech, which was written in a gold-plated note, focused on representation and how her children would “have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable.”
The potency of her speech was fitting given how Lemonade was the album that reminded everyone that Beyoncé is a proud, Black woman. (Some are convinced that race can’t coexist with superstardom.)
The brightest moment for Beyoncé was surely her performance, which was the first time most of us had seen her since she announced that she was pregnant with twins. The nearly nine-minute performance was the most complicated of the night, by far, and included a medley of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.”
It’s no doubt that there were entire households fighting for a good spot in front of their televisions last night to watch Beyoncé rule the night.
Note: Blue Ivy also managed to steal the show a couple of times by just being herself.
Chatham’s Own Chance the Rapper Wins Big
The biggest winner of the night was Chance the Rapper. The proud artist from Chicago’s Southside won a total of three Grammy awards for Best Rap Album, Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance.
What makes this achievement even more incredible is that Chance the Rapper, technically, hasn’t sold a single album and has remained an independent artist since he first broke through back in 2012. As a voice for indie artists across the globe, he’s laying the groundwork for them to be appreciated in an industry that would otherwise devalue them until they decided to join the masses and play ball.
In his shoutout to DJ Drama and Soundcloud, Chance the Rapper may have very well brought in a new era of music celebration. One where artists whose main means of distribution is through the avenues of the Internet could grace the same stage as the highest selling acts of the year.
To cap off a wonderful night where Chatham’s own thanked God at least half a dozen times, he took the Staples Center to church by performing “How Great” and “All We Got” with the help of Kirk Franklin, Tamela Mann, Francis and the Lights and entire Gospel choir.
— What's Trending Sa (@whatstrendingSa) February 13, 2017
A Tribe Called Quest Takes On ‘Agent Orange’
A Tribe Called Quest has had a big year. Before the tragic loss of Phife Dawg, the group was working on their final album, We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service. The album resembled the classics that made them one of hip-hop’s most beloved groups as well as growth into artists listeners had never really seen before.
To commemorate their success, the group performed alongside Anderson. Paak before being joined on stage by Consequence and Busta Rhymes.
— juan vidal (@itsjuanlove) February 13, 2017
After a handful of subtle nods to politics and the chaos President Donald Trump is clearly desperate to see, Busta Rhymes kicked through the wall of respectability and thanked “President Agent Orange” for all he’s done – or failed to do – since taking office.
The group then broke into a performance of “We the People,” which touches on a lot of the racial and religious persecutions happening in the United States today. By the end, they all raised their fists to the air as Q-Tip repeatedly yelled the word “Resist!”