Why I’m Not Here for Adele’s “You Deserve It” Speech

First, some background. Album of the year has been awarded since 1959. In this time only 12 albums by black artists have received this high honor (3/12 were Stevie Wonder albums). Of those 12 only 3 have been black women. Actually, the last black woman to win the award was Lauryn Hill in 1999. Miss Knowles herself has been nominated for the award three times, with her albums I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé, and most recently Lemonade. It’s also relevant to note that the only time the Queen Bey has won a “nongenre” award was when she won Song of the Year with her hit “Single Ladies” even though she’s the most nominated woman in Grammy history. In 2015 many were disappointed to see her self-titled album lose to Beck, yet most accepted it because they were told Album of the Year went to creative & cultural artifacts not sales.

February 12, 2017 was the 59th annual Grammy awards. The show was set up to be a show down between Adele & Beyonce for song, record, and album of the year. Most people were extremely disappointed when Adele proceeded to do a queen sweep of all three awards. Adele herself also seemed to be surprised when her album 25 won over Beyonce’s Lemonade, a cultural phenomenon. We thought it was about the art.

After Adele won she seemed to dedicate her speech to Beyoncé, showing the sentiment that the Queen Bey deserved it more. This is where my issues with Miss Adele begin. I’m fed up with white artists telling black artists they deserved it more as they hold the award in that artists face. Maybe because this reeks of the same moment between Macklemore & Kendrick Lamar a few years back but I’m over it. I promise you, the black artist knows they deserved the award, they’ve probably grown up being told they have to present more superior work to even be considered for the same accolades. But for you to look Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar or any other black artists that you know they don’t deserve it before you head to the back to get your trophy engraved is the epitome of white privilege. It’s basically the equivalent of white people putting on safety pins after the 2016 election. If you honestly feel that strongly about it then do something about it. Breaking a trophy live is cute, but it’s nothing more than an empty gesture in my honest opinion. I’m tired of empty gestures.
All in all, I admit that Adele is a fantastic artist but she doesn’t have the depth and creativity or even the vocal range of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter. With that I have nothing else to say except that Rihanna too was robbed. What did you think of the 2017 Grammys? Let me know in the comments!

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