Ahead of tonight’s Grammy Awards ceremony, the Recording Academy held its annual Pre-Grammy Gala. At Saturday’s event, Diddy was presented with the Salute to Industry Icons Award. During his acceptance speech, the rapper candidly addressed the Academy’s shortcomings in its treatment of hip-hop and black artists.
As he accepted his award, Brother Love brought the elephant in the room front and center. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” he said. “So right now in this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing’s been going on. It’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film, going on in sports and going on around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”
Prefacing that his remarks were being made with love, Diddy gave the Academy an ultimatum to make the necessary change: “You’ve got 365 days to get this shit together. We need transparency, we need diversity.”
In closing, Combs dedicated his Industry Icon Award to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Kanye West’s Graduation and other artists with seminal projects that have endured Grammy snubs over the years.
Diddy is the latest in a slew of artists to criticize the Grammys color-blindness, to read more about the Grammy’s erasure of black excellence head here.