What Beyoncé’s Grammy performance means, and why she deserves to win The Album of the Year award

Beyoncé has once again empowered her legion and shook the rest of the world with a simulating performance during the latest GRAMMY Awards. Nonetheless, as any other famous personality, the pregnant queen is not immune to criticism, drawing hateful comments that spring from the nature of her number.

“Was she trying to be the Virgin Mary? Does she really think she’s that famous to wear a headpiece made for the gods?”

Here’s a peek:

 

But what does the whole concept actually mean? Well check this.

Queen B is actually channeling the African Orisha Goddess Oshun that stems from the Yoruba culture of Yorubaland. Oshun’s traditional colors are yellow, gold, and amber. She is considered the goddess of love, romance, fertility, emotional healing, and prosperity. This explains why Bey intended to wear a golden ensemble, which she started doing since her latest album Lemonade.

oshun

There is also a reason why she decided to sing “Sandcastles” and “Love Drought.” Lemonade is cut into different chapters: Intuition, Denial, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness, Accountability, Reformation, Forgiveness, Resurrection, Hope, and Redemption. “Love Drought” is from the Reformation chapter, while “Sandcastles” is a song of Forgiveness.

The two ballads call for the enunciation of these values especially at a time where the black community is about to face a new wave of persecution and discrimination from the newly installed US President Donald Trump.

The performance is actually a message of healing across generations, specifically intended towards the blacks. The album depicts the process of standing up above the struggles that come with their color. Her speech after winning the Grammy award for Best Urban Contemporary Album further enunciates this:

Thank you to the Grammy voters for this incredible honor. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to beautifully capture the profundity of deep Southern culture. I thank God for my family, my wonderful husband, my beautiful daughter, my fans for bringing me so much happiness and support. We all experience pain and loss, and often we become inaudible. My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror — first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves. And have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.

Her latest performance is a call to rise. The spoken words we heard from her performance and from the album’s film adaptation are actually from Warsan Shire, a 27-year-old poet from Kenya who was raised in London. Her works actually became the backbone of Bey’s Lemonade installment, which deftly explores the female human body, the pain and pleasure of marriage, and the relationships we build with other people and our selves. This unique collaboration with Shire is just one of many instances where Lemonade became a window for other black artists to shine.

Over all, Queen B’s latest body of work is an intricate instrument to empower each of us, to believe in our capacity to change the mistakes of the past, to believe that as long as there is hope, we can emancipate ourselves from any form of bondage.

***

With this vision in mind, Adele bringing home The Album of the Year award is questionable but frankly, not at all surprising.

This is not Adele’s fault. Even the British singer believes that Beyoncé deserves the award more than anybody else, and even broke her gramophone in half to share it with the Southern artist.

The award body has proven time and again that they still favor white artists than blacks, and that this cultural bias may not be stopped anytime soon, not even by the most influential artist. Just last year, Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Butterfly lost to Taylor Swift’s 1989. The former remains to be one of the most influential albums of all time and became the anthem of the Black Lives Matter Movement, while 1989 remains to be another chronicle of Swift’s past relationships and what-not.

More examples: Beck’s Morning Phase beat Beyoncé’s Beyoncé; Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories beat Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city; and Mumford & Sons’ Babel beat Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. *collective gasp* I know.

This reluctance to recognize black excellence should be corrected, before the Grammys turns into a complete shit show. Solange Knowles is speaking for all black artists when she named her latest album A Seat at the Table. These people have proven, time and again, that they too deserve a seat at the table. What else do they have to fucking do to get that? Bleach themselves?

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2 thoughts on “What Beyoncé’s Grammy performance means, and why she deserves to win The Album of the Year award

  1. I believe the Grammy people do not Discriminate based on colour BUT do not like the Grammy to be the Platform for Political Peotest. Beyoncé is a great entertainer but so is Adele and only one of their creation can WIN AT A TIME. Let us not depreciate the Great Talent that is Adele and Appreciate that we have both very great talents in both Beyoncé and Adele regardless of Grammy. I prefer to listen to Hayley Westenra

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    1. I agree that they’re both good but I think it shows – and you have to recognize it – that the Grammys has been traditional since. You know there is a problem when the awardee herself thinks she does not deserve the award. But that’s just what I think. 🙂

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