Just like Books and Black Lives…

Prince presents the award for album of the year at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

By Omekah Edmondson

The 57th Grammy’s are where we glorify the artists that captivated our radios, iTunes playlists, in the car karaoke sessions, Snapchat escapades, and sound tracked our ups and downs throughout the year.

This is the pinnacle of music where our beloved artists are rewarded for their grand efforts in producing great music that captivated the masses.  This year’s Grammy’s did in fact reward some talented artists for great music but I want to address something even more important than the coveted “Grammy.”

I feel as though there was a great underlying theme amongst the African American artists this year that wanted to make sure the public was reminded that, Black Lives Matter.

I believe each artist used their share of camera time to show us the power that music has in unifying us all and revealing the bigger picture that can be lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

A key artist that took the time to use the Grammy’s as a platform to bring light to the underlying message that Black Lives Matter, was Prince. When Prince came onto the stage and accepted his standing ovation before presenting the Album of the Year award, he made a significant comment that deemed its own applause.

His influential statement was, “Like books and black lives, albums still matter.” This blatant subtle changing in the script was just what the public needed to hear and the immediate positive response from the live audience and social media that exploded as a result of that comment shows just how influential the world of music really is.

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This same underlying tone of giving the public subtle reminders to the concept that Black Lives Matter was shown through Beyoncé’s performance. I respect Beyoncé’s selection of “Take My Hand” from this year cinematic phenomenon, “Selma” for her live performance.

The networks strategic planning to have our beloved Beyoncé as one of the final performers gave her performance even more significance. She could have chosen from any of her recent musical serenades that would have had the crowd “turnt” and probably twerking in their seats; however, she took a different approach.

I feel like this decision to sing this moving song and make the audience really think and listen to not only what was being said but to what has been said for so long was extremely commendable. With that performance Beyoncé was once again proclaiming the continuing theme that had been sprinkled throughout the show that, Black Lives Matter.

I feel as though with each climatic bellowing of her voice it was another reminder of the struggles that the African American community has endured and are still enduring on a day to day basis. This same mantra that Black Lives Matter was further solidified with the symbolic “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” pose at the end of her performance.

This sense of movement and letting music be the powerful force that it is continued with the perfect segue of Beyoncé’s performance translating to the award winning live performance of “Glory” by John Legend and Common.

Common, John Legend

I feel like there was no need for gimmicks, sparkling lights, or flying people as they usually had in the past to retain the audiences’ focus. Every bit of captivation was retained with the raw power of John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory.”

I feel as though the Grammy’s could not have ended on a better note than with a song that is so moving and speaks loudly as a beckoning call to wake up and realize what is really going on in our society today!

Music is in fact powerful and has the potential to bridge together nations as well as ignite change in each and every one of us. I feel as though this year’s Grammy’s did just that. It took us out of our everyday bubble and gave us quaint reminders to step back and notice what is really going on in our world around us.

So as you reflect on this year’s Grammy’s just note that music does in fact have power and some artists chose to use that power to remind us all that Black Lives Matter.

 

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