How glorious/ this light in us/We are a wonder ~Laura Mvula
I stopped watching the Grammys back when Alicia Keys beat India.Arie for all the awards. That was the early 2000s. It was around the same time that I was growing into myself as a Black Woman, and all that that meant and continues to mean.
This Sunday I watched Beyoncé perform at the Grammys then went back to preparing for my work week. I knew the end before it even played out, didn’t need to watch it. But if you are only upset about Bey then you aren’t paying attention.
The best albums of last year were ANTI by Rihanna, A Seat At The Table by Solange, Lemonade by Beyoncé, and Chance’s Coloring Book. This isn’t up for debate.
Rihanna didn’t even perform at the awards. Did she cry? No she gave zero fucks and drank from her bejeweled flask all night.
Beyhive be like Rihanna.
It is the rare occasion that our brilliance is adequately recognized in a white supremacist context. That does not mean our brilliance is rare. Knowing this distinction can save a life.
Dave Chappelle knows this distinction, and thus set his own terms for what success means for him. Hence, South Africa.
As Black folks this type of intimate knowledge of self is essential, it is grounding, it will keep you from losing it like Yeezy.
It will also keep Adele beating out Lemonade level Beyoncé in any category in perspective. The Grammys are simple, and for a plethora of reasons (including white supremacy) won’t recognize genius. That says more about Grammy voters than Black artistry.
Rihanna celebrated the one year anniversary of ANTI with tons of pictures on Instagram. It was her most successful album to date, and was well received by most. She knows the value of her art. And as far as we the public know, she won’t let some idiots at the Grammys take away her achievement. We should all follow suit.
We Slay. Doesn’t matter who recognizes said slayage. We Slay. And we recognize and honor each other’s slayage, begetting higher levels of Slay. Let’s commit to continue to do so.