Sean “Diddy” Combs didn’t miss the opportunity to rip the Recording Academy for its lack of racial diversity. The American rapper didn’t mince words in front of a crowd of musicians, artists, producers and the like on Saturday’s Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. In his 2020 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons acceptance speech, he intensely called out the awards ceremony for not giving black music the respect it is due.
The stunned crowd included big industry names: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Cardi B, Lana Del Rey, Janet Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne and John Legend among others. Diddy’s upfront remarks were made near the end of his 50-minute long speech about his life, a career in music and the people he worked with.
“Every year y’all be killing us. I’m speaking for all the artists and executives: in the great words of Erykah Badu, “We are artists and we are sensitive about our sh–,” the rapper said about music’s black community.
Then he flat-out laid down a statement that shook the room, “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys.”
He then continued to call for his fellow artists and music industry experts to stop letting “institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us.” At the end of his speech, Diddy urged the Grammys to do better in a span of “365 days.”
The Recording Academy and Grammys have long been criticized for its lack of gender and racial diversity in recognizing artists in the industry.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.