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Since 1985, the Best Reggae Album category has been in inception. Each year, a man has taken home the gramophone, but 35 years later, a rising artist is here to make history. On Sunday (Jan. 26), Koffee won the title for her debut album, Rapture. Last year’s recipients were Sting & Shaggy for their 44/876 album.
“I’m very honored, I’m very happy and I’m satisfied, I would say,” the "W" singer says. “I put a lot of work into my first project and to see that it has been recognized on this level has really fulfilled me so I’m very thankful.”
In a previous interview with VIBE, Koffee shared her thoughts on being a woman musician in a male-dominated genre such as reggae. “I feel like it’s a big responsibility, and ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ So I don't look at it as, ‘Oh, I’ve made it.’ But I acknowledge that I’m in a position where I have a responsibility now to fulfill and to pull through. It just pushes me to work harder, make more things happen, and just keep it going.”
Sean "Diddy" Combs delivered a motivational speech as he accepted the Salute to Industry Icon Award at the 2020 Pre-Grammys Gala hosted by Clive Davis and the Recording Academy (Jan. 25). At the tail end of his time at the podium, Combs took a moment to bring to light an ongoing subject that could not be ignored: The Grammys' lack of respect for the genre of hip-hop and Black music as a whole.
"The last few days I’ve been conflicted," he started after thanking everyone in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "I’m being honored by the industry that I love, the family that I love. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s not just about the Grammys.
"There’s discrimination and injustice everywhere, at an all-time high. But there’s something I need to say to the Grammys [...] Every year, you all be killing us, man. Man, you talk about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists here, the producers and the executives. The amount of time that it takes to make these records, to pour your heart out into it … and you just want an even playing field. In the great words of Erykah Badu, we are artists and we are sensitive about our shit. We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope."
Combs went on to give The Recording Academy a deadline. “I’m officially starting the clock. Y'all got 365 days to get this sh*t together. We need transparency, we need diversity. They’re [The Academy] a non-profit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. But it’s going to take all of us to get this done. It’s going to take the artists and executives to recognize their power. So sign me up. I’m here to help make a difference and help us have a positive outcome."
After breaking down the impact and significance of hip-hop music and his mission of preserving black culture, Diddy went on to honor fellow artists who have been snubbed in prior years.
"And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for Off the Wall, Prince for 1999, Beyoncé for Lemonade, Missy Elliott for Da Real World, Snoop Dogg for Doggystyle, Kanye West for Graduation, aye yo, and Nas for Illmatic. Clive, I love you to death. I love you, I love you, I love you."
Prior to Diddy's 40-minute acceptance speech where he reflected on his 30+ career in the music industry and acknowledged those who had a hand in it, former Bad Boy artists Faith Evans, Carl Thomas, Lil Kim, and Mase took the stage to perform throwback hit songs from their respective careers. Combs' son, Christian aka King Combs, also joined the artists to perform "I'll Be Missing You" in remembrance of the Notorious B.I.G.
Watch and read Diddy's full acceptance speech below.
Now to my other family, my musical family. During the hardest year of my life [the death of longtime love Kim Porter], all of you were there to check on me and push me up. And I want to tell you I appreciate that. I love that. And I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t get those messages. I want to thank everybody here from the bottom of my heart that really cared about me. And we are a musical family. We have to be there for each other.
And now because we are a family, I have to be honest. [For] the last few days, I’ve been conflicted. I’m being honored by the industry that I love, the family that I love. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s not just about the Grammys. There’s discrimination and injustice everywhere, at an all-time high. But there’s something I need to say to the Grammys. I changed my middle name to "Love." So it’s Sean “Love” Combs now. So I say this with love to the Grammys because you really need to know this.
Every year, you all be killing us, man. Man, you talk about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists here, the producers and the executives. The amount of time that it takes to make these records, to pour your heart out into it … and you just want an even playing field. In the great words of Erykah Badu, we are artists and we are sensitive about our sh*t. We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope.
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. 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, it's going on in sports and it's 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.
I’m officially starting the clock. You’ve got 365 days to get this shi* together. We need the artists to take back control, we need transparency, we need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make the changes that need to be made. They have to make the changes for us. They’re a non-profit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what it says on the mission statement. That’s the truth. They work for us.
We have the power. We decide what’s hot. If we don’t go, nobody goes. If we don’t support, nobody supports. We control what’s cool, we control what’s hot. We control what your kids listen to, what they dance to, we control what’s a video game, we control how they wear their pants, sag their pants…we control everything.
Now we’re not going to solve this tonight. But it’s going to take all of us to get this done. It’s going to take the artists and executives to recognize their power. And I’m standing here today not to just bash you all because as I said, you’re a non-profit organization. We just need to get it right. And I’m here for the artists.
So sign me up. I’m here to help make a difference and help us have a positive outcome. I believe all of my brothers and sisters out there will be willing to work on getting this right. Because we just want it right. We just want to be able to go to the Grammys. You’ve got to understand. We’ve seen Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson; Michael Jackson’s holding eight Grammys and he was dropping the Grammys. But you know why he was dropping the Grammys and why he got eight Grammys? Because they never nominated him for 'Off the Wall'! So Thriller was his revenge. It wasn’t his honest work. It was his revenge. He’s like, all right, you all want to f**k with me?! I’m going to take your souls. And then we had 'Thriller.'
My goal used to be about making hit records. Now it’s about ensuring that the culture moves forward. My culture. Our culture. The black culture. And for me to be worthy of receiving an icon award, I have to use my experience to help to make a change. And on that note, I’m finishing up: Y'all all got 365 days.
And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for 'Off the Wall', Prince for '1999,' Beyoncé for 'Lemonade,' Missy Elliott for 'The Real World,' Snoop Dogg for 'Doggystyle,' Kanye West for 'Graduation,' aye yo, and Nas for 'Illmatic.' Clive, I love you to death. I love you, I love you, I love you.
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While accepting the Industry Icon Award, Sean @diddy Combs called out the Recording Academy and urged artists to take back their power. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” he said before dedicating his award to classic black albums that never won a Grammy. They include #Beyonce (Lemonade) @missymisdemeanorelliott (Da Real World) Nas (Illmatic) and @snoopdogg (Doggystyle). 🎥: @desire_renee
Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his Funeral album will drop next week.
“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.
In a recent interview with VIBE, Lil Wayne said that even though his recording process has drastically changed since his prolific mixtape days, he still finds enjoyment in going to the studio to create.
“I love the difficulty of trying to fit in with what’s going on today, making sure I sound likable to the ears today and having to remind myself that it’s not about what it was back then. Going to the studio now, for me, is awesome. I used to go to that muf***a and do 12 songs a night. Cut a beat on, I’m going to go and you let me know when to stop,” Wayne said.
“...I can’t wait to get in the studio now every night, just to see what I can come up with. [Before] it was just me going to the studio and saying, let me kill ten more songs and then I’m going to go home or do whatever I was doing. Now, it’s let me see what I come up with. Self-discovery, rebirth – call it whatever you want to call it but it feels awesome, I swear to God.”
The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.
Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.
Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.
1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020