Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs - Inside
Sean 'Diddy' Combs accepts the Salute to the Industry Icons Award onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Diddy Calls Out Grammys' Lack Of Respect For Hip-Hop And Black Music

"Y'all got 365 days to get your sh*t together."

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.

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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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Noname Apologizes For J. Cole Response Track "Song 33"

Last week, Noname and J. Cole squared off in a lyrical tic-for-tac over the issues of accountability during the recent deaths of many African Americans at the hands of police brutality. After launching her track "Song 33," Noname went on Twitter over the weekend and apologized for engaging in a battle of the words with Cole. 

"i've been thinking a lot about it and i am not proud of myself for responding with song 33," she tweeted regarding her Madlib-produced track. "i tried to use it as a moment to draw attention back to the issues i care about but i didn't have to respond. my ego got the best of me. i apologize for any further distraction this caused."  

She later added: "madlib killed that beat and i see there's a lot of people that resonate with the words so i'm leaving it up but i'll be donating my portion of the songs earnings to various mutual aid funds. black radical unity."

The initial skirmish between Cole and Noname occurred last month when the Chicago lyricist subliminally called out high profiled rappers for not being vocal during the protests for George Floyd. Fans pointed the fingers to Cole, and Kendrick Lamar for fitting Noname's description, and the former took offense, releasing his controversial track "Snow on the Bluff." Subsequently, Cole spoke on the song's creative process on Twitter and said he had no ill feelings towards Noname.

"Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night," he began. "Right or wrong I can't say, but I can say it was honest. Some assume to know who the song is about. That's fine with me, it's not my job to tell anybody what to think or feel about the work. I accept all conversation and criticisms. But Let me use this moment to say this Follow @noname. I love and honor her as a leader in these times. She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people. Meanwhile a n---a like me just be rapping."

In return, Noname stormed back with her searing rebuttal "Song 33," questioning Cole's decision to speak on her tweet rather than the larger issues at hand. 

Check out Noname's tweets below.

i’ve been thinking a lot about it and i am not proud of myself for responding with song 33. i tried to use it as a moment to draw attention back to the issues i care about but i didn’t have to respond. my ego got the best of me. i apologize for any further distraction this caused

— Noname (@noname) June 21, 2020

madlib killed that beat and i see there’s a lot of people that resonate with the words so i’m leaving it up but i’ll be donating my portion of the songs earnings to various mutual aid funds. black radical unity ✊🏾

— Noname (@noname) June 21, 2020

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

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Coachella 2020 Has Officially Been Canceled

Update: 12:00 AM EST (June 11, 2020) —  Goldenvoice is assuring ticket holders that passes for the 2020 Coachella and Stagecoach festivals will be honored in 2021.

The company confirmed that next year’s Coachella festival will take place over two consecutive weekend beginning April 9-11 2021. Stagecoach kicks off the following weekend after Coachella ends.

Ticket holders will receive an email on Monday (June 15) “with further instructions to request a refund or to roll over to next year.”

pic.twitter.com/s8oZARGJYf

— Coachella (@coachella) June 11, 2020

Original story below...

After initially being postponed until October, the 2020 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has officially been canceled. Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser decided to cancel Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festival amid concerns that COVID-19 could get worse in the fall.

“Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward,” Kaiser said in a statement on Wednesday (June 10). “These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the heat of the community.”

Officials in Riverside County consulted with Goldenvoice, the company behind the annual festivals, before making a final decision. Coachella and its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, are both expected to return to Indio, Calif. next year but with updated health precautions in place.

Coachella and Stagecoach aren’t the only major music festivals to get canceled this year. The 2020 Lollapalooza festival was also axed because of the pandemic. “We wish we could bring Lollapalooza to [Chicago’s] Grant Park again this year, but we understand why things can’t move forward as planned,” reads a message on the festival website. “The health and safety of our fans, artists, partners, staff and community is our highest priority.”

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Tekashi 6ix9ine And Nicki Minaj Announce “Trollz” Collaboration

Update: 12:15 A.M. EST (June 11,2020) — As promised, Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj unleashed their new single “Trollz.”

Watch the music video below.

Original story below...

Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj are teaming back up for the new single, “Trollz,” the rap duo announced on social media on Wednesday (June 11).

The “Trollz” music video drops at midnight on Friday (June 12). A percentage of the single's proceeds will go to The Bail Project Inc.

“The fund provides free bail assistance to low-income individuals who cannot afford to pay bail,” Minaj tweeted, along with a Black Lives Matter hashtag.

 

A portion of the proceeds from #Trollz including merch items, will be going directly to The Bail Project Inc. The fund provides free bail assistance to low-income individuals who can’t afford to pay bail. #BlackLivesMatter #TrollzVIDEO tmrw @ midnight https://t.co/bZEurWg6Jx pic.twitter.com/G0t0crYh8E

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) June 10, 2020

 

View this post on Instagram

 

nObOdY gOiN To WoRk wiTH HiM No mOrE LINK IN MY BIO ‼️‼️ GO PREORDER TROLLZ RIGHT NOW PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM TROLLZ WILL GO TO BAILING OUT PROTESTERS ❤️

A post shared by TROLLZ (@6ix9ine) on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:00am PDT

“Trollz” marks the second single from Tekashi since being released from prison early, and his latest collaboration with Minaj after “Fefe.” Last month, Minaj teamed with Doja Cat for the “Say So” remix, which scored the Queens native her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard singles chart.

Minaj isn’t the only artist to link up with the 23-year-old rapper as of late. Akon jumped in the studio with Tekashi to work on an apparent follow-up to his 2003 single, “Locked Up.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

LOCKED UP PART 2 IM ON ALBUM MODE THIS ALBUM GOING CRAZYYYYYYY @akon ❤️

A post shared by TROLLZ (@6ix9ine) on Jun 7, 2020 at 10:16am PDT

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